Ashley Faye Vaznelis-Carlson ( is currently pursuing an M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She graduated with a B.A. in History and a Minor in Asian American Studies from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (2010) and an M.A. in Public History from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock (2016). Ashley’s research focuses on the history, ethnography, migration, genealogy, and oral history of the Khmer and Khmer-American people. Her interest in Cambodia stems from living among the large Khmer community in Long Beach, California. As a McNair Scholar at Cal Poly Pomona, she conducted research on Angkor Wat in the fourteenth and nineteenth centuries. Ashley aims to open a repository dedicated to the history and culture of Cambodia in the future.


Chari Hamratanaphon ( is currently pursuing an M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies, with a Ph.D. track in Anthropology, at the University of California, Riverside. She graduated with a B.A. in Thai Language and Literature from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Her interests turned to Vietnamese Studies after taking courses on Vietnam and realizing its importance as a fellow ASEAN country, with certain cultural similarities with Thailand. Chari’s main research focus is Vietnamese folklore, and she is also interested in comparative studies between Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries. She aims to share this knowledge with her students, colleagues, and interested academics in the future.


Joshua Lieto is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at UC Riverside. Through his research on the Batak languages of Sumatra, Indonesia, Joshua challenges conventional perspectives of “language death” by illuminating the entanglements of material culture, language and meaning. In the process, Joshua hopes to use technologies such as textual digitization and 3D printing to inspire others to tell their own stories.


Violette Hoàng-Phương Hồ ( is currently pursuing a M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies and a Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of California Riverside. Violette received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California Los Angeles, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude, along with College Honors and Departmental Honors. As a Lemelson Undergraduate Scholar at UCLA, she conducted fieldwork on college decisions among young women in Southern Vietnam. Her current research focuses on gender, education, globalization, (post)socialism, state power, nationalism, Vietnam, and Southeast Asia. She also works on English-Vietnamese translation of History and Anthropology texts.


Jemuel Jr. B. Garcia ( is an interdisciplinary storyteller, movement educator, and Ph.D. student in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. He is a recipient of the Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship Award and a 2016 Fellow of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program sponsored by the US Department of State and the Philippine-American Educational Foundation. He finished his Master’s degree in Physical Education (dance stream) at West Visayas State University in Iloilo City, Philippines (2014); and graduated magna cum laude with his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, double majoring in sports and dance, in the same university (2009). He has worked with dance majors, indigenous communities, grassroots artists and community based dance educators in his hopes to encourage everyone in doing their part to preserve, nurture and enrich the dance culture and traditions of the Philippine archipelago to which his research and previous publications were also anchored.


Magnolia Yang Sao Yia ( is a dance artist and PhD student in Critical Dance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Southeast Asian Studies. She holds a BFA in Dance and Minor in Asian American Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Through the support of the Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship Award and the Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts, she will be researching dance and embodied practices of the Hmong diaspora in the United States. Yang Sao Yia is interested in how Hmong practitioners construct and reimagine identity and home. Yang Sao Yia, a House Dance practitioner, has also trained in Yorchha™️, the Contemporary Indian dance technique of Ananya Dance Theatre (ADT). She has danced with ADT from 2013-2017 and will be rejoining them for the 2018-2019 season and premier of Sutrajaal: Revelations of Gossamer. Informed by the work and vibrations of ADT, Yang Sao Yia creates at the intersection of social justice, dance and healing.