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Professor Explores the Asian-American Experience
by Susan Katsaros


From Dateline (April 24, 2003)

Thomas Fujita-Rony
Thomas Fujita-Rony, assistant professor of Asian American studies, takes a moment to enjoy a recent Pollak Library exhibit on paper. Featured in the background are two intricate examples of paper kites.

Asian American studies is a relatively new bachelor’s degree program, having been approved in summer 1999. It is designed for individuals interested in learning about the experiences of Asians in America, including those from east, south and Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.

One of the faculty members who teaches Asian American studies is Thomas Y. Fujita- Rony. The assistant professor, who joined Cal State Fullerton in 1998, earned a doctorate from the University of Michigan in American culture and was a visiting scholar at the Smithsonian Institution in 2000.

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Q&A with Fujita-Rony

• Thomas Fujita-Rony

• Why do you think ethnic studies is important?

• What do you see happening in the next 10-15 years in ethnic studies?

• You grew up in Hawaii–do you consider yourself a native Hawaiian?

• Have you examined the Japanese-American experience on Hawaii in comparison to the experience on the mainland?

Fujita-Rony is a very interesting last name. Is there a story behind it?

• Why did you choose a career in Asian-American studies?

• What is your research focus?

• Since Asian-American studies covers a vast area, what are your specific interests?

What research did you conduct while a visiting scholar at the Smithsonian?

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