In February 2014, the Coalition for Critical Asian American Studies published an Open Letter about how Asian Pacific Islander Middle Eastern Desi American students experience UC San Diego. This Letter made a list of demands that included an increase in hiring Asian Pacific Islander American faculty who teach and do research on APIMEDA people, the creation of the APIMEDA Lifebook, the hiring of Asian American CAPS counselors, and the creation of a staffed APIMEDA Research and Resource Center. CCAAS presented information in their letter and other information about the experiences of APIMEDA students to the Vice Chancellor EDI’s Advisory Committee, and sought support from Associated Students for their letter. Interim Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Carol Padden convened a meeting of administration, staff, faculty, students, and alumni to discuss ways that the campus could address the demands. The Committee changed to a committee of students and faculty when current Vice Chancellor Becky Petitt started her tenure. During this convening, the job posting for UC San Diego’s inaugural Asian Pacific Islander Middle Eastern Desi American (APIMEDA) Program Manager was posted and selected. Windi Sasaki started in this position in late July 2016.

Windi worked to assess the needs and experiences of APIMEDA students and worked with a group of student employees to refresh the APIMEDA Lifebook, create outreach to APIMEDA student organizations, and start programs for APIMEDA students designed to help them make connections with one another and with the campus and to positively affect their retention. APIMEDA Programs and Services is continuing to explore new partnerships that can help the office grow and reach out to more students.