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Inspiring Others to Make the World a Better Place

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We believe that when you combine a curious mind,
a tenacious will and an industrious spirit
with a caring heart you have the power
to transform your life and the world around you!

jeff shih

Associate Dean of Student &
Community Development

I am most interested in addressing issues that have real impact on communities, especially when they are education-related and have direct impact on children. 


As a child, I remember  memorizing state capitals, but the significant achievements of Asian Americans throughout history was not a part of the regular curriculum. By increasing awareness among current teachers and giving them the tools to share those stories in their classrooms. I think we can preserve the memory of those who came before us and learn from them.

1. What drives your interest in tackling problems?


2. What impact has CTF support had on your work?

Simply put, the work around the creation of an online course about the Asian American experience in Nevada would not be possible without CTF support. CTF funded our postdoctoral scholar, Julie Pham, who is the primary creator of the course.  We look forward to  bringing this knowledge to current and future teachers, who will then pass along the knowledge to their students.

3. What inspires you to give back?

My parents, who are both immigrants, have instilled in me the values of education, hard work, and giving back. They have always been very conscious of the impact and importance of community. Their desire to foster cultural knowledge and social connections of Chinese American children led them to  found the Westside Chinese School in West Los Angeles in 1981.

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huan wang

Social Science Scholar,
Stanford Center on China’s
Economy and Institutions

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What drives my passion for tackling problems is their potential to yield a positive impact on the pressing issue of advancing human development and fostering a better world. At the core of my motivation is the commitment to helping students realize their educational dreams, recognizing education as the bedrock for both personal and societal growth. I am drawn to all facets that contribute to human flourishing, encompassing both mental and physical well-being. My approach is anchored in the rigorous application of causal inference methods, such as randomized controlled trials (RCTs), to assess potential solutions and gauge their effectiveness. Over the past decade, my research has been dedicated to comprehending and addressing the disparities experienced by underserved populations in China, particularly within the context of bridging the urban-rural divide.

1. What drives your interest in tackling problems?


A couple of the key values that give foundation to my life and work are being of service to others and lifelong learning. Problems that create harm or suffering for people are problems that I want to work on, especially if I will have the opportunity to learn new concepts or skills along the way. My clinical training as a physical therapist and my research training in epidemiology and statistics lead me to be interested in large scale problems at the health system and even population level related to rehabilitation.

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Associate Professor
School of Integrated Health Sciences -
Physical Therapy
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Daniel L. Young

1. What makes a problem interesting and worthwhile for you to want to tackle?


a day in life of the ctf alumni billy cai


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