Sophia Travis remembered by IU students and faculty

Sophia Travis is best remembered as a community leader, having served as President and council member of Monroe County. In addition to her involvement with the county at large, she holds a special place in the hearts of students and faculty at Indiana University and the Asian Alumni Association.

“Sophia was always optimistic and always saw the best in things, given the conditions,” said Melanie Castillo-Cullather, director of the Asian Cultural Center.

Sophia served as the president of IU’s Asian Alumni Association and worked with community members to celebrate the achievements of distinguished alumni while promoting the importance of diversity and charity on campus. Community members have described Sophia as a humble and “visionary leader” who invigorated the organization.

As President of the IUAAA, Sophia made personal phone calls to other campus organizations and made efforts to personalize the Distinguished Alumni Awards to the make the annual celebration memorable.

Sophia was also intensely involved in the local music scene and her love of music complemented her love of public

Sophia Travis on accordion

service. While best known for playing with her band “Mitten,” Sophia also collaborated with bands such as Lola, Vulgar Boatmen, and the Squash Blossoms String Pullers. When Sophia helped launch a water park for children, she invited the local musicians to play for its grand opening. Like her involvement with the Asian Alumni Association, Sophia was a pillar in supporting the music scene in Bloomington. The community recognized her service by dedicating this year’s Lotus Music festival to her memory.

Student groups celebrate culture

Henna at anniversary party

Student organizations have been very busy this semester! The ACC kicked off the school year with a Power Lunch and Leadership Workshop for student leaders on August 18, 2012. Community Leadership and Development Center staff led team-building and leadership activities.

Student groups also participated in the ACC’s Asian Fair and Welcome Reception on Aug. 23 in Dunn Meadow. Student groups decorated tables and helped new students learn about their organizations.


Faculty Profile: Barry Y. Chung

Having once been an international student, Professor Barry Chung has researched discrimination and multiculturalism through educational psychology for over two decades. As the first member of his family to receive a PHD, he credits his international background and multicultural exposure to his increasing passion for his field of research. Having travelled all over America and East Asia, his latest stop is at IU as a professor and a director of the Counseling Psychology Ph. D. Program.

As the youngest of five children, Chung said getting higher education required sacrifice from his parents and elder siblings. With his parents being immigrants from Mainland China to Hong Kong, the family was without financial resources. One of his older sisters quit elementary school when she was only 11 years-old to work full-time in the garment industry to help the family. They lived in a studio apartment where all five children slept on the top level of a bunk bed while his parents slept on the bottom.