About Us

The Asian American Cultural Center (AACC) is a department within the Division of Student Affairs that supports the university’s core mission to foster an educational climate based on diversity and inclusiveness. The AACC offers a myriad of social, cultural, and educational opportunities designed to promote, respect and embrace the unique histories and cultural identities within the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) diaspora.

The AACC provides a supportive environment for all Rutgers students and encourage academic and professional excellence through internship opportunities, peer to peer mentorship, leadership and professional development, and exploration of identity.

APIDA is a pan-ethnic classification that includes those who are East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander. APIDA students represent 25% percent of the Rutgers New Brunswick student body. Acting as an informal home away from home for many undergraduate and graduate students, the AACC is a place where friendship, diversity, and unity bloom. The center provides students with a comfortable area to study, hold group meetings, host events, edit publications, and a place to socialize with friends. Students heavily utilize the Center throughout the academic year, as it reserved almost daily by student organizations.

APIDA Undergraduates on New Brunswick Campus

Data pulled from the Office of Institutional Research & Academic Planning (IRAP).


Asian American Cultural Center Timeline

1999 - 2024

AACC is founded by founding director Dr. To-thi Bosacchi.  The center is established in two offices in Tillett Hall adjacent to Yorba Lounge, which is now the current location of the Livingston Computer Center.

Fall inaugural Open House takes place.

First Asian American Heritage Month is celebrated at Rutgers.
AACC hosts a Youth Diversity Conference and Asian American Young Artist Art Competition.

Dr. Bosacchi implements an “Interdisciplinary topics of Asian Americans” class, focusing on Asian American oral histories.
The AACC hosts its first Pan Asian Lunar New Year Celebration.

The AACC hosts its first New Student Social in collaboration with the Asian Student Council.
The Asian Student Council (ASC), in close collaboration with the Latino Student Council (LSC) and the United Black Council (UBC), urge President McCormick and senior administrators to provide students with a more adequate center.

The ASC, LSC, and UBC meet President McCormick and members of the Board of Governors at the small center offices in Tillett Hall, and the president commits to allocating resources towards finding a better location.
It takes 6-8 months for the existing space to be renovated.

Ji Hyun Lee serves as Interim Director for the AACC.
The grand opening of the renovated temporary space at this current location takes place in November.

AACC hosts the first Asian American Alumni Event.
Founding Director Dr. Bosacchi passes away after a battle with cancer.
Director Ji Hyun Lee assumes leadership at the AACC.
Birth of the signature AACC Intern Program.  Three student interns are hired.
The student interns create a junior intern program modeled around peer mentorship.  Nine junior interns are selected.

The AACC hosts its first Asian Oscars Ceremony recognizing and celebrating the achievements of students.
AACC’s Student Leadership Cabinet begins a movement to advocate for an Asian American Studies curriculum at Rutgers.  Students continue this fight for 5 years.

Students organize to bid for Rutgers to host the East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) conference in 2009.  Rutgers students win the bid.

Rutgers hosts the East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) conference, the largest and oldest Asian American student conference in the country. Record-breaking numbers of over 1200 students, representing 100 universities all over the country attend.

After several years of strong intentional collaboration, the Asian American Cultural Center and the Center for Social Justice Education & LGBT Communities work together with students to create BRIDGE: Bringing Real Intergroup Dialogue for Greater Equality, an Asian American gay/straight alliance.
With the creation of the Rutgers College Student Affairs Program, the AACC is able to hire its first Graduate Student, Carol Mohabir.

Rutgers AACC joins the Northeast Consortium of Asian American Cultural Centers.

The first Asian American Studies Learning Community class is offered to students.  Supporting units include: Collective for Asian American Scholarship, the Office of Undergraduate Education, Department of English, Department of American Studies, and the Asian American Cultural Center
AACC and a delegation of Rutgers students are invited to attend the White House AAPI Youth Leadership Summit in Washington D.C.
AACC is granted approval to expand the staff, and an Assistant Director, merz lim, is hired.

merz lim, AACC Assistant Director, dances in Dancing with the Deans.

Queer & Asian, birthed out of the group formerly known as BRIDGE, creating a safe space for queer and Asian identified students, officially becomes a registered student organization.
AACC expands the Intern and Junior Internship Program.

Rutgers hosts the East Coast Asian American Student Union conference, the largest and oldest Asian American student conference in the country, for a second time. Administrative Assistant, Latoshia Wells joins the center.

Current Program Coordinator, Jodie Shin, is hired.

Current Assistant Director, Kristine Joy Bacani, is hired.

Current Assistant Director, Naima Chowdhury, is hired. 

Dr. Jacob Chacko serves as the AACC Director.

Current Senior Program Coordinator, Shaheena Shahid, is hired. 

Ji Lee serves as the interim director. 

Shaheena Shahid hosts the first-ever Iftar Night at the center.

Current Administrative Assitant, Lauren Irshad, is hired.

The center celebrates its 25th anniversary!