Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair in Immigration History and Director, IHRC
Erika Lee is a Regents Professor of History and Asian American Studies and Director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota. The granddaughter of Chinese immigrants, Lee was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and serves as the vice president of the Organization of American Historians. She is the author of four award-winning books: At America's Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882–1943; Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America (co-authored with Judy Yung); The Making of Asian America: A History; and the recently-published America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States.
Ibrahim Hirsi is a third-year PhD student in modern US history. His research interests include immigration, Islam, race, and the African diaspora. As a research assistant at the IHRC (2020–21), Ibrahim will produce—in partnership with Sahan Journal—digital stories featuring the effects COVID-19 has had on immigrant and refugee communities in Minnesota. Before graduate school, Ibrahim worked as an immigration reporter for MinnPost, MPR, Sahan Journal, and others.
Hana C. Maruyama is the program associate for the IHRC. A PhD candidate in American studies, she researches Japanese American incarceration during World War II and how the federal government used it to further Native dispossession. She formerly worked for the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, and American Public Media's Order 9066. She is currently co-producing a Densho podcast entitled Campu, which uses oral histories to craft narratives about the material culture and memory of Japanese American incarceration.
Bella Rolland is the communications associate for the IHRC and is passionate about public engagement. She was born and raised in Saint Paul, MN. In December 2019 she graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in anthropology and is now an MPH candidate in maternal & child health, hoping to focus on women's health and health equity within the Black community. Some of her hobbies include painting and trying out new vegan recipes.