Professor Cindy Huynh, doing her thing.


Come January, the Milpitas Extension will be offering a new course for the Spring semester: It’s called Vietnamese Women in U.S., and it will delve into the history of Vietnam, with a special focus on the upbringing and cultural practices of Vietnamese women. The course will also touch upon the Fall of Saigon, and examine the ways in which different gender dynamics have sprung about as a result of refugees integrating with the U.S. community and transitioning from Vietnamese to Vietnamese-American. Cultural hybridity and the ways in which American influences have impacted Vietnamese women will also be a key focus.

Why a course like this matters: First off, Santa Clara County comes in second in the U.S. among the 10 largest counties with Vietnamese American populations. Not only that, but the neighboring city of San Jose has more Vietnamese Americans than any other city in the country. According to the American Community Survey, 106,992 Vietnamese Americans were living in San Jose back in 2016. In the same survey, Milpitas came in 19th, with a total of 11,165 Vietnamese Americans present. With such a robust and vibrant Vietnamese community surrounding us, a course like Vietnamese Women in U.S. stands to help to build empathy, compassion, and cultural appreciation. For Asian-Americans, a course like this further stands to ignite deeper self-awareness and self-appreciation. Not to mention the fact that cultivating appreciation for women and their experiences is of the utmost importance in our current political climate.

Who’s teaching the course?: None other than Dr. Cindy Huynh, PhD. She currently teaches Ethnic Studies at San Jose City College, and has been doing so for the past year. Before that, Dr. Huynh was at Evergreen Valley College for a year. And before that, she taught Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State for three years. And even before that, Huynh taught Education and Gender Studies at the University of Utah for 4 years, as she pursued her doctorate. This course will be Huynh’s first time teaching at the Milpitas Extension, and she’s thrilled by the opportunity: “It’s important to humanize the experiences of other people, especially women of color,” said Huynh. “I think the class will be part of that. Creating a stronger narrative, and being able to see the value of women of color. Women’s contributions, especially women of color’s contributions, are often invisible. This is a class that brings it all to the forefront.”

Vietnamese Women in U.S. is open to all students, from high school students to college students to anyone else with an interest in diving deep into a meaningful subject. 

The first class will be held on January 29, 2019, and the course will go ’til May 23, 2019, on every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:15pm to 4:35pm.  

Go to the website to find out more:


Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro works as a journalist and media consultant in the Bay Area. She has written for both the Tri-City Voice and the Mercury News, and is the founder of Chi Media Company, which works with nonprofit organizations to elevate their marketing and communication platforms. Rhoda is also an author; her first book will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in mid-2019. Her YouTube channel, which features practices in yoga, meditation, and women’s empowerment, has amassed thousands of subscribers. Rhoda is The Milpitas Beat’s founder.

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