Social:  Dispelling the Asian Model Minority Myth

The term ‘model minority’ was coined in 1966 by sociologist William Petersen. Its repercussions within the Asian American community has created various obstacles to success. We are pleased to host Madge Meyer, Dr. Chris Hahm, and Hung Nguyen. Their backgrounds in business and innovation, mental health research within the Asian American community and LGBTQ activism will provide a diversity of experiences in strategies of how to circumvent the Asian model minority myth.


Jennifer Tran

Jenn Tran is a Boston native with a history of involvement in the local Asian American community, stemming from her desire to understand her role as the daughter of a refugee. In 2012, she was chairwoman of the Boston Asian American Student Intercollegiate Coalition where she organized events focused on discussions about the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) experience. Jenn has worked with The Family Van, a Boston-based mobile health clinic for the underserved in Quincy, a community with an increasing Asian immigrant population. Her other activities include conducting research on diabetes in the Vietnamese patient population at Boston Medical Center, teaching ESL at the Boston Public Libraries, and serving as a student leader of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association at the Boston University School of Medicine. Jenn was the inaugural recipient of the AAPI Scholarship presented by the Commonwealth of MA Asian American Commission in 2016. As a future physician, Jenn hopes to continue working with the AAPI population in efforts to eliminate health disparities and break down barriers to care

Kathelynn Ho

Katie Ho is a medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine. She is from Hawaii, where her early exposure to health disparities within subpopulations of the Asian and Pacific Islander community is what contributed to her interest in medicine. As president of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) in 2016, she was able to collect data on the Boston Chinatown population to help address the specific health care needs of this community. Her continued work with APAMSA led to her volunteer efforts with Tufts Community Wellness Initiative to help provide free health screenings in Chinatown and in organizing a bone marrow drive to help diversify the registry. Her interests in providing culturally competent care to every ethnicity that make up the Asian American and Pacific islander demographic is where she hopes to make an impact as a future physician.


Madge Meyer, Madge Meyer Consulting, LLC

Madge M. Meyer is a public speaker and the founder of “Madge Meyer Consulting, LLC.” She is known for her unique yet practical approach to advancing innovation and leadership throughout entire organizations. Her book, “The Innovator’s Path” is a 2014 Axiom Business Book Award winner in the Success/Motivation/Coaching category.

Madge was the Executive Vice President, Chief Innovation Officer and Technology Fellow at State Street Corporation.  She has been assisting MIT Collaborative Initiatives in bringing innovative solutions to problems broadly ranging from global sustainability to healthcare, education, and veterans’ reintegration. Prior to joining State Street, Madge served as First Vice President for Merrill Lynch’s Enterprise Technology Services and held several executive positions at IBM.

Dr. Hyeouk Hahm, Social Work at Boston University

Hyeouk “Chris” Hahm is health services researcher and is an Associate Professor of the School of Social Work at Boston University.  She has been funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) through multiple grants, including a dissertation grant award, a diversity grant, a career award, and clinical trial planning award.  Her research includes randomized clinical trials, survey research, qualitative research, and large database studies.  Her current research focuses on Asian-American women’s health risk behaviors, mental health, and intervention development.
In 2015, Dr. Hahm received an “innovator’s award” from the Boston based organization, “Asian Women for Health” for her research. She was also chosen as a Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Fellow for her contribution to advance, disseminate, and translate research that addresses issues of social work practice and policy and promotes a diverse, equitable and just society.

Hung Nguyen

Hung Nguyen is a recent graduate from UMass Boston with an individualized major in Asian American Studies. He identifies as Vietnamese American and Queer. Hung has been deeply involved with working in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) community. He has worked with MAP for Health, an organization focused on improving AAPI sexual health education, Boston Alliance of LGBTQ Youth, Providence Youth Student Movement, Viet-AID, the Boston Asian American Student Intercollegiate Coalition (BAASIC), and now at Fenway Health, where he is the Clinical Coordinator for the Prevention and Screening Team. Hung created a digital story titled “Finding The Fierce Gaysian Within”, which details stories about his family’s history, and his experiences of growing up as a young gaysian. He was the inaugural recipient of the Creating Change: Agents of Change award in 2014 at the National LGBTQ Task Force conference. Hung hopes that by sharing his story, people will leave with more insight from the LGBTQ community on how to become better allies.