Text that reads "MUSC celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month."

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

MUSC celebrates the many contributions of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community members this month. Check out the resources & features gathered by members of MUSC's community and learn more about this month. 

We invite you to mark AANHPI Heritage Month this year by reflecting on the national theme, Bridging History, Shaping Our Future–an homage to our ancestors, inviting all Americans to delve into the legacies, triumphs, and challenges that have shaped AA and NHPI communities. It embodies the spirit of our collective journey – one rooted in resilience and hope – and encourages us to forge intergenerational connections to honor our past and pave a durable path forward.

If you are a member of the MUSC community and would like to help create an employee resource group focused on elevating AANHPI culture, heritage, and experience, please contact the Office of Equity for more information. 

Featured MUSC Community Members

Dr. Sompop Bencharit, D.D.S., MS, Ph.D., FACP,
Professor and Chair, Department of Reconstructive and Rehabilitation Sciences
Assistant Dean for Innovation, Office of Oral Health Innovation
James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine

Dr. Sompop Bencharit, a leading figure in prosthodontics and digital dentistry, serves as Professor and Assistant Dean for Innovation at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) College of Dental Medicine. Previously, he directed Digital Dentistry Technologies and Clinical Research at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), where he established the Digital Dentistry Center and spearheaded the integration of digital dentistry into the dental curriculum.

Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, Dr. Bencharit earned his DD.S. and diploma in prosthodontics from Chulalongkorn University before pursuing advanced degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). He holds Diplomate status with the American Board of Prosthodontics and Fellowship with the American College of Prosthodontists, among others.

In his leisure time, Dr. Bencharit finds solace in meditation and delves into the study of Eastern philosophies and religions. This hobby complements his professional endeavors, offering a broader perspective on holistic health and well-being.

With a prolific publication record, Dr. Bencharit has authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles and presented over 100 abstracts, emphasizing the integration of digital technologies into prosthodontics and oral health. He was honored with the 2021 ACP Distinguished Researcher award.

Highly esteemed in academia, Dr. Bencharit contributes to various editorial boards and committees, including as Associate Editor for the Journal of Prosthodontics and Academic Editor for PLOS ONE. His expertise has earned him numerous awards, reflecting his commitment to advancing prosthodontics and digital dentistry.

Thuy Tran, RHIA
Market Manager of Health Information Management Department

I am the Market Manager for the Health Information Management Department for the Pee Dee Division. I graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch of Galveston in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science and have worked in the Health Information Management profession for more than 30 years. I am a RHIA and a member of the national AHIMA association. I served on the Florence Darlington HIM Technical College Advisory Board for the past 10 years. In my spare time, I enjoy attending live theatrical performances and taking leisurely strolls along the beach.

Maneesha Pradeep
Materials Management Coordinator
Main Central Supply

I’m Maneesha Pradeep. Originally, I hail from a small town in southern India. After gaining my Engineering degree, I got married and moved to the U.S. in 2019. I started working at MUSC in 2021 as a supply specialist and was promoted to supervisor. Today I am the Materials Management Coordinator for Main Hospital Charleston division. I am very lucky enough to work at MUSC with a diverse group of team members throughout the hospital. MUSC fosters a culture that champions equity, inclusion, and belonging and I am very proud to represent the Indian American community during the AAPI Heritage Month.

Celebrating different cultures and appreciating their hard work and contribution to our institution is applaudable. I am thankful for my leadership and their commitment to women's empowerment. When not working, my husband and I enjoy traveling, going to Charleston beaches, and gardening.

Robert Lee
MUSC College of Medicine Class of ‘27

I distinctly remember meeting someone during my undergraduate time at Duke University. As I was telling them that I immigrated to the U.S. as a toddler and barely remember Korea, they said, “Oh you’re basically just American!” It was a perfectly innocent remark—especially considering the high number of international students at the school—but there was a sense of mental adjustment that came with it. As if before that realization, I was something else in their mind and now was American. Growing up here in S.C., I encountered this mental transition often. It’s only natural for people who don’t see many instances of a certain identity or characteristic to subconsciously prioritize it in their minds. Trying to ameliorate this situation is why representation matters to me. It’s only after the experience has built up or a conscious effort is made that we can see each other as fellow people primarily.


AANHPI Heritage Month Event

"Navigating an Academic and Dental Career as a First-Generation Asian Immigrant" featuring guest speaker Dr. Sompop Bencharit, Assistant Dean for Innovation, College of Dental Medicine
Wednesday, May 22, 2024

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Register online in OurDay