“Bamboo ceiling:” Zinmay Renee Sung uplifts experiences of Asian American women

May 05, 2021

As part of the 150 Years of Women at Berkeley, a group of professors, students, and staff took part in a video interview on the experiences and perspectives of Asian American women at Berkeley. The researchers discuss experiences at school and home, their accomplishments, how to handle biases and stereotypes, and how past experiences have shaped their views on modern day racial violence and structural inequities.

The video began as part of a project by Zinmay Renee Sung, professor emerita in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology (PMB), who documented Asian American women’s experiences and representation at the university. Her research project was supported by the inaugural Scheiber Emeriti Faculty Research Award, which Sung received in 2020. With historical records and journalistic interviews, she assesses the evolving social, cultural, and familial environments of Asian American women throughout the university’s history. 

“By sharing our experiences, we hope to better understand ourselves, our identity, and our unique presence in our society,” said Sung, who was the video’s program director. “The ultimate goal of this project is to uplift Asian women across campus.” 

Researchers at Rausser College who are featured in the video include PMB graduate students Darae Jun, Helen Liu, and Neem Patel, as well as faculty members Hei Sook Sul, a professor and chair in the Department of Nutritional Science and Toxicology, and Michi Taga, an associate professor in PMB. The video can be viewed below: