Publication Date

Spring 5-10-2021

Document Type

Action research project: Open access

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


The purpose of my research was to examine the Southeast Asian American (SEAA) identity in connection to performance and sense of belonging at institutions of higher education. The central focus was trying to understand the SEAA experience as opposed to the “model minority” narrative that is typically associated with the Asian American community. My research questions are what is the impact of their SEAA identity on their navigation in higher education? How do these students make meaning of their identity and sense of belonging at UC San Diego? How can I increase the visibility of the Southeast Asian American narrative at UC San Diego? And how can the new insights I learn help inform better resources and services to support their success and connection to the university? I found that students do not often get the opportunities to reflect on their identities and what that means to them, specifically their SEAA identity. Students require more support at the institutional level for programming and spaces on campus to contribute to a greater sense of belonging and a positive impact on their academic success.


Recipient, Outstanding Student of the Year, 2021.