Hi everyone! My name is Jean Dao and I am one of two interns at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program for the Spring 2011 semester. I am an undergraduate junior at Clark University in Worcester, MA majoring in American Ethnic Studies and expecting to graduate in May 2012. Afterward, I hope to continue on at Clark to get my Master of Arts in Teaching in the fifth-year program. Following that, I plan to join the Peace Corps to teach English abroad!
Currently, I am elbows deep in a number of projects at both the Asian Pacific American Program and the National Museum of American History. I am researching the history and business model of the quick-service Chinese food chain Panda Express for the upcoming American Enterprise exhibit at the NMAH, collecting stories and histories of local D.C. Chinese restaurants for the Sweet & Sour Initiative (keep an eye out for a showcase at the NMAH on the history of Chinese Food in the U.S. later this month!), and compiling data and history on Indian Americans in the U.S. for the HomeSpun: Smithsonian Indian American Heritage Project.
Although these larger projects—and the intermittent smaller tasks I am assigned—keep me beyond busy, I could not think of a better way to spend my semester than living and working in Washington, D.C. with the intelligent and charismatic staff at the Asian Pacific American Program and the National Museum of American History!