Press Releases

June 20, 2012

Contact: Tia T. Gordon
202-756-4851 or 202-906-0149

APIASF Hosts its Third Annual Higher Education Summit

The Nation's Largest Gathering to Focus on Increasing Asian and Pacific Islander American College Completion and Student Success

Washington, D.C., June 20, 2012—A diverse cross-sector of stakeholders ranging from college presidents, education leaders, and students to policymakers, federal government officials, and corporate executives from across the nation are attending the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund's (APIASF) third annual higher education summit to help increase college completion and student success among Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) students. With the theme "Advancing the Democratic Mission of Higher Education: The Relevance of Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders," the one-day event kicks off today at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

The event aims to raise awareness about the unique needs of the APIA student population and shed light on their experiences in the U.S. higher education landscape. The summit offers panel presentations and a town hall meeting focusing on research and assessment, policy and advocacy, and student outcomes. In addition, the event welcomes for the first time nearly all Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) college presidents who will discuss the impact of their institutions and other minority-serving institutions on advancing the national college completion goals.

"Our higher education summit is being held to help identify policies and practices concerning not only the success of the APIA student population, but to support postsecondary education equity and inclusion to increase the success of all students," said APIASF President & Executive Director Neil Horikoshi. "As the United States strives to become globally competitive in the 21st century, additional investments in higher education policies must be made immediately to help address the complex set of social realities faced by students in the underrepresented and underserved APIA community—one of the fastest-growing minority populations in the United States."

Earlier in the day, APIASF, along with its research partner, the National Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Research in Education, launched the Partnership for Equity in Education through Research (PEER) project to help realize the full degree-earning potential of the APIA student population. Considered one of the largest investments in history to increase APIA student success, the PEER project is a three-year, nearly $2 million effort being supported by The Kresge Foundation, USA Funds, and the Walmart Foundation.

Additionally, in attendance will be several notable leaders who acknowledge the event's valuable contributions to the ongoing conversations about diversity in higher education. One important guest includes Clarence A. Johnson, principal director and director for civilian equal employment opportunity, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Equal Opportunity) at the Pentagon, who said, "The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is proud to work closely with APIASF as they help to educate the next generation of leaders. We are committed to furthering diversity in DoD by offering challenging and fulfilling career opportunities to men and women of all backgrounds; as the Department is better served when it reflects the nation it serves."

Finally, APIASF will be hosting a special evening reception to recognize Congressman Mike Honda for his long-standing career in education and his commitment to education equity. In honoring Congressman Honda's efforts to advancing educational opportunities for APIA students, the reception will provide a networking opportunity for attendees.

For more information about the 2012 APIASF higher education summit, visit APIASF's website at Also, follow APIASF on Facebook ( and Twitter ( to receive live event updates.

Based in Washington, D.C., the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is the nation's largest non-profit organization devoted to providing college scholarships for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIA). APIASF works to create opportunities for students to access, complete, and succeed after post-secondary education; thereby developing future leaders who will excel in their career, serve as role models in their communities, and will ultimately contribute to a vibrant America. Since 2003, APIASF has distributed more than $60 million in scholarships to deserving APIA students. APIASF manages two scholarship programs: APIASF's general scholarship and the Gates Millennium Scholars/Asian Pacific Islander Americans funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The 2012 APIASF higher education summit is made possible through the generous support of our presenting sponsors: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Southwest Airlines, USA Funds, Walmart, and Wells Fargo.