News and Photos

What's new with the TAS alumni community? Submit your own updates, or scroll down to see news and announcements as well as our alumni feature articles. You can use the navigation panel on the left to read current and past issues of the Alumni News Magazine, see pictures of classmates in the Alumni Media Gallery, and learn about what events are coming up next for TAS alumni in the Calendar.

Submit News and Updates

Did you recently move? Add someone to your family? Made a career change? Share the milestones in your life with the TAS alumni community! We welcome your submission of photos and descriptions of your family, gatherings with your TAS friends, and news of your recent accomplishments. We are also interested in interview alumni for feature stories in the monthly alumni e-newsletter and annual Alumni News Magazine. Please click here to submit your news and updates.

News and Announcements

Alumni Spotlight Articles

January/February 2022 Alumni Spotlight: Class of 2021 Class Agents Report on Their First Semester of College
By Douglas Lee ’21 and Julianne Vaughan ’21, Class Agents

This month’s Alumni Spotlight is written jointly by Douglas Lee ’21 and Julianne Vaughan ’21, who represent their class as Class Agents. Douglas and Julianne are currently in their freshman year of college at Northwestern University and Boston University, respectively.

The Class of 2021 will always be remembered for our resilience. Born during the SARS outbreak, we could have never foreseen that 17 years later, our world would once again go into lockdown. While we were lucky to have a “normal” first semester our senior year, a surge in COVID cases in May shut down any hope of having graduation and prom. It felt as though the culmination of our hard work through our elementary, middle, and high school years had led to nothing. As we said our goodbyes to Taiwan, we were at least happy that we could have a normal freshman year at college. 

December 2021 Alumni News Spotlight: Cheerleading Through the Decades
Sharon L. '22, The Blue and Gold, and Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

The Taipei American School cheerleading program was a treasured tradition here for many decades. From the late 1950s to the early 2000s, middle and upper school students cheered on their fellow classmates in basketball, volleyball, and soccer. Although the program was eventually discontinued, the sport's evolution leaves behind many fun memories for alumni and former faculty.

October 2021 Alumni News Spotlight: Reenvisioning Society with A Restorative Justice Approach - An Interview with Mika Dashman '93
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

Mika Dashman ’93 had been practicing law in New York City for seven years when she read about restorative justice and changed her career path. Now as the Founding Director of Restorative Justice Initiative, Mika devotes her professional life to advocating for the revolutionary idea of restorative justice that reshapes the way that we think about justice, conflict, and harm and prioritizes human relationships at its core. In this interview, Mika reflects on what brought her to her current work and how it has the potential to change the criminal justice system and educational systems in the United States and other areas.

September 2021 Alumni News Spotlight: Traveling the World in 2020 - Annie Wu Su ‘89’s COVID Family Gap Year
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

Who would take their family with three children on a travel gap year around the world in 2020? Maybe only a family that has already done it twice. Last year, Annie Wu Su ’89 and her husband, Jonathan Su, took a leap of faith repeating what they began with their children in 2008 and 2015. This team of five survived multiple quarantines, Covid tests and uncertainties to make it through 13 countries, four continents, and the pandemic throughout 2020 and 2021.

May 2021 Alumni E-News Spotlight: A TikTok doctor steps up in the Covid world
Lana L. '22, The Blue & Gold

As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread to touch almost every aspect of our lives, many TAS alumni have found themselves involved in helping our communities in unexpected ways. Four alumni share their individual experiences of being a public health nurse, a Red Cross caseworker, an EMT, and a contact tracer. These stories are an example of resilience in the face of adversity and remind us to recommit to helping each other through this global crisis.

April 2021 Alumni E-News Spotlight: The TAS Chicken Leg
Shan Lee, Assistant Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

The Taipei American School Chinese roasted chicken leg has become an iconic symbol of the TAS experience for many since the 1980’s. The cafeteria lunch lines are the longest on the days it is served, and it has been the best-selling lunch entree since appearing on the school lunch menu.  Alumni talk about it well after graduating and always request it be on the menu at on-campus alumni events. While this dish can be found all around Taiwan, alumni claim the TAS Chinese roasted chicken leg is superior to all.

March 2021 Alumni E-News Spotlight: Alumni Aiding Communities During COVID-19
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread to touch almost every aspect of our lives, many TAS alumni have found themselves involved in helping our communities in unexpected ways. Four alumni share their individual experiences of being a public health nurse, a Red Cross caseworker, an EMT, and a contact tracer. These stories are an example of resilience in the face of adversity and remind us to recommit to helping each other through this global crisis.

