Throughout Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI), Austin Community College (ACC) sits down with faculty and staff to learn about their AAPI heritage and discuss what the month means to them.

To view AAPI activities, talks, and workshops happening at the college throughout the month, visit ACC’s AAPI Heritage Month webpage.


Nuoshi Culhane

Nuoshi Culhane is a Recruiting Specialist at the Round Rock Campus. She started at ACC in 2022.

Why do you believe it’s important for the college to commemorate Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month?
I believe AAPI Heritage Month provides an opportunity to celebrate the rich cultural heritage, traditions, and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, enriching the campus community. This is a great way to reinforce AAPI students’ sense of belonging and validate their experiences, contributing to their academic and personal success.

What is your heritage and what is your favorite way to celebrate it?
I was born in Beijing, China. Growing up back in China, family is the priority, and we always show love through making and eating food together. Now that I have my own family in the States, I’m teaching my daughter Mandarin Chinese, and I want to teach her how to make traditional dumplings when she is older. 

What is one personal or professional accomplishment you are most proud of?
I started my academic journey to the U.S. by myself when I was 17 years old, and 17 years later I have established a home in Texas with my own family.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received OR the most valuable life lesson you’ve learned?
Life is short and everything shall pass. Be present and enjoy it.

What advice would you give to our Asian American & Pacific Islander students?
Embrace and celebrate your cultural heritage. Take pride in your background, traditions, and values. Share your experiences with others, and don’t be afraid to educate those who may not be familiar with your culture.

How do you work to support the AAPI community?
I listen and support the AAPI community’s current challenges and struggles by learning and understanding other AAPI heritages, histories, and traditions and by participating in ACC’s AAPI Cultural Center community events.

Aimee Keller

Aimee Keller is gliding into her future with the hope of educating the next generation about her Chinese culture through dance. She received her Associate of Arts Degree in Dance in 2023 and founded QiLi Dance Studio to fulfill her longstanding dream of preserving and sharing the beauty of Chinese dance. 

Over the years, Aimee has performed at various events for the Austin community, including ACC’s Lunar New Year Festival in February 2024.

For Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, the college’s Office of Belonging & Purpose sat down with the ACC grad to learn more about her story. Watch her story below.

Tao Huang

Tao Huang (she/her) is an adjunct Government professor who started teaching at ACC in 2012.

Why do you believe it’s important for the college to commemorate Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month?
As an institution, commemorating Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month says “you belong here” and “we see you.” It’s an acknowledgment as well as a welcoming gesture. It’s like a fist bump, high five, hug, or a simple nod. It’s a tangible way of saying “we accept who you are.”

What is your heritage and what is your favorite way to celebrate it?
I came straight to Austin for my Ph.D. from Taiwan in 2005. I’m fluent in Mandarin writing, reading, listening, and speaking. My favorite way of celebrating my AAPI heritage is to learn to cook and enjoy the cuisines of the Taiwanese streets and my mom’s kitchen. It creates opportunities for my mom, sisters, and me to exchange our secret ingredients. There’s nothing more welcoming than introducing a culture with yummy food. In addition, I still hum Mandarin pop songs stuck in my head from my late teens and early twenties.

What is one personal accomplishment you are most proud of?
I’m most proud of my humility and resilience. This sounds funny, and it’s true. While pursuing my doctoral degree, finding confidence and willingness to learn was always an act of balance, especially when I was trying to find my place in a different culture. To this day, I’m glad I put myself out there and was willing to be vulnerable with those kind, encouraging, wise, and intelligent people who surrounded me and kept me in their thoughts and prayers.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received OR the most valuable life lesson you’ve learned?
The advice I still apply is “Remember where you came from.” When I came to Austin by myself, one of my sisters told me: “You don’t need to finish the degree. Come home when you want to come home. The door is always open for you.” That is my safety net. I know my family will always stand by me whatever my decision is. Remembering where I came from means I know why I am here. That remembrance keeps me grounded and gives me the courage to press forward. 

What advice would you give to our Asian American & Pacific Islander students?
Keep learning. Be curious. There is so much to learn, just like the vast ocean! A learner’s mind is open and humble. That curiosity brings people closer and makes whatever journey we are on a bit more enjoyable.

How do you work to support the AAPI community?
I absolutely enjoy teaching students from so many different backgrounds. It’s a gift to be able to learn from them. I support my students by making myself available to them and listening to their stories and thoughts. I also volunteer at my local ethnic church to serve the next generations. That is one of my ways of thanking those who invested in me.


More profiles coming soon.

Nominate yourself or a colleague you think we should interview for the ACC Talks AAPI Month series. Contact Victoria Garza Gonzalez at [email protected]