Dr. Fong Addresses Asian Pacific Americans in Agriculture

Ursinus College President Dr. Bobby Fong gave the keynote address for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at the Eastern Regional Center of the US Department of Agriculture in Wyndmoor, Pa. and encouraged the advancement of Asian Pacific Americans to assume leadership positions.

From left: Dr. Tony Jin, President-Elect, APANA-Philadelphia Chapter; Dr. Bobby Fong; James Jii Shieh, President, APANA-Philadelphia Chapter; and Dr. Shu-I Tu, North Atlantic Area Associate Director.

The program was hosted by the Asian Pacific American Network in Agriculture’s Greater Philadelphia Chapter. Dr. Fong spoke on “Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Asian Pacific Americans in Leadership.”  He spoke of his own path to higher education and offered comments on why there are few Asian Pacific Americans in higher education administration.

Although Asians and Pacific Islanders comprise the largest minority contingent of full-time faculty members at U.S. colleges and universities, he pointed out, they are sorely underrepresented in higher education leadership. He urged members of the audience to develop their own leadership narratives and offered advice on how to position cultural and personal dispositions as strengths.

Concluding, Dr. Fong advocated advancement for all people. “At the same time that I urge you as Asians and Pacific Islanders to aspire to leadership, I encourage you to live out stories of success that will inspire others who are not Asian.  That is what we need today,” he said.