Angela Rola - Director (1993-Present)

Angela Rola (pronouns: she/her/hers) is the founding Director of the Asian American Cultural Center at the University of Connecticut, Storrs campus. She has developed a variety of programs focusing on the diverse Asian American community in both the State of Connecticut and across the nation. Angela has developed two mentoring programs, Asiantation Mentoring Program– a program for entering UConn students and K.U.B.E. (Kids & UConn, Bridging Education) – a community-based program for middle school students. In addition to directing the center, she teaches a course on The Asian American Experience, a required course for all AMP Mentors and lectures extensively in undergraduate and graduate courses on campus as well as other public and private schools, and for profit and non-profit companies nationwide. She is a diversity trainer for state mandated training and develops site appropriate training programs.

Angela serves on numerous committees and task forces throughout the University. From 1991-93 she was President of the UConn Asian Faculty & Staff Association and now holds an Executive Board position. Within the state of Connecticut, Angela served as one of the commissioners for the Commission on Equity & Opportunity (CEO) from 2008-2017.  She was appointed as one of six Asian Americans to represent the concerns of the community in the state.

Angela has received many awards both on campus and throughout the state. The CT Women's Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF) named her as one of the October 2010 recipients of the "One Woman Makes a Difference" award honoring women who have personally and professionally made a difference in the lives of women and girls in Connecticut. In 2015, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) awarded her the Henry Gee Outstanding Mentoring Award from the Asian/Pacific Islander, Desi American (APIDA) Knowledge Community.

merz lim - Associate Director of Programming

merz lim (pronouns: he/him/his) is the Associate Director for Programming at the Asian American Cultural Center.  merz began his student affairs career at Texas A&M University in 2008.  He then pursued his M.A. in Higher Education in Student Affairs at UConn working as a graduate assistant at AsaCC. He has also held other positions at University of Maryland-College Park and Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ working within Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) students.  His passion for working within the APIA lens ignited when he went to UConn and found himself challenged and inspired by a community who cared about giving back and dissected the intersections of being APIA.   He was able to share his own stories as an immigrant and validate the familial pressures with the students that he interacted with. In hopes to empower and to work towards positive change.  As a student affairs educator, he finds great joy in sparking the passions among students while developing their leadership, identity, and aspirations.  In his free time, he enjoys eating, running, hiking, bouldering, and the willingness to try something new!


Jeffrey Alton - Assistant Director

Jeffrey Alton (he/him/his) is the Assistant Director of the Asian American Cultural Center. Born and raised in East Hartford, CT, Jeff is a two-time UConn alumnus, earning a Bachelors of English with a Minor in Asian American Studies and a Master's degree in Higher Education, Student Affairs. Prior to UConn, he worked as the Associate Director of the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center (AARCC) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he directed the Asian American Mentor Program, College Day, was an instructor in Global Asian Studies and in the Honors College, and was the liaison to a variety of offices in Student Affairs. His passion for working with the Asian and Asian American community and other underrepresented and underserved communities comes from his own experience at UConn and with the AsACC; where he developed the skills and had the experiences to redirect his life path from nursing to education. In his spare time he is a cat enthusiast, avid gamer, fisherman, eater of many things, and a traveler to places near and far.


Elisa Tolentino - Graduate Assistant

Elisa Tolentino (pronouns: she/her/hers) is the Graduate Assistant at the Asian American Cultural Center. After graduating with her bachelor's degree from Southern Connecticut State University, Elisa is eager to delve further into her education in pursuing her master's degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs at UConn. Her student leadership positions in being a Resident Advisor, Orientation Ambassador, Special Projects, and Research Intern in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, along with working in Student Conduct and being a part of the Anti-Bias Task Force, have led to Elisa’s desire to create meaningful and mindful positive change in her communities. Elisa’s passion for pursuing Higher Education stems from challenges in witnessing and experiencing injustice and having her undergraduate journey be nonlinear. The most important life lesson Elisa learned at the end of her undergraduate career was to have faith and trust in herself as all things would work out the way they were meant to be intended. Elisa’s end goal is to push positive messages forward based on intentionality and create safe spaces for individuals to use their differences and life barriers as tools to connect in acknowledgment and acceptance. In her free time, Elisa is a major food enthusiast, loves to spend time with her partner, family, and friends, loves shopping, all things health and wellness, along with binging Netflix shows and taking way too many cooking tips from Gordon Ramsay.

Student Staff

The student staff of the Asian American Cultural Center is crucial to its successful operation. We strive to assemble a staff that is sincerely committed to the center’s mission and programs.

Employment at the center requires:

  • a professional and productive work ethic
  • knowledge of the center’s history, facts and services
  • attendance at specified meetings
  • planning and preparation of specific center programs or projects
  • support and attendance at center events
  • attendance at a minimum of 2 events each semester sponsored by other cultural centers
  • making presentations on current Asian American issues for staff meetings
  • ability to represent the center at other campus events
  • training to assume a leadership role in Asian American activism

Students who share this commitment and are interested in working at the center, please contact the office and inquire about employment.


Kymani Baxter (he/him/his) AsACC Staff
Sahiti Bhyravavajhala (she/they) KUBE Coordinator
Juanito Briones (he/him/his) PAC Coordinator
Val Chia (she/her/hers) Events Programmer
Niyati Dave (she/her/hers) Senior Banquet Committee
Dahra Dy (she/they) Senior Banquet Committee
Halle Gavin (she/her/hers) AsACC Staff
Ohm Ghutadaria (he/him/his) KUBE Co-Coordinator
Audrey Hom (she/her/hers) Events Programmer
Shannon Huang (she/her/hers) AsACC Staff
Caitlin Ith (she/her/hers) AMP Co-Coordinator
Moeen Khawaja (he/him/his) 4A Representative
YoonYoung Kim (she/her/hers) MIXED Coordinator
Anson Lau (he/him/his) AsACC Staff
Tiffany Lau (she/her/hers) AsACC Staff
Jackson Lin (he/him/his) Listserv | Website
Emily Liu (she/her/hers) AsACC Events Calendar
Leo Lau (he/him/his) Photographer
Ishana Mokashi (she/her/hers) AMP Co-Coordinator
Nadine Noaman (she/her/hers) Salaam Co-Coordinator | Website
Sara Oba (she/her/hers) AsACC Staff
Niki Patel (she/her/hers) AsACC Staff
Irene Pham (any pronouns) Digital Marketing/Design
Chrisaphon Reach (he/him/his) Senior Banquet Committee
Rilee Roldan (he/they) Digital Marketing/Design
Khadija Shaikh (she/her/hers) Salaam Co-Coordinator
Zayneb Shaikh (she/they) Senior Banquet Committee
Pavayee Socrates (she/her/hers) AsACC Staff
Amber Szymanski (she/they) AsACC Staff
Lynna Vo (she/her/hers) AsACC Staff
Yasmeen Wahid (she/her/hers) China Care Coordinator
Morgan Xu (she/her/hers) AsACC Ambassador
Neeha Zaman (she/her/hers) Events Programmer
Cindy Zheng (she/her/hers) AsACC Staff