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Meet Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Local Hero Huma Ahmed-Ghosh

Portait photo of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Local Hero Huma Ahmed-Ghosh, April 2016
Ron Stein
Portait photo of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Local Hero Huma Ahmed-Ghosh, April 2016

She's the chair of San Diego State University's Women's Studies department —  the first of its kind in the United States. She's been teaching at SDSU since 1994, and is a cultural anthropologist by training. She's Professor Huma Ahmed-Ghosh.

Ahmed-Ghosh deems herself a second-wave feminist — sort of: "Two and a half is what I like to say... pushing the boundary."

And her favorite course to teach? An immersive blend of women's studies and anthropology, with a dash of culture shock: a travel abroad program to India.

"I enjoy teaching that to SDSU students because they have limited exposure to things outside of this country," she said. The globe-trekking professor has taken it upon herself to lead students through India, South Africa, Ghana, and other countries, exploring notions of international — or trans-national — feminism.

Back at SDSU's Women's Studies offices, Ahmed-Ghosh shares the news that excites her most: "I think the development of an LGBT major and minor. And second would be the strong links with community organizations, such as non-government organizations." She went on, "Basically, I think what's happened over the last decade was a strengthening of connections between academia and activism."

While the department she chairs is a leader in many aspects, one campus staple came late, she feels. That's the SDSU Women's Resource Center.

"It was very late given resource centers started in many universities in the '70s." But the Center is making up for time. Many students are seeking out the Center, according to Ahmed-Ghosh. "It's barely been a year, but you'd think it's been around forever. They're very successfully hosting events on a weekly basis."

In response to her nomination, Ahmed-Ghosh said, "It was a very big surprise. And I felt it was exciting that this kind of work is being recognized."

See past Asian Pacific American Heritage Month honorees here.

Meet fellow 2016 honoree Huma Ahmed-Ghosh.

Corrected:
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Questions or comments on this story can be directed to Nate John at njohn@kpbs.org.