Our Staff

Professional Staff

Aaron James Parayno

Pronouns: He/Him/His

A New York City native, Aaron joined Tufts University in 2019 to serve as the Director of the center. Aaron is a graduate of Boston College where he has a Bachelor's Degree in History, and a Master's Degree in Higher Education Administration. He has spent his career supporting Asian American students, centering their needs, and advocating for the community. He is also currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Massachusetts Boston studying Higher Education. As a practitioner-scholar Aaron works to center equity and justice issues for the Asian American community in higher education, as well as advocate for other marginalized communities. In his freetime Aaron enjoys cooking, baking, and playing tennis.

 Want to schedule a meeting with Aaron? Click here


Emily Ding

Program Administrator
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers & They/Them/Theirs

Raised in New Jersey, Emily Ding is an alumna of Rutgers University-New Brunswick, where she received her B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies and worked as a student intern at the Asian American Cultural Center. Emily received an M.Ed. in Higher Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst while working in the Dean of Students Office, assisting and advocating for students facing personal and academic challenges. Prior to coming to Tufts, Emily oversaw Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Student Services at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. As a first-generation college student, Emily is passionate about helping students with marginalized identities navigate college and find community. Some of Emily’s areas of interest include mental health among Asian Americans and the experiences of queer and trans students of color. Outside of work, Emily likes everything related to food and dogs.

Want to schedule a meeting with Emily? Click here

Student Interns

The Asian American Center Interns are undergraduate students who work at the AAC to program for the Asian American and campus community. 


Johnny Lai

Johnny is a First-Year and intends to major in mathematics, and is passionate about fostering a community that feels open and friendly to Asian Americans at Tufts. A fun fact about Johnny is that he has a twin!



Theo Nunez
Theo is a Sophomore and doesn't know what he wants to major in yet (any recommendations?). He loves walking by club meetings happening within the AAC and seeing people engage with each other and with the club affairs. He says, "Feel free to talk to me whenever you see me whether I'm working at the AAC or not!"



Radhika Sharma
Radhika is a First-Year, studying biology and community health and is on the pre-med track. Even though she is brand new to Tufts, she already admires the community and network of support that the AAC has built for Asian American students. She loves warm cookies!




Cana Tagawa

Cana is a Sophomore, majoring in Political Science and is most passionate about inclusion and support within the AAC community! Her favorite spot on campus is the Tisch roof on a sunny day.




Esther Tzau
Esther is a Junior, majoring in Computer Science and American Studies. Esther is passionate about the community-building, organizing, and creating that happens at the AAC. Her favorite place is the kitchen at the Asian American House!



Angela Yang
Angela is First-Year. Her favorite place on campus is Dewick because… food. (She made the highly controversial statement saying that Dewick is better than Carm). She also has a large collection of weird and funky socks!