photo of OiYan Poon

OiYan Poon

College Admissions Futures Co-Laborative

OiYan Poon, Ph.D., is an educator, author, speaker, and race and education scholar. She is co-director of the College Admissions Futures Co-Laborative. Her research focuses on the racial politics of Asian Americans, education access, affirmative action, and admissions systems and practices. In Rethinking College Admissions: Research-Based Practice and Policy (Harvard Education Press, 2022), she and her co-editor, Dr. Mike Bastedo, and colleagues examine and offer new ideas to transform the unequal structures and systemic norms of college-going in the U.S. In her 2024 book, Asian American is Not a Color: Conversations about Race, Affirmative Action, and Family (Beacon), she explores how Asian Americans are shaping the future of race relations through debates over education policies like affirmative action, using personal narrative and interviews of Asian Americans across the country.

Dr. Poon has worked closely in partnership with practitioner-leaders to advance race and class equity in college admissions. In 2019–20, with practitioner-leaders from ACCEPT she co-led the Hack the Gates project, which convened researchers and practitioners in college admissions to begin reimagining college admissions systems. She was a lead co-author of amicus briefs defending diversity and race-conscious admissions, submitted to federal courts including the US Supreme Court in the SFFA v. Harvard case.

After earning her Bachelor’s degree at Boston College and M.Ed. in College Student Affairs Administration at the University of Georgia, OiYan worked in multicultural student affairs, as the first Asian Pacific American Student Affairs director at George Mason University and the first Student Affairs Officer in Asian American Studies at UC Davis. She earned her Ph.D. in Race & Ethnic Studies in Education and Graduate Certificate in Asian American Studies at UCLA.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

Events featuring OiYan Poon
Events featuring OiYan Poon