UWM boaters get their dragon drag on

Call it an aquatic drag race: AFSA  members paddled their way to a 19th place finish (out of 29 teams)  in  their first appearance in the  Dragon Boat Race.

Call it an aquatic drag race: AFSA members paddled their way to a 19th place finish (out of 29 teams) in their first appearance in the Dragon Boat Race.

A new UWM Panther team took to the waves this weekend. The UWM Asian Faculty and Staff Association (AFSA) competed Saturday in the second annual Dragon Boat Race, part of the Milwaukee Dragon Festival, at Veterans Park.

This was the first year for the UWM team, made up of 21 faculty, staff and student members, according to Chia Youyee Vang, associate professor of history, one of the team’s co-captains along with Linda Huang, administrative program manager in Global Inclusion and Engagement.

The team improved its times in each of its three heats.

The team improved its times in each of its three heats.

“We are excited to compete for the first time at the Milwaukee Dragon Boat Festival, and we intend to have fun while paddling our hardest,” Vang said before the competition.

The focus of the Dragon Festival showcases Chinese culture and traditions. The Milwaukee Chinese Community Center sponsors the festival.

Not all the team members were Chinese or even Asian, but everyone came prepared to have a good time, whether or not they were veteran rowers.

“I haven’t done this before but I thought it would be a great way to bond with my colleagues from other departments here at UWM and enjoy summer,” said Dawn Lee Vue, a program assistant at the UWM Libraries. “It’s a win-win!”

Tim Hathaway, assistant director for China Initiatives, lived in China for a number of years and now works with Chinese students and faculty on campus.

“I joined the team because I thought it would be fun and would allow me to meet more of the Chinese community here in Milwaukee.” This was his first rowing experience since a canoe race when he was 12.

Members of the UWM team included:

Chia Youyee Vang, Dawn Lee Vue, Aparna Datey, Linda Huang, Karen Miyoshi, Channy Rasavong, Pakayphet Phakeovilay, Tim Hathaway, Yuko Kojima, Dao Vang, Jacqueline Nguyen, Martha Carrigan, Tujntsuj (Juni) Yang, Cedar Miyoshi Andrae, Justin Young, James Feffer, Nong Khai Xiong, Yinan Wang, Weiyan Liu, Xiaofei Mu, Simai Li. Alternates were Christine Le, Zijing Wang, Anousone Bounket and Agnes Vongkhamsay.

Front row (left to right): Dawn Lee-Vue, Jacqueline Nguyen, Christine Le, Chia Vang, Martha Carrigan, Aparna Datey, Agnes Vongkhamsay, Karen Miyoshi Back row (left to right): Linda Huang, Anousone Bounket, Pakayphet Phakeovilay, Xiaofei Mu, Tim Hathaway, Somphan Phomsoukha, Yinan Wang, Cedar Miyoshi Andrae, Tujntsuj (Juni) Yang Not pictured (but also raced): James Feffer, Channy Rasavong, Simai Li, Jarius Shaw, Nong Khai Xiong

Front row (left to right): Dawn Lee-Vue, Jacqueline Nguyen, Christine Le, Chia Vang, Martha Carrigan, Aparna Datey, Agnes Vongkhamsay, Karen Miyoshi
Back row (left to right): Linda Huang, Anousone Bounket, Pakayphet Phakeovilay, Xiaofei Mu, Tim Hathaway, Somphan Phomsoukha, Yinan Wang, Cedar Miyoshi Andrae, Tujntsuj (Juni) Yang
Not pictured (but also raced): James Feffer, Channy Rasavong, Simai Li, Jarius Shaw, Nong Khai Xiong