Asian American E-Zine



Enter your e-mail
below to get
notice of new
issues only and
then hit enter

Strict Privacy Policy: AA E-Zine will not give your e-mail address to anyone!




 : SBU AA E-Zine for Students and Alumni : AA E-Zine for SBU Alumni, Faculty, Staff, BNL and LI Community



SBU Alumnus
and Former
PUSO President

Steven Raga

Filipino in NY

(and named
Top 10
Sexiest Filipinos
in Tri-State)




by Ja Young, Alumni Editor
September 2015

Former PUSO President ('04-05) Steve Raga got his first award at Stony Brook ten years ago (Campus Life Leadership) and the accolades haven't stopped coming since - from the TOFA-NY to be given out next month, the Community Service Award from the Pan-America Citizens Civic Action League last month, nominated for a 40 Under 40 SB Alumni Association Award to be chosen later this fall - and he even ended last year on the Top 10 Sexiest Filipino's in the Tri-State area list from The FilAm Magazine. And that's just in the past twelve months.

"It's pretty cool that this whole thing started in the SAC" was Steve's comment when we sent congratulations. As an undergrad at the Brook, Steve rose up to become President of PUSO, the Philippine United Students Organization, and then was Senior Advisor to ASA in his last year. His penchant for social justice was evident in PUSOFest 2005 where the show was used to teach Filipino history along with giving the audience a good time. 

Below is a link to a review of that PUSOFest describing how they were able to do it so successfully. By blending the pathos of war with interspersions of love or comedy, the history they were teaching was enjoyable to watch. That is something PUSO has continued to this day - a lasting legacy.

PUSOfest 2005 viewable as a jpg or downloadable as a pdf.

As a grad student, first at Stony Brook (M.A. Public Policy, '08) and later at Cornell Law, Steve continued both his leadership involvement and garnering well deserved awards. He was Co-President of the Society for Asian American Graduate Affairs (SAAGA) - and National Chairperson for F.I.N.D.,
the Filipino Intercollegiate Networking Dialogue that unites Filipino college student organizations - while also being honored as Most Outstanding Graduate Student at Cornell.  

Steve's student leadership roles led him to
found Filipino American Civic Engagement (FACE), where he served as National Chairman, and UniPro as its founding President. Steve's TOFA-NY Award will be for Community Service and Advocacy. He is currently NY State Chair of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), Board Chair of Pilipino American Unity for Progress (UniPro), and Director for Community Affairs at the Forest Hills Asian Association.   

The award notes that "Steven has had many distinguished postings with socio-civic institutions in the Asian Pacific Islander American community and is a true advocate of immigration reform, veterans' equity, migrant rights, and good governance." 

At next month's TOFA-NY Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall, Steve will join the ranks of such noted Filipino's as
Tony winners Lea Salonga, Bobby Lopez, and Jhett Tolentino, Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas, fashion designer Monique Lhuillier, transgender activist Geena Rocero, and multi-awarded seasoned journalist Sheila Coronel.

"TOFA-NY honorees are selected out of hundreds nominated by the community," said Elton Lugay, founder of TOFA-NY Awards. The Awards were created to give recognition to organizations and individuals who have raised the profile of Filipino Americans in the New York tri-state area. 

In his professional career he is just as involved in helping as in his volunteer roles. First as a National Urban Fellow at AARP's D.C. headquarters, Steve is now a Multicultural Leadership Consultant for AARP's Asian American and Pacific Islander national audience. Through AARP, more than $1 million was donated for disaster relief in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan.

And Steve has obviously raised the profile of Filipino Americans in other ways as well. Here's what was said in the sexiest men article:

"Instead of coming up with the Top 10 stories for the year, The FilAm decided to run a list of the 10 Sexiest Filipino Men in metropolitan New York..." "The names came pouring in..." "In the end, what was revealing was not so much who made the list but the ladies' definition of what constitutes "Filipino sexy." Brains and brawn mattered...." "The way a man holds his hat is sexy, being articulate is sexy, power is sexy."

Steven Raga is sexy.

Hopefully we'll all get to see Steve at the Forty Under Forty Awards in a few months. He has been nominated for the Alumni Association's newest awards, started last year, to recognize up and coming alumni who have already made a difference. Steve definitely has done that!

Read more:
1) Inquirer: Global Nation: 2015's Outstanding Filipinos in NY Named   
2) Filipino Express:
A Leader Who Serves the Asians First
3) The FilAm:
10 Sexiest Filipinos in the N.Y. Tri-State







AA E-Zine  and  SBU AA E-Zine
Join 3000+ subscribers. Sign up to get an email of each new issue at
Yahoo Group at

or send an email to be added to the Google list at