Assistant Director for Community Based Services
University of Virginia, 2000
Interests: Multicultural issues, grief work, eating disorders
Wai was born in Hong Kong but moved to New York City when he was seven. A product (some would argue a consequence) of the city public school system, he attended the University of Chicago largely because that was where Indiana Jones had studied. Armed with these sophisticated decision-making skills, this first-generation college student and aspiring adventurer/explorer tried out several majors, strongly considering Anthropology at one point (until he had to read Levi Strauss' Savage Mind… which, while raising interesting questions about the nature of the mind, mainly just made his head hurt) before choosing Sociology. After college, he held positions at several non-profits in Chicago and New York City working with the developmentally disabled, the chronically mentally ill, and individuals with HIV, before returning to grad school (and more punishment) at the University of Virginia. There he did practicums at a state psychiatric hospital, a public middle school and a community action agency, as well as research on ethnic identity, delinquency and ethnic youth gangs. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at UMass Amherst, and joined Cornell Health in 1999, where he is currently Assistant Director for Community Based Services. His interests include anxiety disorders, diversity and multiculturalism, and social justice.