Myanmar Students and Professionals Network USA launched


Sen. Brent Waltz (businessman and former IN Senator) peaking at the launching of the Myanmar Students and Professionals Network USA during Myanmar Union Day ceremony on February 11. Joined on the stage are (L-R) MSPNUSA advisors Dr. Lisa Borrero, Dr. Dr. Jodie Ferise, and Dr. Bruce Ray, Michigan Chapter Coordinator Christina Hnem, Mentor Biak Chin Par, Sen. Jack Sandlin and MSPUNA project Director Elaisa Vahnie, Executive Director of the Burmese American Community Institute (BACI). Photo: MSPNUSA

The Myanmar Students and Professionals Network USA (MSPNUSA) was launched in Indianapolis last week at an event celebrating Myanmar Union Day. Aimed at connecting Myanmar students and professionals across the United States, the MSPNUSA’s primary goal is to support members toward academic and professional success.

“We are pleased to have created a network system where all professionals and students of Myanmar origin across the US can join. We have no doubt about its potential and the positive impact it can bring upon members as well as to our shared society,” said Elaisa Vahnie, Director of the Burmese American Community Institute, according to a press release received February 17.

Comprised of University students and professionals, the organization intends to provide a broad range of opportunities to students while also fostering institutional level engagement and development.  Student resources will include extensive networking, mentoring, internship opportunities, volunteer programs, scholarship and fellowship assistance, and career development programming.

“I would not have been able to receive scholarships, earn a degree and enroll in a graduate program without having a good mentor like Dr. Bruce Ray and the BACI members,” said Biak Chin Par, a prestigious Lilly Community Endowment Scholar who is now committed to serve as a mentor of MSPNUSA.

Designed for all current and former students of higher educational institutions in the US, MSPNUSA membership is free for eligible applicants. Applicants should be of Myanmar origin and may be now working in their respective professional fields in the US, or elsewhere. To take part in the network, registration is required.

“I believe that MSPNUSA will be very beneficial for the Burmese-American students of high school and higher education as most of us are first generation to have gone college in the US. I invite and encourage every student to be part of it as we help each other through networking and mentorship”, said Christina Hnem, coordinator of the Michigan Chapter who received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

Other advisors to the program include Dr. Jodie Ferise and Dr. Lisa Borrero, both of University of Indianapolis, Dr. Bruce Ray of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, and Patrick Wang, Attorney at Law in New York city.

MSPNUSA has previously established chapters in Fort Wayne, Indiana as well as in California, Texas, Michigan, New York, and Washington DC area.  The organization is expected to grow to cities and states nationwide where considerable Myanmar population present.

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