Anteater Cultural Awareness Program (ACAP)

Hannah Varghese

ACAP Commissioner

Hello loves, I am Hannah Varghese (She/ Her/ Hers). I am one of the ACAP commissioners for the 2023-2024 school year. I am currently a second year student majoring in Biomedical Engineering. I am originally from Rancho Cocamonga, California. I moved around a lot as a child from the Middle East to America and a few detours in California. As an immigrant who has personally experienced the challenges of assimilating into American society, I deeply appreciate the significance of preserving one’s cultural identity. In my capacity as a member of ASUCI and ACAP, I am committed to fostering an inclusive environment that encourages students to embrace and celebrate their individual cultures while also fostering meaningful connections with others from diverse backgrounds.

When I am not busy being a cultural ambassador, I indulge in some artistic shenanigans. I am Picasso on a caffeine high. (Yes, I am addicted to coffee).  My all time favorite shows are “How to Get Away with Murder” ( it’s not a step-by-step guide) and “Criminal Minds” (where all the criminals should seriously consider getting new hobbies). And I never outgrew my “Directioner” phase. I am still jamming to One Direction like it’s 2010, sprinkled with a dash of Chase Atlantic, Conan Gray, and just a teeny bit of Kpop and Indie Desi to keep things spicy! 

Being an ACAP intern last year was one of the best decisions I made. ACAP provided me with a conducive environment for learning and growth, allowing me to broaden my horizons through engaging conversations with fellow interns and individuals from different cultural backgrounds. These riveting discussions enabled me to appreciate the nuances and intricacies that shape the fabric of diverse societies. As the ACAP commissioner, my goal is to create events and classes that are a gateway to diverse worlds, with safe spaces for everyone to immerse themselves in different cultures without hesitation. We will build bridges of understanding and acceptance, ensuring that every person feels seen, heard, and valued.

Office Hours: TBD

Mariem Kamal

ACAP Commissioner

Hey y’all! My name is Mariem Kamal (she/her/hers) and I am one of your ACAP Commissioners for the 2023-2024 school year! I’m currently a second year majoring in Psychology here at UCI but I’m originally from the Central Valley. Growing up in an enriching Pakistani community has made me passionate about sharing my love for my culture, and providing others with a space to do the same for theirs while appreciating the cultural joy around them. I can’t wait to learn more about different cultures while serving as one of your commissioners!

In my free time, I enjoy reading anything from fantasy to romance to memoirs (every book I read is my favorite :)). I also love trying new crafts such as painting, bracelet making, and pottery. My favorite artist is Taylor Swift and you will always find me listening to her. My favorite show of all time is New Girl. And of course, I love trying new foods, especially desserts!

Being an ACAP intern last year was the highlight of my freshman year, and I hope to continue that welcoming environment that I love this commission for. I want our events as well as the ACAP class to be safe spaces where students from all different backgrounds can come together and appreciate cultures from all around the world!

Office Hours: TBD

Commission Description:

The Anteater Cultural Awareness Program is a course created under the 2020-2021 Visions Leadership Program with the purpose of promoting a safe and engaging environment for students to learn about diverse cultures. When interacting in cross-cultural situations and spaces, a lack of awareness can lead to inaccurate conclusions. Every student and culture within the UCI community deserves to be acknowledged and treated with respect, and ACAP hopes to extend the resources and means for students to gain necessary intercultural and interpersonal skills through campus events and the ACAP course. Throughout the school year, ACAP will host various events related to cultural enrichment and awareness. At these events, students are able to engage in cultural activities and games that help expand their knowledge on various cultures. 

The ACAP course in the spring quarter aims to equip students with awareness and knowledge of diverse cultures that are presented throughout the class. Specifically, the course will feature dynamic and engaging discussions and activities through collaborative efforts exploring topics including but not limited to a culture’s: food and cuisine, fashion, and social practices. By educating students about these topics, the program will promote inclusivity and cultural competency. If you’re interested in signing up for the ACAP Course, attend an information session in winter quarter and/or feel free to email us! And if not, look out for our many events this school year to still be involved!!

Commission Goals:

  1. Create a safe and inclusive environment for UCI students to learn and share their cultural backgrounds and experiences.
  2. Acknowledge and break down stereotypes, injustices, and false narratives of different cultures.
  3. Encourage students to have an open mind while learning something new and talking to people with a different background.

For more information and/or ideas of what you want to see, contact us at: