John A. Nunes, PhD

AAPI Month Celebrations

Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty,

As we approach Spring Break and Easter, I would like to draw your attention to an upcoming celebration: Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. Although nationally recognized in May, Cal Lutheran celebrates AAPI Month in April so that we can offer educational and enriching opportunities to students, faculty, and staff before some of us depart campus in May.

AAPI Month is a time to both celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of AAPIpeoples and to reflect on the struggles and injustices that members of these communities have faced. The AAPI community is not a monolithic one; rather, it encompasses 56 ethnic groups and 75 languages. As members of a university community whose mission is to educate leaders for a global society, it is important for all of us to learn more about the diversity within these cultures. Here are just a few ways to do so. 

Consider studying abroad in one of our semester programs with multiple options to explore an AAPI country. Study abroad trips are often cited by alumni as one of the most impactful, life-changing experiences of their entire undergraduate journey.

Attend one or more of the activities co-sponsored by the Office of Talent, Culture, and Diversity and the Center for Cultural Engagement and Inclusion (CCEI). These scheduled events are designed to bring us together in community and members in both areas have worked with Sodexo, Mission and Identity, the Ethnic and Race Studies Department, Student Life, Kūpa’a Hawai’i Club, API Employee Group, and FILO Club to ensure that there is something fun and/or educational for all of us.

Activities will begin on Tuesday, April 11 with a guest speaker, Hyepin Im, for a Lunch and Learn. The official kick-off will take place on Friday, April 14 from 12–2 p.m. in Kingsmen Park; all are welcome to enjoy performances, activities, and food. The attached flyer of activities has all the information you need. The beautiful AAPI graphic on the flyer was created in collaboration with our very own student artist, Unnati Diya Maharjan.

We are heading into a week of rest, reflection, and rejuvenation. Take this time to expand your horizons as the end of the 2022-2023 academic year comes more and more into focus. I look forward to engaging with you at these events in April, and at Commencement in May. 

Lori E. Varlotta

Lori E. Varlotta, Ph.D.


  • Grateful for You
    June 13, 2024

    To say I feel welcomed into this community would be the understatement of my working life. Since my first official day on the job, I have had the privilege of meeting many of you. You have welcomed me with open arms at local church services, a synod assembly, during impromptu conversations along "the spine," and at The Habit for lunch and Starbucks for coffee.