William & Mary – Deenesh Sohoni
As Director of Asian and Pacific Islander Studies (APIA) and Professor of Sociology, Deenesh Sohoni’s research projects examine issues such as racial and economic segregation in American public schools, the social incorporation of Americans from Asian descent, the development of anti-immigrant attitudes in the United States, military naturalization and American citizenship. Sohoni researched the deportation of veterans with Yosselin Turcios ’20 beginning in his freshman year in the W&M Scholars Undergraduate Research Experience (WMSURE) program. WMSURE provides support to all undergraduate students who wish to conduct research. Yosselin called his experience with Professor Sohoni “one of the most rewarding experiences” of his undergraduate career.
Along with Prof. Francis Tanglao Aguas, Prof. Sohoni helped build the APIA Studies program he now directs, with the university offering both a major and a minor in APIA Studies. As co-chairs of the William & Mary Asian Centennial Commemoration, Sohoni and Aguas also jointly led the university’s celebration of 100 years of Asian-American students at W&M. The commemoration began in 2021 and spanned a year and a half filled with academic collaborations, research, performances, and other programs. He also brought to campus three Asian Centennial Arts Fellows, the first William & Mary Asian Centennial Awards, and launched the Asian Pacific Middle Eastern (APM) research project. As part of the APM research project, two undergraduate students, Sumie Yotsukura ’22 and Brian Zhao ’23 enrolled in an independent study course with Sohoni to learn about early students of Asian descent – leading at the public exhibition installation “Pu Kao Chen: Thoughts of 1923 US & W&M” at Swem Library.