Welcome Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Faculty and Staff

The APIDA Faculty and Staff Alliance is the one of eight identity-based Affinity Groups (African American Affairs Council, Alumni, Latino/a Faculty and Staff Association, LGBTQ, Native Nations Council, Veterans, and Womyn of Color Collective) at MSU Denver. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion supports these groups in promoting and providing a sense of belonging and community for employees.

Originally created as the Asian/Pacific Islander Faculty and Staff Alliance in Spring 2019, the group’s name was changed to the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Faculty and Staff Alliance in Fall 2020 to be intentional and honor the uniqueness of our communities. APIDA is a more inclusive pan-ethnic term to describe the diversity within Asian and Pacific Islander populations.

We provide…

  • A space for APIDA faculty and staff to connect with a group of like-minded peers.
  • A place to build community with people from similar cultural backgrounds and families.
  • Events and networking opportunities.
  • An avenue to share our unique perspectives and stories.

What is an Affinity Group?

Affinity Groups are voluntary associations of people who have common interests. Affinity Groups play a vital role in articulating, promoting and supporting the needs and goals of their various communities and organizations. Their primary focus is to develop and improve the campus climate by increasing the presence of diverse faculty and staff. The groups can assist the organization with the recruitment, retention, and promotion of top diverse talent. In addition, they can help increase morale, provide insights into diverse areas, build bridges to the community and empower members.

Learn more about how MSU Denver's Office of Diversity and Inclusion supports our Affinity Groups

partial image of the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival design winner from 2024

Dragonboat Festival

Let’s meet up at Sloan’s Lake to check out the festivities. CU Denver has a boat in the race! More info forthcoming.

July 27-28, 2024

Our Leaders and Members

Note. Not all members elected to be represented on our site

Professional Headshot photo of Courtney Matsumoto

Courtney Matsumoto, M.A. (she/her)

Founder/APIDA Alliance Leader

College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Data Analyst, Marketing and Communications Senior Manager

[email protected] 303-615-0822
Headshot of Amy Watanabe

Amy Watanabe (she/her)

APIDA Alliance Leader

Associate Head Coach, Women's Volleyball

[email protected] 303-615-0582
headshot of Diane Yee

Diane Yee (she/her)

APIDA Alliance Leader; Chinese American

Director, Campus Recreation

[email protected]
headshot of Donald Chang

Donald Chang (he/him)

Professor, Marketing

[email protected]
headshot of Andrew Sia

Andrew Sia (he/him)

Filipino & Chinese American

Staff Psychologist, Counseling Center

[email protected]
headshot of Mingli He

Mingli He (he/him)

Chinese American

Professor, Mechanical Engineering Techology

[email protected] 303-615-0549
headshot of Christine Sheikh

Christine Sheikh (she/her)

Pakistani American

Specialist, Student Academic Services

[email protected] 303-615-1919
headshot of Bleu Vargas

Bleu Vargas (they/she/siya)


Assistant Director, LGBTQ Student Resource Center

[email protected] 303-605-7921
Rowdy the mascot headshot

Yongxia Kuang



[email protected]
Rowdy the mascot headshot

Kristen Narona (she/her)


Scholar Advisor, TRIO Student Support Services

[email protected] 303-605-2069
A pair of hands, palms facing up, holding a small yellow flower


Check out this page for campus resources and to learn more about local and national APIDA community needs.

Contact the APIDA Alliance

The APIDA Faculty and Staff Alliance is sanctioned by MSU Denver’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Email APIDA Alliance