Part 4: The Importance of APIDA College Student Cultural Socialization

Discussing the intersection of career and heritage.

The Importance of APIDA College Student Cultural Socialization

In recent years, the legacy of the “professional status” preference system is one of the reasons why 14% of the Information Technology sector is also Asian. These career stereotypes remind APIDA students that they can find job security in areas where they might already be represented but these stereotypes ignore the diversity of APIDA trailblazers across sectors where we are historically underrepresented and the needs of our community underserved. For instance, the very first APIDA elected official to the US congress was California Congressman Dalip Singh “Judge” Saund, a Punjabi-Sikh American, like me. His 1956 election broke multiple barriers and yet I never learned about him until I became a Master’s student later in life. I learned about him at a march led by Sikh high school and college aged students marking the 1 year anniversary of the Oak Creek Gurdwara shooting in Washington, D.C. at the footsteps of the Lincoln Memorial. You can check out a documentary on this iconic APIDA leader here.


Learn the history of your respective APIDA racial-ethnic identity in the United States by enrolling in one or more APIDA history courses at Miami University. Learning about your APIDA history and identity will help to develop racial-ethnic cultural socialization which research shows is consistently linked with positive youth development. Knowing the examples of APIDA trailblazers who came before you will help empower you to blaze your own path. Additionally, knowing the triumphs of one’s culture is socialization that promotes ones self worth, particularly in a context where there are harmful stereotypes APIDA students confront and overcome. 

Simran Kaur-Colbert

Tomorrow – Part 5: APIDA Women: You Can Have Your Cake and Eat it All