david k. yoo appointed new director of ucla asian american studies center

This week, the University of California Los Angeles announced the appointment of Professor David K. Yoo as the new Director of the Asian American Studies Center and Professor in the Department of Asian American Studies. Here's the press release that passed along to me from UCLA's Graduate Division:
Deans, Directors, Department Chairs, Administrative Officers and the UCLA Campus Community

It is with pleasure that I announce the appointment of Professor David K. Yoo as the new Director of the Asian American Studies Center and Professor in the Department of Asian American Studies, retroactive to January 1, 2010. David joined UCLA as a Visiting Professor and Acting Director in January and his change in status to Professor and Director has now been procedurally completed.

Professor Yoo received his doctoral degree from Yale University in American Studies and History and has served on the faculty of Claremont McKenna College and Claremont Graduate University since 1994. While at the Claremont Colleges, David acquired significant administrative experience as Chair of the Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies and Chair of the Department of History. He has been credited with moving both departments forward through successful hiring, by curricular expansion, and innovative programming.

These heavy administrative responsibilities have been undertaken in the context of a record of estimable scholarly productivity with major contributions to Asian American history and the subfield of Asian American religion. He is the author of Growing Up Nisei: Race, Generation and Culture among Japanese Americans of California 1924-1949, the editor of New Spiritual Homes: and Asian Americans, and coeditor (with Ruth H. Chung) of Religion and Spirituality in Korean America. His most recent book, released last week by Stanford University Press, is Contentious Spirits: Religion in Korean American History, 1903-1945. UC Berkeley's Michael Omi, describes this work as deftly revealing "..how religious institutions and practices were shaped by, and in turn helped to shape, the prevailing patterns of racialization, diasporic consciousness, and political resistance" in the formation of the Korean American community.

David Yoo is a scholar who has been actively involved in community-based organizations with extensive board service in the non-profit sector, most recently in the city of Pomona. As someone committed to public history, David has been a consultant to museums in southern California and also co-authored a centennial history of the Los Angeles Korean United Methodist Church.

David brings outstanding professional and personal attributes as a teacher, administrator and concerned citizen. We feel most fortunate to have attracted him to join our faculty and to serve as the new director of the Asian American Studies Center. Please join me in welcoming him to the UCLA community.


Claudia Mitchell-Kernan
Vice Chancellor Graduate Studies
Dean, Graduate Division
The UCLA Asian American Studies Center is one of the oldest, most respected academic centers of its kind in the United States. I'm looking forward to seeing it continue its efforts under new leadership. For more information about the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, go here.

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