MCC Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Kicks Off with Leadership Awards

Three leadership awards will be presented at the opening ceremony for the first Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration at Manchester Community College, Wednesday, April 30, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Great Path Academy Community Commons.

Dr. Saud Anwar, mayor of South Windsor, will receive the Community Leadership Award. Dr. George Kim, professor of philosophy, MCC, will receive the Employee Leadership Award. Megumi Krysinski, a student at the college, will receive the College Student Leadership Award.

Dr. Anwar, who will also deliver the keynote address at the ceremony, is the first Muslim and South Asian to be elected mayor in New England. He previously served as town councilman.

His involvement in humanitarian and peace initiatives is renowned nationally and internationally. He has been recognized for his service to the state, and he has been the recipient of the Director FBI-Robert Mueller III Award for Community Leadership and Alliance Building along with a number of other distinguished awards.

In addition, he has worked with the British department of communities and local government on community integration and been a part of peace missions to Israel and the Middle East, as well as public diplomacy missions to Pakistan. He has helped coordinate medical missions after earthquakes in Pakistan and Haiti.

He currently serves as chair of the department of internal medicine at Manchester Memorial and Rockville General Hospitals and is an associate professor of medicine at the University of New England.

Dr. Kim was a professional journalist in international affairs for a major newspaper in Korea, and he has worked in Europe and in London. In addition, as a contributing editor to the New York Korea Times, he writes a bi-weekly column. He is editor-in-chief of CKSJ, a quarterly journal published both in English and Korean.

All of his teaching and research stems from an interest in how human freedom is sustained yet limited by socio-cultural resources and institutions. His particular interest lies in human rights questions in developing countries. He is a long-standing member of Amnesty International, a worldwide human rights advocate.

He studied political science, theology and philosophy at Yale University, and he has twice held visiting scholar research fellowships at Yale Divinity School and Yale Graduate School.

Krysinski -- a native of Okinawa, Japan -- moved to the United States with her husband, whom she met while he was stationed in Japan with the U.S. Air Force. She lived in Mississippi and started taking English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. She then passed her General Educational Development (GED) exam, before returning to Japan with her husband. Her English language skills served her there, as she provided support to American military personnel who wanted to live off base. When her husband left the air force, they moved to Connecticut and are raising two children.

She is currently pursuing a course of study at MCC in the respiratory care program, inspired to follow this career so she can help others, like her son, who suffers from asthma. She is the first among her family to attend college.

The three awards are named in honor of prominent Asian Americans who made significant leadership contributions to history.

Award honorees are Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink, the late Hawaiian politician, who will be honored by the Community Leadership Award; Grace Lee Boggs, the late Chinese American daughter of a restaurant owner, who was an author and lifelong social activist and feminist, in whose honor the Employee Leadership Award is given; and Connecticut State Rep. William Tong (D-Stamford), co-chair of the state banks committee and a member of the judiciary and energy and technology committees, who will be honored by the College Student Leadership Award.

Rep. Tong will attend the ceremony and deliver opening remarks along with Dr. William Howe, chair of the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission; Angela Rola, commissioner; and Mui Mui Hin-McCormick, executive director of the commission. Dr. Gena Glickman, MCC president, will welcome attendees, and a reception will be held following the event outside Community Commons.

The awards will be presented by Dr. G. Duncan Harris, chief student affairs officer/dean; and Endia DeCordova, associate dean of institutional advancement.

News Item Posted On: April 28, 2014
For Additional Information Contact: Mike Jordan-Reilly, Public Relations at 860-512-2914