January/February 2021 Alumni E-News Spotlight: College During COVID by the Class of 2020 Class Agents
By Emily Hsu '20 and Yan Ying Mor '20, Class of 2020 Class Agents

Emily Hsu ‘20 is a freshman at Stanford University pursuing a major in Science, Technology, and Society. Yan Ying Mor ‘20 is a freshman at the University of Chicago pursuing a Public Policy major. They have both been attending college remotely from Taipei for the fall quarter and intend to do so for winter as well. Emily is hoping to go to campus next fall, while Yan Ying is considering an earlier arrival in spring if the situation allows.

As we click “submit” on our last Canvas assessments, we breathe a sigh of relief as the first quarter of college comes to an end. Fall quarter had gone by in a flash. Without the traditional orientation week, move-in day, and social events, it feels as though college never started.

TAS Alumnus Clifford Miu ’11  Produces “American Girl” (2021), Starring Current Student Caitlin Fang ’24
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

One of the most anticipated Taiwanese films of 2021 is “American Girl,” a story about a teenage girl moving to Taipei from Los Angeles during the SARS epidemic in 2003. Directed by Fiona Roan, the film was produced by alumnus Clifford Miu ’11 and stars a current TAS student, Caitlin F. ’24. “American Girl” clearly speaks to those who grew up straddling two worlds but also has more widespread appeal. At the 58th Golden Horse Awards on November 27, “American Girl” was nominated for seven awards and came away with best new director, best new performer, and best cinematography. The film premieres on Friday, December 3. 

December 2020 Alumni E-News Spotlight: Darryl Loke '17 Wins Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award for his College Film “Strays”
By Sabrina C. '21 and Lana L. '22, The Blue and Gold

During his time at TAS, Darryl Loke '17 led his grade to multiple victories in the Spirit Week class video competitions. They were just a starting point of his ongoing Emmy-winning career in filmmaking. He is currently at Temple University, studying psychology to delve into the human condition of films and ultimately reach a wider audience. Learn more about Darryl's experience with the TAS film program and his developing career as a filmmaker. This special alumni spotlight is by Sabrina C. '21 and Lana L. '22 from The Blue and Gold, the TAS student newspaper. 

October 2020 Alumni E-News Spotlight: Tiffany Huang ’08 Brings Black in Asia Voices to A Broader Audience
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

Tiffany Huang ’08 experienced culture shock for the first time moving from Taipei to Omaha, Nebraska, at the age of 16. After being among so many Taiwanese American peers at Taipei American School, Tiffany felt like a fish out of water in Nebraska, questioning if she really knew what it was to be Asian American. Her experiences convinced her of the importance of storytelling. In 2018, Tiffany started Spill Stories, a storytelling platform which elevates intersectional stories for women of color. Most recently, in July 2020, Tiffany published Black in Asia, a compilation of 23 stories from Black writers who have lived in Asia. By publishing and sharing these stories, Tiffany hopes to amplify the voices of other women of color and at the same time broaden experiences for third culture kids like her who grew up in Taiwan. 

Spring 2020 Alumni E-News Spotlight: Amy Hsuan Chiu '15 Finds Voice through Poetry and Design
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

As a young TAS alumna, Amy Hsuan Chiu ’15 is multi-talented. Graduating from the University of Washington in 2019 with two degrees, one in English (Creative Writing) and one in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts, she recently published her first book of poetry, “REBORN,” through New Degree Press, and has discovered a career path combining her creative writing and design skills in digital media. Though Amy works both as a writer and a designer, she describes herself as a storyteller: “In the end, we are just people with stories.”

March/ April 2020 Alumni E-News Spotlight: The Pagoda Returns to TAS
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

In January 2020, a new yet old landmark appeared quietly on TAS campus. Currently painted red and orange in alternating stages, a pagoda of about ten feet in height stands at the southern end of the Lower Athletic Field outside the Dr. Sharon DiBartolomeo Hennessy Upper School Building. For those in the know, it is a sign that the last of Taipei American School’s iconic items has come home.

Dr. Paul Courtright '72
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

For Dr. Paul Courtright ’72, a few years in Taiwan was the inspiration for a lifetime abroad. As a teenager, Paul felt empowered both by his TAS education and also by his experiences in exploring the island of Taiwan. Following a stint in the Peace Corps, Paul pursued an international career in the epidemiology of eye diseases, eventually founding the Kilimanjaro Center for Community Ophthalmology (KCCO) in Tanzania with his wife Dr. Susan Lewallen. Today, Paul is internationally recognized for his work, and credits his international upbringing for his later career which has changed the lives of so many.

November 2019 Alumni E-News Spotlight: As Miss World Oklahoma, Priscilla Wang ’12 Champions Diversity in Tech
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

In October 2019, Priscilla Wang ’12 competed in the Miss World America pageant as Miss Oklahoma. In her day job, however, Priscilla is a software engineer at J.P. Morgan. Although she had never seriously considered entering a pageant before, Priscilla began competing this May and ended up placing in the Top 25 in the Miss World America pageant. Today, she aims to use her platform in pageantry to further her efforts to provide technical education and career opportunities for both boys and girls from underrepresented minority groups.

