Chen Chen is a Master’s student at the University of Toronto Department of Molecular Genetics. While engaging in academic studies, she has advocated for underappreciated issues that are important to Asian Canadians.
Inspired by the unresolved frustrations from her family in Nanjing and Shanghai, Chen seeks to preserve the voices of WWII survivors and their families for generations to come. She has volunteered with the Association for Learning and Preserving the History of WWII in Asia (ALPHA) for over five years. As Co-President of the McMaster chapter of ALPHA, she motivated other student leaders and inspired an enthusiastic team of volunteers to raise awareness of WWII atrocities in Asia, through first-hand accounts, photo exhibits and film screenings. She also collaborated with other campus organizations and introduced seminar and debate series on topics such as war crimes and justice, individual and state responsibilities, human experimentation and biochemical warfare, which connected history to modern day world affairs.
Upon entering her Master’s program, Chen became Director of Communications at UofT ALPHA, where she created social media strategies to engage more students, including an art competition and podcasts spotlighting survivors of WWII in Asia.
During the COVID lockdown, Chen volunteered for ALPHA’s Asia Pacific Peace Museum to research and help create contents for permanent exhibition. She also designed an app for visitors to access contents through exhibit QR codes. She won an Ontario Service Award for her service at the museum and student education.