Congratulations to our 2015 APIQWTC scholarship awardees, Bo Luengsuraswat and Sammie Wills!
Bo Luengsuraswat is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Comics at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. He received his Master of Arts in Asian American Studies with a concentration in Gender Studies at UCLA where he graduated summa cum laude. His Master’s thesis examined the artistic production by Asian American FTM transgender artists. Bo’s comics, cover art, interviews, creative and non-fiction writings, articles and reviews have been featured in many publications. His exhibitions, performances, and film screenings have been seen internationally in Cuba and Switzerland as well as Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Bo’s areas of research include critical ethnic studies, feminist studies, queer & transgender studies, popular culture, and comics studies. Born and raised in Thailand, Bo immigrated to the U.S. in 2003. In addition to attending school, writing, and doing research, Bo also started a small food business called Medina-Huang Kitchen which produces and distributes homemade peanut sauce. Bo looks forward to turning his passion for comics and illustration into a full-time career. Through his work, he looks to make a difference within the queer and trans of color communities and push the boundaries of ‘LGBT’ comics and representations. His work can be viewed on his website at https://thirteenzero.carbonmade.com/.
Sammie Wills is pursuing a B.A. degree in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity with a Minor in Education at Stanford University. Sammie also works as the Program Assistant at API Equality – Northern California, where she started as an intern in the Summer Internship Program. At API Equality, she co-founded the Communications Committee, served on the Leadership Team, and compiled curriculum to train young leaders on community organizing skills. Her senior honors thesis documents an oral history of API Equality – Northern California and aims to examine how the organization has changed over time. Currently, Sammie is a Board Member for the Stanford Asian American Activism Committee where she launched a long-term oral history project ‘Tracing Movements’ to document the immigration stories of Asian Pacific Islanders and rallied students to start a campaign focused on the need for faculty diversity. Sammie has served as the Executive Editor for Stanford STATIC, a progressive publication, and was the Kababayan Co-Chair of the Stanford Pilipino American Student Union. While at Stanford, she was also an Instructor for the course entitled ‘Revolution and the Filipino Diaspora’. As a mixed-race Filipina student, Sammie is committed to highlighting the narratives of the LGBTQ API community in her school work, through her activism, and with her organizing.