Derek Chen '99 and Chantal Chen
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

Derek Chen ’99 and Chantal Chen never pictured living in the remote jungles of Papua New Guinea, but in 2018, their calling in Christian ministry brought them to the island country where they built a home among a local tribe and began to learn their local language. Though they recently came back to stay in Taiwan, Derek and Chantal are hopeful to return to their work in Papua New Guinea soon. In this interview, the couple reflect on their journey so far and what brought them to Papua New Guinea.

September 2019 Alumni E-News Spotlight: Caroline Chou ’02 Finds Success Blending Design with Food
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

For most people, running a restaurant and a design studio would mean taking on two separate full-time jobs. For Caroline Chou ’02 and her husband Kevin Lim, it is a serendipitous combination that enables them to fully flex their creative muscles as co-owners of OPENUU Design Studio and Mean Noodles. This year, their hard work and creative innovation bore fruit when Mean Noodles was awarded the 2019 Will Ching Award by the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).

June 2019 Alumni E-News Spotlight: Five Profiles in Entrepreneurship
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

In the world of 2019, start-ups are now ubiquitous. In Silicon Valley, Hong Kong, and right here in Taipei, there are successful start-up organizations changing the face of industries like technology, manufacturing, transportation, retail, and hospitality. But what does it really take to be an entrepreneur? How do you keep a business going month after month, year after year? Five TAS alumnae are speaking out about their journey as entrepreneurs and sharing their dreams, motivations, and challenges. They want to inspire but also inform young men and women about the path that lies ahead. Here are their stories.

May 2019 Alumni E-News Spotlight: Alumni and Students Find Collaboration through TAS Film Program
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

In spring 2019, upper school film production students had the chance to create short creative videos, mini-documentaries, and video advertisements by working with real-life clients. Upper school faculty Film Production Coordinator Brett Barrus set up three collaborations for his advanced students to exercise their own creative vision. Two of those projects were with alumni companies, providing alumni Brenda Lin ’94 and Jay Cheng ’97 with a unique chance to give back to TAS students.

Model UN Photo from TASMUN 2015
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

April 2019 marks the 10 year anniversary for TASMUN, the school's very own Model United Nations conference. To honor the decades of alumni who have participated in Model UN and the former faculty who have guided them, we spotlight their stories this month in "MUN Through the Decades".

Tiger Tales and Pagoda Yearbooks
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

A worn piece of paper with painstakingly inked gothic lettering and faded signatures. A pair of yearbooks with dark blue covers and golden lettering pressed into the leather, slightly worn at the edges. Many alumni have donated pieces of their own history back to the school, and in doing so, helped pass on their own memories of the school to others. Here are three alumni from the 1950s and 1960s who have recently shared their own donated items and memories with the TAS community of today.

Noordhoff Family Christmas Photo c. 1970
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

When Dr. M. Samuel Noordhoff passed away in December 2018 at the age of 91, he was mourned by the entire country of Taiwan. As a famed medical missionary who served in Taiwan for over 40 years, Dr. Noordhoff pioneered the field of craniofacial surgery in Taiwan, performing over 10,000 cleft lip and palate surgeries himself, and founded the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation in 1989.

To Anne Noordhoff Lin ’80 and her three siblings, however, he was simply Dad. Upon his passing, Anne returned to Taipei recently in January 2019 to celebrate the life of her father with the friends and colleagues in Taiwan who knew him well, and to take on the mantle of the family legacy that her parents have passed on.

David Chang '99
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

Where is Taiwan headed in the 21st century? Who will come here to live, work, and invest? How will Taiwan stay relevant on the world stage? Many people in Taiwan may want to debate these weighty questions, but David Chang ’99 is actively working on an answer. After working in politics and law in New York state, he moved back in 2010 to work on projects that would impact Taiwan. Through the translation platform WordCorp and his new project Crossroads (www.crossroads.tw), David hopes to make it easier for companies and individuals to come to Taiwan and for companies and individuals in Taiwan to make their mark on the world. 

Lesley Hall '79 and Jim Smith '78, 1977 TAS Yearbook
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

Imagine marrying a girl you met in high school forty years later. This may sound like the plot of a Nicholas Sparks novel, but it is the actual real-life story of Lesley Hall ’79 and Jim Smith ’78. Forty years ago, they both lived in Taipei, where they attended TAS. Four years ago, their lives reconverged at a TAS reunion in Virginia. This year, they tied the knot in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

On the set of "Many Names"; Photo credit: Juliana Chang
Connie Ma, Alumni and Community Outreach Officer

Juliana Chang '15 is making her screenwriting and directing debut in Many Names, a short film which explores "the daily labor of deciding how to present yourself". Many Names took third place in the AT&T Create-a-thon competition in June 2018.