California State University and Vietnamese American Leaders to Strengthen Partnerships, Discuss Actions for Workforce Preparation

Contact: Clara Potes-Fellow,, 562-951-4800

(September 30, 2005) -- In an effort to strengthen partnerships to better meet the community’s needs, California State University leaders and Assemblyman Van Tran will co-host a Town Hall meeting with Vietnamese community leaders, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5, in the Garden Grove Community Center.

“The California State University is the country’s largest and most diverse four-year university system, with minority enrollment at more than 53 percent,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “It makes sense to meet and strengthen partnerships with leaders of the Vietnamese community that will lead to greater success for California.”

Asian Americans are the second largest ethnic population at the CSU, making up nearly 20 percent of the students. More than 11,000 Vietnamese American students are enrolled at CSU campuses.

“Accessibility is an important issue in immigrant communities and I hope we can help the California State University system continue to improve,” said Assemblyman Van Tran. “A college education is key to opening the doors of opportunity and California has long been committed to making that key available to all of our children.”

Some 100 community leaders are expected to meet CSU Chancellor Reed, Cal State Fullerton President Milton A. Gordon, Cal State Long Beach President Robert Maxson, and officials from the Pomona, San Jose, and San Francisco campuses.

“This Town Hall is designed to facilitate an ongoing conversation with the Vietnamese community about actions we can take together to better prepare our students and serve the community,” said Milton A. Gordon, president of Cal State Fullerton.

KSCI reporter and anchor, Tracy Bui, will moderate a panel composed of the following community leaders:

  • Kim Oanh Nguyen-Lam, board member of the Garden Grove Unified School District and Associate Director for the Center for Language Minority Education and Research at Cal State Long Beach.
  • Hai Phan, president and CEO of Dexteus, a surgical device company in Irvine, and Cal State Fullerton alumnus.
  • De Tran, publisher and editor of the San José Viet Mercury.
  • Trangdai Tranguyen, founding director of the Vietnamese American Project at Cal State Fullerton, her alma mater, and a 2004-05 Fulbright scholar.
  • Co Pham, chairman of the Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County and president of the Bolsa Medical Group in Westminster, Calif.

On display at the event will be historical photographs, as well as paintings by those who were political prisoners in “re-education camps” in Vietnam after the fall of Saigon. The pieces are from a spring exhibit at Cal State Fullerton’s Pollak Library that commemorated the 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon and honored the Vietnamese American community.

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 400,000 students and 42,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees, about 82,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See

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Last Updated: September 30, 2005

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