Testimonials

“Dr. Valverde helped me realize that I do have a future after graduation; she pulled me out of my unproductive jadedness by recruiting me to fight against neoliberal globalists. At the same time, she taught me how to identify and resist staged, false social movements controlled by institutional oppressors. Take her courses; learn practical, transferable skills. Create alternative, ethical development strategies and social systems that preserve resources, education, and human rights for future generations of entire nations. #realrevolution4thepeople.”

– Leslie L. Do

“Dr. Valverde gave me a completely new experience in my college. She taught me how effective communication is essential for teamwork without showing any hesitation. She also encouraged us to use our creativity and critical thinking with her class assignment, which was both challenging yet enjoyable. Her class was always well thought and I can feel the passion behind each class she prepared for us. She also encourages us as a class to interact, which I couldn’t have in a lot of my college class here. The class was also closely related to her research materials, which allowed me to look into different sides of Asian American experience. Choosing her class was the best choice ever and I highly recommend taking classes with Dr. Valverde.”

–  Jingyi Dong

“I met Professor Valverde the first time in summer 2013 while taking ASA 150E to fulfill my graduation credits. Growing up in Vietnam, I thought taking her class would be “a piece of cake”! Although summer session was only 6 weeks, Dr. Valverde did not only opened my  perspectives about the Vietnam War but also motivated me to declare Asian American Studies as a minor. The more I took Dr. Valverde’s course, the more I felt intellectually challenged with my current knowledge and perception about my Vietnamese community. Most importantly, her passion for Vietnamese culture, language and research inspired me to pursue a path of social entrepreneurship: a journey where business ventures can better the language education of Vietnamese diaspora.”

– Vy Nguyen

“I took multiple courses with Prof. Valverde as an undergraduate, as her courses were fun, engaging and challenging. She is a personable and approachable professor who makes great efforts to get to know and assist her students in their intellectual, personal and career development. Her courses prepared me for the rigors of law school and my current employment with the federal government. Most jobs within both public and private sectors require the ability to write and communicate well, and Prof. Valverde prepares you well for the“real world.”  

Mika Okamura

“Professor Valverde was the first Asian American studies professor, and the second professor out of all my undergraduate years, who mentioned about the global issues of first world citizens, such as Southeast Asian Americans traveling back to their impoverished home countries, to engage in exploitive extramarital affairs or polygamous marriages internationally. At the time, academia didn’t have a word for it and probably still doesn’t, but the course provided me a sense of framework to understand why this issue was happening in my family and community. Today, I organize with a grassroots, global community campaign called Building Our Future, which is a network of Hmong advocates coming together to end gender-based violence. The campaign launched in 2013 and its platform is rooted from the groundwork of Hmong advocates and survivors in Wisconsin, who took leadership to term this form of domestic violence as abusive international marriages. You can find the Abusive International Marriages report published by and on the website of Asian Pacific Islander Institute on Gender-Based Violence. In retrospect, it was validating to hear Professor Valverde mention that this issue impacts our community here in the U.S. and overseas and little did I know then, it prepared me to understand the importance of being a responsible global citizen.”

– Laura Vu

“It has almost been a year since I became one of Professor Valverde’s research assistant. I remembered it was during the fall quarter of 2015 and I was also taking two of her classes at that time. When she had asked me to work with her, I was ecstatic. I said yes and I had to say it was one of the best decisions I have made. Being able to work along with her has been challenging yet rewarding. She has many projects and events that she works on and in being an RA, you would get to either lead one or be a part of the process planning making the impossible possible. I have progressed in my own research skills as well as taking part of some of her other projects. Working with her can be crazy and challenging when deadlines are coming up, but it is because of those instances that I know have developed my skills and made me better at these types of work. I am fortunate to have her as my mentor because she is very dedicated to her work and to the people who worked with her.”

– Pahnia Vang

“I was first graced by Dr. Valverde’s awesomeness during fall of 2015 when I took her Asian Diasporas class. I then took her National Aesthetics class the following quarter — this was my favorite class! Knowing Dr. Valverde, she sees something that not a lot of people can. She can see the potential of a person and she will work hard with that person to bring out their best. She is not just a wonderful professor, but she is also a great mentor. She cares about her students in a way that she will make sure that they get the most from her. This is why I am and will always be a part of her research assistant team!”

– Ralph Imatong 

“I’ve had a transformative experience in recognizing privilege and opening up my eyes to race relations in the United States and beyond. Coming from a STEM background, I found the experience of looking at inequity and injustice immensely beneficial to my future career interests when looking at social determinants of health. In addition to gaining practical research and analytical skills, Dr. Valverde is an incredible and uplifting mentor, with infectious passion for what she does and the issues she believes in.”

– Jing Mai

“When I took Professor Valverde’s course, ASA 114 Asian Diasporas, during winter quarter of my senior year, she offered me the opportunity to be her research assistant. It was too good of an opportunity to pass, and I accepted. Although I only had three months being her research assistant, it was an extraordinary experience closing out my undergraduate career under her mentorship. I learned the importance of great mentorship by taking initiative and the responsibility to reach out and provide support and opportunities for young people that she modeled for me. What I appreciate most was the time that we had together in which our conversations were more about my future. I was still lost even in my last quarter at UC Davis, and I was very ill-prepared for graduate school. Professor Valverde pushed me to consider pursuing a Master’s or Ph.D. degree by affirming that I really did have the skills and ability to succeed as a scholar, and she gave me insight about graduate school not being as difficult as I presumed it to be. Seeing how she was in her final stages of Transnationalizing Viet Nam, it really gave me hope for myself as a Southeast Asian American woman in academia. And even after I graduated from UC Davis in 2012 and saw the difficult challenges and barriers she faced after publishing and obtaining tenure, I admire her strength and empowerment she had to endure and overcome such systemic racism and sexism. Professor Valverde’s research and passion in teaching amplifies the voices of Southeast Asian American students within the Asian American Studies department, and the overall UC Davis campus community.”

– Laura Vu