The year-long program helps staff build professional skills and extend their networks across campus.
UCLA International Institute, August 6, 2020 — Assistant Director of the Asia Pacific Center Aaron Miller has been accepted into the highly competitive UCLA Professional Development Program (PDP) for the 2020–21 academic year.
Aaron, who joined the International Institute staff in January 2015, will join 34 other talented UCLA administrative staff in a program that builds their professional skills and networks across UCLA. Program activities begin later this month and run through early June 2021. Alumni of the program from the International Institute include Sandy Valdivieso, Steven Acosta, Jenny Yoo, Gaby Solomon-Dorian and Germán Esparza.
Over the course of nine months, PDP offers monthly skill-building workshops and individual career coaching, supplemented by individual mentoring sessions and peer support. In addition to being assigned to a small peer group of fellow participants, individual cohort members are also assigned a PDP alumni “buddy.” Optional social and networking events, dedicated social media groups and professional resume reviews expand participants’ opportunities to build their campus contacts and hone social and professional skills.
Among other requirements, PDP participants must fulfill workshop assignments, do a short presentation about their position and university unit, complete an individual capstone project and participate in a project group presentation.
A native of Northern California, Aaron is an accomplished pianist who spent his youth participating in piano competitions and summer music festivals. He was selected as one of 48 pianists to compete in the Eighth Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition, originally scheduled for May 2020, but postponed until spring 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Aaron's intellectual interest in Korea and East Asia more generally was initially sparked by meeting many Korean and Korean American musicians. Before deciding to pursue a career as an academic administrator, he acquired an impressive education, completing a B.A. in Korean history and an M.A. in East Asian studies at Harvard, as well as an M.A. in the Korean language at the University of Hawai’i.
In addition to his busy job at the Asia Pacific Center, Aaron regularly attends Korean-language lectures offered by the Center for Korean Studies and mentors young musicians as part of the National Young Arts Foundation programs held annually at UCLA and in Miami.
“We are thrilled that Aaron has been accepted to participate in the UCLA Professional Development Program and proud that he will join the ranks of his illustrious predecessors at the Institute who are PDP alumni,” said Elizabeth Leicester, executive director of the Asia Pacific Center (APC). The UCLA International Institute joins APC in its congratulations looks forward to seeing the fruits of Aaron’s labors!