CSU Fullerton Research Class

In the fall of 2009, NAPAWF worked with Professor Tu-Uyen Nguyen and the Asian American Studies Program at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) to offer a special year-long “Asian Pacific Islander (API) Community-Based Health Research and Field Studies” class for the first time on campus. This class attracted a cohort of 23 students, both male and female. Students learned about API sexual and reproductive health issues as well as a variety of other related topics such as mental health issues, environmental justice, and selected chronic diseases. The framework for the class focused on a community-based participatory research model whereby students were encouraged to learn about the issues, do a comprehensive literature review, and come up with ideas for potential social action campaigns that they could implement on campus to raise awareness about API sexual and reproductive health issues.

With guidance from NAPAWF staff and Professor Nguyen, the students helped to develop a health survey that was administered online with over 800 CSUF female students. We are now in the process of analyzing the survey results.

For the spring 2010 semester, 11 students have chosen to continue with the field studies/ service learning component of the class and get involved in various social action activities and policy projects on campus and in the community. Updates for these projects will be forthcoming!

Student reflections

“Prior to joining this class, I had little awareness of reproductive health issues that API women face. I didn’t know what to expect from this class at first, but I was very interested about learning how so many factors affect health. I also learned about reproductive justice and how women are still fighting to have sovereignty over their sexuality, gender, and reproduction.”

“I was extremely surprised in the ‘activist’ nature of the material that was covered in class. I knew that the class was going to focus on female issues, more accurately Asian American and Pacific Islander females, but I never imagined all of the problems and issues that they faced. This class was really an eye-opener on important social and health related issues in the AAPI community. I liked that it provided information on a variety of different ethnic groups within the AAPI community and not just the larger groups such as the Japanese, Chinese, and Filipinos.”

“Understanding. Cooperation. Research ability. Fighting for something you truly believe in. Awareness. Social action plans. Expert testimony. Compromise. Empathy. Equality. Compassion. And a sense of belonging. You name it, this class has touched on these leadership skills and more.”

The one thing that I learned from this class that I haven’t in other classes was a sense of self-importance. You have taught us that we have a voice and that we matter. No matter what the outcome, we must go out and fight for what we believe to be just.”

“I’ve never been involved in a social action or participatory research team so learning how to do things like forming a non-biased survey was an interesting learning tool. Also learning other student’s experiences when it came to research studies from other cohorts was key in understanding how little things can be impactful on a college campus or any community in general.”

I felt that everything discussed in class related to my life in one way or the other. Now when I talk to my friends about sex or health issues they have I am able to share my knowledge and I’m able to help them because I learned it in class.”

I enjoyed being able to talk freely about sexual health with my classmates because all of us are thinking it but we don’t say anything about it. This class gave us a push towards being more open about our sexuality and most importantly our sexual health.”

“I have more of an understanding of Asian and Pacific Islander women’s health and also I have a better understanding of my health as well. Knowing the data and also the lack of data in Asian and Pacific Islander women will help in the next class session, but also with the lack of women going to get their health check up and screening, I will make sure my friends and family go and check their health.”

“From this class, I have attained the knowledge and skills of one that can educate others openly about reproductive health issues and the importance of it all. Before this class, sex was such a big taboo to talk about and now I am much more comfortable talking about it.

“I thoroughly enjoyed coming to this class and learning something significant about myself as an APIA female and how I can make a difference to others. This is definitely the kind of class that will stick with me throughout my lifetime.

With guidance from NAPAWF staff and Professor Nguyen, the students helped to develop a survey that was administered online with over 800 CSUF female students on health. For the spring semester, 11 students have chosen to continue with the field studies/ service learning component of the class and get involved in various social action activities in the community.

With guidance from NAPAWF staff and Professor Nguyen, the students helped to develop a survey that was administered online with over 800 CSUF female students on health. For the spring semester, 11 students have chosen to continue with the field studies/ service learning component of the class and get involved in various social action activities in the community.