Unsung Heroes of Villanova Presents: Junior Alice Ke

Alice Ke and her mural against Asian hate.

Not everyone knows her name, but junior Marketing and International Business major Alice Ke works for the good of her community that emboldens and pushes it into a better future.

Not every Villanovan gets credit when they accomplish astounding achievements or give back to the community. However, people like Ke spend every day taking confident steps into the fire of change, even if it is not necessarily in a headliner way. As the topic of The Villanovan’s first edition of Unsung Heroes, Ke shows just how capable the student body can be.

Over the course of the past year and a half, there has been an uproar of Asian hate across the nation. According to a statement from the Department of Justice, 2020 saw a 6.1 percent increase in reported hate crimes, with a particular rise in crimes committed against Asian-Americans. In 2021, the rates of these crimes only rose as Asians were stigmatized for their role in the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Instead of letting the fire of injustice burn, Ke found ways to put it out in her own way. Ke used her artistic and savvy digital abilities to create “Stop Asian Hate” stickers of multiple designs in order to sell. The proceeds she made went to organizations working to stop the hatred against Asian-Americans. Ke even went a step further, using chalk to draw a mural on the chalkboard wall on the first floor of Bartley Hall. The image was of an older Asian woman, with intricate designs and a message to stop Asian hate along with resources to follow. 

“As loving of a community as Villanova is, we are all very fortunate to live in such a safe area where we don’t bear witness to a lot of the hate and injustice around us,” Ke said. “That being said, I am extremely proud of our community for coming together and using our places of privilege to raise awareness for the Stop Asian Hate movement and raising over a thousand dollars to support the cause.”

Not only did Ke do her part on that front of justice, but she was also one of the people who got to work after the University’s multiple sexual assault cases that caused an uproar last year. 

Ke helped to organize a statement to make to the school, bringing together other students to participate and bring their voices to the table. When a statement was finalized, Ke and a friend made an appointment with the Provost to discuss the issues at hand and to let the students’ perspectives be heard during the strenuous times. 

“As a member of the Villanova student body, I completely understand the frustration shared amongst Villanova students towards certain issues on campus, including safety, security and sexual violence,” Ke said. “There can definitely be a disconnect and tension between students and the Villanova administration during difficult times such as during the events that occurred last semester, so pushing for open communication and transparency surrounding such important issues is critical, and benefits all parties involved.”

As for her career, Ke spent her summer doing two internships, one of them at an organization called The Nature Conservancy. 

According to the organization’s LinkedIn page, “The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.”

Ke devoted herself to the work of the non-profit, loving that she was able to do good while also achieving greater heights in her career.

“My work with The Nature Conservancy showed me that my dream career is possible,” Ke said. “I was able to fulfill my professional interests in marketing while also pursuing my personal interests in social justice with a focus on sustainability.”

While Ke might not have had the spotlight shown on her before, like many Villanovans, she continues to pave the way for change in a surge of ferociousness, kindness and an unparalleled spirit. She might have been unsung until now, but she has always been a hero to the community.