Sociology Professor Tapped for SUNY Civic Education and Discourse Fellowship

An orange logo reading SUNY The State University of New York and a woman in glasses standing behind a podium with a plaque that says The Westin St. Francis San Fransisco on Union Square
Chung speaking as the founding president of the Social Science Caucus of the Association for Asian American Studies. (Provided photo)

By Margaret Hartley

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 14, 2024) — Sociology Professor Angie Chung was named one of 10 Civic Education and Engagement and Civil Discourse fellows, SUNY announced last week.

The fellowship program is designed to boost civic engagement and discourse among students, faculty and staff across the SUNY system.

"SUNY is committed to being a place of inclusion and inquiry,” said SUNY Chancellor John B. King Jr. when introducing the new fellows. “SUNY's colleges and universities have long been bastions of civic engagement and civil discourse where students learn to become better, more engaged citizens as part of the path to academic achievement. Each of the 10 fellows have extraordinary accomplishments and their collective experiences will help ensure SUNY continues to lead in promoting civic engagement across the system and inspiring generations of socially responsible SUNY graduates."

A New Jersey native growing up as an Asian American “outsider,” Chung was inspired by the struggles faced by immigrant families and communities adapting to increasing racial and ethnic diversity. 

A woman in glasses and a striped pink scarf stands outdoors holding papers in her hand.
Chung out canvassing to encourage people to vote during a local election in Mahwah, N.J. (Provided photo)

“One thing I have learned through my research, local civic activities and volunteer work with nonprofits is how important these grassroots efforts are to shaping segregation, educational equity, political empowerment, race relations and social emotional learning for future generations,” she said, noting that immigrant parents are often too focused on their family’s adaptation to be involved in the community. “I see my role as both a child of immigrants and a U.S. citizen as one of privilege and obligation to engage with the mainstream. My goal in this fellowship is to identify strategic ways to promote political engagement among traditionally underrepresented groups within both local communities and local politics despite these challenges.”

Through her research, volunteer work with nonprofits and involvement in grassroots political campaigns, parental advisory boards and philanthropic work, Chung has committed herself to increasing Asian, Asian American and immigrant engagement within local communities.

“I can think of no one better suited to champion the charge of this group than Professor Angie Chung,” said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Jeanette Altarriba. “Her work exemplifies the nature of scholars who are also striving towards strengthening our communities and modeling the goals of civic engagement in today’s society. The College of Arts and Sciences at UAlbany is proud to have Professor Chung among our distinguished faculty.”

Chung came to UAlbany as an assistant professor in 2002, is a Fulbright Scholar (Korea University, 2021-22) and has served as a member of the University’s Committee on Racial Justice, the Refugee Advisory Committee and the Provost’s Fellow on Internationalization Collaboration and Initiatives. She is a consultant for the Koreatown Youth and Community Center in Los Angeles.

She has affiliate appointments in the departments of East Asian Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and her research interests include immigration, urban sociology and community studies, race and ethnicity, and gender and family.

SUNY says the role of the fellows includes:

  • Fostering the development of a faculty/staff community of practice focused on civic education and engagement.
  • Gathering and amplifying resources for faculty for the development of SUNY's new U.S. History and Civic Education and Engagement general education requirement.
  • Helping to inform a civic education and engagement strategic plan while assisting in the identification of data needs and data gathering.
  • Coordinating with student government representatives on civic education and engagement matters.