Elaine leads community engagement at Capacity for Health, a program of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. Her experiences in higher education, non-profits, startups and community advocacy organizations have honed her ability to communicate across different registers and spark challenging conversations among diverse audiences with clarity, sensitivity, and sometimes fun. A firm believer in the power of popular culture, she channels her love of new media and audio-visual storytelling to design creative and meaningful ways to build community.
She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Culture & Theory at the University of California Irvine, where she also taught Gender & Sexuality Studies and Asian American Studies immediately before joining APIAHF and the C4H team. Her research interests focus on economies of popular music, culture, and performance in the circuits of U.S. empire. She has presented her work at annual meetings for the Association for Asian American Studies, the American Studies Association, and the annual Pop Conference at the Museum of Pop in Seattle and has publications in the Journal of Asian American Studies, PBS American Experience’s “Song of the Summer Series,” and in the anthology Sex, Race & Colonies. She is currently on the board for the Association for Asian American Studies. Outside of work and school, Elaine can be found watering her family of houseplants, rummaging in record store bins, or lamenting the poor design of all parking lots.
“Foregrounding my experiences as a daughter of working class immigrants and my scholarship in Asian American studies and gender and sexuality studies, I know that structural change is a collective enterprise. We must first and foremost value the diverse backgrounds and investments communities bring to the table as vital resources in the project of justice.” -Elaine