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WMU-Cooley Honors Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

WMU-Cooley Law School recognized Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May with a virtual Community Conversation event, featuring Mark S. Chang, senior manager and specialty compliance and ethics.

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Chang, who provides value-added guidance to cross functional stakeholders in the cyber security and data privacy risk management fields, reflected upon the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

“As a legal professional, we want to be as resourceful as possible whether we are presenting in court, presenting a case, or doing volunteer work in the community, and be mindful of the vast diverse of Asian American communities,” said Chang, a native of Taiwan. “There’s a huge spectrum of socioeconomic levels and educational differences amongst this entire big group.

He also spoke about how those in the educational setting could help those with minority background. 

“Something that’s very important from a legal perspective or a legal education perspective is to continue to broaden your networking circle, not just within your particular group or class,” Chang said. “Being at Cooley we have a fortunate bank of all the alumni across the world. It doesn’t matter where you go whether in the United States or a different part of the world, you will have that resources available if you want to reach out. It is important to volunteer and help out and reach out to people at your school and people in the community who can be impacted.”

Additionally, Chang spoke on how the minority population often has a negative connotation in America. 

“Is it bad to be a minority? If you change your mindset, that might not be a bad thing after all. How do you utilize your uniqueness to excel and overcome all of those challenges that may systematically stack up against you? I think that’s something that I was able to learn through this process and realize what am I good at and what are you not good at; then analyze the situation and try to create your own path. Because that is a minority mindset – being a pathfinder, being that entrepreneur who’s creating a new way, creating an innovative way to be successful and create your own version of the American Dream. Because the American Dream is not just to America, it’s the concept of making it your life. Whatever you’re given and what you deal with in life – no matter what part of the world you’re in – finding that freedom to make that choice to achieve your own goals you set up for yourself is valuable.”

During the conversational event, Chang also spoke about what he learned from his educational experience in America. 

“I learned to pick up the growth mentality – you can always find your own piece of the pie,” he said. “For me, education didn’t stop at commencement, that’s where it starts because, now you’re given an educational tool – an ‘intellectual’ Ferrari or Tesla, a very incredible machine, that allowed me to grow, which is a lifelong commitment and journey.”

WATCH THE CONVERSATION HERE

May 25 2023