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Meet Our APASS Staff

 APASS Home Page 

Phoumy_Sayavong-Photo-291x300-EditPhoumy Sayavong Ph.D.

Past APASS Director

Current Interim Dean of Humanities, Social Sciences & Applied Technology

Phoumy Sayavong, Ph.D. served as the Director of the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions Program at Laney College located in Oakland, CA.  Dr. Sayavong received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz.  His professional experience includes serving as the Senior Researcher for the Oakland Unified School District, teaching as a professor for the Public Health Program at Touro University California, Research Associate at the Metiri Group, Evaluator at NASA Ames’ Educational Technology Team, and Researcher for the Center for Education Diversity and Excellence.  Dr. Sayavong’s main interest includes the educational experience of immigrants and its effect on their sociocultural and psychological development.  He has also worked as a private consultant and evaluator on topics such as teacher professional development programs, data analysis, community mental health needs assessment, after school programs, academic assessments, computer assisted instruction, and survey development.

16255_10100688241026328_1228023365_n-Edit-2Michael Lok M.P.P.

APASS Program Specialist

Mike has been active in the Oakland Chinatown community since he was in high school interning at Asian Health Services. Mike worked as a Research Associate for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), a juvenile justice research nonprofit, where he helped launch The Spot Oakland Chinatown Youth Center. Mike organizes fundraisers for The Spot and is the East Bay Chapter President of OCA, a national Asian Pacific American civil rights organization. Mike holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Politics from the UC Santa Cruz, and a Master’s of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University. In his free time Mike is either searching for the best eats in the Bay Area or supporting the Oakland A’s and Warriors.



Chai Saechao, B.A.

APASS Program Specialist

Chai Saechao was born in Oakland and raised in Richmond, California. She attended UC Berkeley and received a Bachelor of Arts in Conservation and Resource Studies with a focus in Environmental Education, Environmental Justice and Public Health. During her undergraduate studies, she taught Environmental Science and Biology students at Oakland High School. As a first generation college student, Chai understands the need for special programs to help students reach academic goals in higher education. She was also part of many student support programs such as UC Berkeley’s Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP), American Association of University Women Tech Trek (Math and Science Camp for girls), and Cal’s Biology Scholar’s Program (BSP).  Before coming to APASS, Chai worked as a Program Specialist at TRiO Student Support Services serving low-income, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities. In her free time, she enjoys running, working on her vegetable garden, and making customized cakes and pastries.

Cynthia Taing, M.S.

 APASS Counselor

Cynthia Taing was born and raised in Southern California. She attended California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Human Development. Cynthia moved up to San Francisco to attend San Francisco State University (SFSU) for her Master of Science in Counseling degree. During her years at CSUSB, she was a peer advisor for the Psychology Department, Gateway Mentor, CSUSB Orientation Leader and an AVID tutor for Etiwanda High School. With all the experiences she had gained during her undergraduate years, her passion in helping and assisting students grew — which made her decide to go into the field of counseling.


APASS Counselor

Dr. Ben Tran grew up in Northern California.  He received his Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Organizational Consulting/Organizational Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in San Francisco, California.  He also received his Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology, and he attended California State University, Hayward, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, his Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication [with an emphasis in Organizational Communication/Public Relations], and his minor in Sociology.

10417693_10101296211453718_2316582363025911560_n ZheXiAn (Jack) Huang

APASS Student Ambassador

 Jack spent almost half of his life in China. He came back to the United States after he finished elementary school. He attended both Oakland Senior High School and Alameda High School and graduated from Alameda High School. Now he is majoring in Sociology, and planning on transfer to a 4-year college. He can speak multiple languages such as English, Cantonese and Mandarin. Jack has been active in the Asian community around the bay area since he was in high school. He is enjoying helping people, and that is why he is joining a lot of programs such as Social Media Club and APASS. As the member of social media club, he helped to create a music concert. He is currently the President of Governmental Justice Association and is creating events for the Community. For APASS, he is hoping to help more people with his language skills.



Pamela Rathamone

APASS Student Ambassador

Pamela is half Laotian and half Cambodian. She is a full-time student at Laney College and she is very active in student activities. She is currently majoring in Psychology but is currently working on her Asian and Asian American studies and getting her Certificate of Proficiency in Entrepreneurship. She charted a club on campus called Associated Students of Asian and Pacific Islanders (ASAPi) in Fall 2013. She is currently the President of ASAPi and is creating new events for the Asian American Community. She speaks four languages: Lao, Thai, English and Spanish. English was not her first language. Even after overcoming many obstacles, Pamela believes everyone is able to learn and teach new things, it all depends if you are willing to take advantage of that opportunity.



Matalaoa (Oa) Taliva’a  

APASS Student Ambassador

Matalaoa Taliva’a was born and raised in Pago Pago American Samoa for almost seventeen years and made her first moved out here in the states right after High School in the year 2009. She works three jobs and is also a part time student at Laney College. She is also selected Vice President for the Associated Students of Asian and Pacific Islander (ASAPi) that was helped charter by one of the Student Ambassador in Fall 2013. She is also very active with every student activities and is currently majoring in Nursing and Communication Studies as well. She has come a long way and has shown a lot of improvement, Matalaoa believes that responding to the needs of others will help create quality educational opportunities. And that’s what we do here in APASS is by reaching out to others and help them obtain greater academic performances.

  • APASS Program

    Tuesday 31 March 2015
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