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Learning and Guiding through Listening: Linell Yugawa

The former director reflects on her 30-plus years at the Tufts Asian American Center

In 2019, Linell Yugawa retired from her role as director of the Asian American Center, a position she held for 34 years. Numerous accomplishments marked her tenure at Tufts, notable among which was her having helped to establish the center’s Peer Leader Program. 

At the time of her retirement, in the Tufts Daily, senior administrators credited Yugawa’s having “an educator’s approach to thinking about social justice, identity development, and activism.” Yugawa was also lauded at the time for her skill in building processes and structures for tackling inequity on campus and in considering the experience of underrepresented students among the undergraduate student body.

Jianmin Qu, then-dean of the School of Engineering, cited Yugawa's collaborations with faculty, administrators, and the other identity centers (now the centers in the Division of Student Diversity and Inclusion)—efforts that were central to increasing inclusion and equity for all Tufts community members. “Linell’s impact on our campus can also be felt through her support of the Pan Asian Council (PAC) as well as through her hosting and facilitation of countless workshops and other initiatives while working with student organizations both within and beyond the PAC,” Qu said, at the time.

Tufts Now sat down recently with Yugawa to invite her reflections in this video on her long service to the Asian American student community at Tufts, the candor and commitment of the students with whom she worked, and the serendipity of her discovering the opportunity in the first place.

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