Student Story

Sangha Kang-Le '21 Advocates for the Asian American Community

Tell us about interning for the State Senate.

Thanks to guidance from the Asian American Women’s Political Initiative (AAWPI) and the support and encouragement of my Simmons faculty mentors, I had the opportunity to intern with State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz in spring of my first year.

Sangha Kang-Le in front of the Massachusetts State House

There, I was able to see the inner workings of state politics, get to know the constituent needs of the Senator’s district, research policy and write briefings, advocate for the voices of the Asian American community, and even lead a section of the Senator’s re-election campaign.

It was a steep learning curve, but I came out of it with a much clearer sense of my own direction, and a renewed faith in and understanding of U.S. politics.

Why did you decide to come to Simmons?

The first thing that drew me to Simmons was the professors. It’s rare to find faculty who are amazing teachers, encouraging mentors, AND academic/professional role-models, but that’s exactly what Simmons offers.

What made you choose your programs at Simmons?

Coming in to Simmons, I was undeclared and completely undecided. However, my first semester I took classes with political science (POLS) Professors Denise Horn and Abel Amado – and I never looked back. The POLS department at Simmons is the perfect mix of rigorous and flexible, and the classes offered go far beyond the Western-centric focus of many other POLS programs. I’ve always been interested in politics, but Simmons has pushed me to expand my knowledge and provided ways to apply that knowledge practically through internships, independent study, and travel courses.

Why did you join the Honors Program?

The Honors program, for me, is just an enhanced version of all of Simmons’ best qualities. Honors classes are varied and always fascinating, professors and students actively engage with one another, and my peers are also some of my closest friends. It’s a very supportive, close, and inspiring group of people.

What is your favorite Simmons memory?

Sangha Kang-Le in Bali
Sangha Kang-Le in Bali through POLS 245-M

The summer after my first year, I was able to travel to Bali, Indonesia with Professor Horn and around 20 of my peers to study women’s political mobilization through social entrepreneurship. We visited all sorts of incredible non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Bali, but East Bali Immersion, a social enterprise which provides meaningful education and livelihood opportunities to the local community while creating an ethical, high quality product, was a highlight. I managed to roll myself out of bed at 5 a.m. to see the sun rise over the island – not just an absolutely unforgettable experience, but one given to me through a college course? Unbeatable.

Complete this sentence: "You can find me..." 

You can find me at Fudan University in Shanghai, China this year! In Boston this fall, you’ll find me in line for sushi at the Fens or stuck on the Green Line on my way downtown.

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