Our Stories

In celebration of our 35 Year Anniversary, we conducted oral history interviews with many individuals who played an important role in the history of Asian American Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison. We also spoke with some of the amazing students who helped to advocate for, create, and staff the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Student Center in the Multicultural Student Center, which opened in 2019. We know that there are countless other Asian American faculty, staff, students, and community members who played foundational roles in shaping the experiences of Asian Americans on this campus and whose stories deserve to be told.  But we hope that the few narratives documented here can begin to contribute to the institutional history of our struggles and our achievements, and serve as a rallying cry to seek out, preserve, and share the many, many other stories of our community.

Asian American Studies Activists

Peggy Choy – Professor of Dance and Asian American Studies
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Jan Miyasaki – Asian American Studies Lecturer
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Victor Jew – Asian American Studies Lecturer
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Michael Thornton – Professor Emeritus of Afro-American Studies, Asian American Studies Director
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Hemant Shah – Professor Emeritus of Journalism and Mass Communication, Asian American Studies Director
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Student Activists for the APIDA Student Center

Shannon Thao, ’18



Riley Tsang, ’19

Thida Hok Chong, ’21

May Sakano, ’21

Daniel Sanji, ’22


All interviews conducted by Dr. Lori Kido Lopez, Asian American Studies Director