Immigration and Entrepreneurship:
An Interdisciplinary Conference
September 13-14, 2012
German Historical Institute, Washington, DC
University of Maryland, College Park, MD
This conference was free and open to the public. A report of the conference written by staff from the German Historical Institute can be found here (pdf).
Conveners: Professors David B. Sicilia and David F. Barbe, University of Maryland, College Park; Professor Hartmut Berghoff, German Historical Institute and University of Göttingen
The United States has long been an immigrant society as well as an entrepreneurial society. This is no coincidence: immigrants launch new enterprises and invent new technologies at rates much higher than native-born Americans. As the volume of in-migration again approaches that of the "new immigration" at the turn of the twentieth century, it is time to measure how immigrants have shaped the American economy in the past and how immigration policy reform in 1965 has fostered the transformation of business and economic life in the United States. How have newcomers shaped and in turn been shaped by American economic life?
There are striking parallels between nineteenth-century immigration and contemporary immigrant entrepreneurship. Then, as now, immigrants brought considerable education, ambition, and capital, yet often were marginalized or excluded from mainstream opportunities by law, custom, and prejudice. Particular immigrant groups ultimately dominated particular industries and services. Immigrant entrepreneurs built and circulated through trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific, and at times global networks of people, capital, and know-how. However, the two eras of heavy migration also differ in significant ways. Newcomers from East and South Asia and Latin America have supplanted Eastern and Southern European immigrants who dominated in the late nineteenth century, and German and Irish immigrants who arrived in the early nineteenth century. And whereas many recent immigrants, like their predecessors a century ago, have worked in low-skilled occupations, in construction, or have created small businesses, a significant portion of recent immigrants have arrived with advanced degrees and have launched businesses in the most advanced sectors of the economy, from Silicon Valley to Rte. 128, from biotech to the digital economy.
The conference engaged these and related research topics:
Immigrant group styles and patterns of entrepreneurship
Immigrant entrepreneurship and U.S. economic development
Geography of ethnic entrepreneurship
Journeys of successful high-tech entrepreneurs
Immigrant entrepreneurs as small proprietors
Success and failure narratives and other discourse surrounding ethnic immigrant entrepreneurship
Barriers to immigrant entrepreneurial success
Policy implications of historical and contemporary research on immigrant entrepreneurship
The conference took place in College Park, MD, and Washington, D.C. on September 13 and 14, 2012. Selected conference presenters will be invited to publish their work in an edited scholarly volume of essays that will grow out of the conference.
In addition to the The Center for the History of the New America, this conference is co-sponsored by The German Historical Institute, The Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute, The A. James Clark School of Engineering, The Maryland Population Research Center, The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Office of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Maryland.
Thursday, September 13
German Historical Institute
1607 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington DC 20009
Opening Remarks: Opening remarks: David Sicilia (University of Maryland) and Hartmut Berghoff (German Historical Institute)
Keynote Address by Alejandro Portes (Princeton University)
"Transnationalism, Entrepreneurship, and Development"
Dinner for Conference Participants
Friday, September 14
Van Munching Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD
Van Munching Hall, 1500 Atrium
Education as Critical Social Capital
Location: Van Munching Hall, Room 1505
Marilyn Halter (Department of History, and Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs, Boston University)
Violet M. Showers Johnson (Dept of History, Agnes Scott College)
"New Pathways to West African Immigrant Entrepreneurship in the U.S."
Min Zhou (Department of Sociology, University of California-Los Angeles)
"Immigrant Entrepreneurship and the Ethnic System of Supplementary Education: Chinese and Korean Communities in Los Angeles"
W. Bernard Carlson (Department of Science, Technology, and Society, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia)
"No Longer a Stranger in a Strange Land: Nikola Tesla, Disruptive Technology, and the Immigrant Experience"
Chair: Brent Goldfarb (University of Maryland)
Comment: Dan Wadhwani (University of the Pacific)
From Workers to Proprieter Entrepreneurs
Location: Van Munching Hall, Room 1511
Alvaro Huerta (Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California-Berkeley)
"An Informal Immigrant Niche in Los Angeles: Mexican Immigrant Gardeners and Informal Economic Models"
Hasia Diner (Department of History, New York University)
"Wandering Jews: Peddlers, Immigrants, and the Discovery of 'New Worlds'"
Yesenia Ruiz Cortes (Department of Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center)
"'We Just Want to Be Your Friend Señor Gobernador': Transnational Mexican Migrant Elites"
Chair: David Sicilia (University of Maryland)
Comment: Alan Kraut (American University)
Enclaves, Regions, and Other Geographies
Location: Van Munching Hall, Room 1505
Susan B. Carter (Department of Economics, University of California-Riverside)
"Embracing Isolation: Discrimination, Entrepreneurship, and Chinese-American Geographic Redistribution, 1882-1943"
Elizabeth Zanoni (Department of History, Old Dominion University)
"Creating and Sustaining 'Ethnic Consumer Enclaves' among New York's Italian Immigrant Communities, 1880-1920"
Zulema Valdez (Department of Sociology, Texas A&M University)
"High-Skilled Mexican-Origin Entrepreneurs in the High-Tech Industry of El Paso: The Role of Entrepreneurial Capital and Context of Reception"
Martin Lutz (Department of History, University of Heidelberg)
"Anabaptist Entrepreneurship: Mennonites, Amish, and Hutterites in the United States since Industrialization"
Chair: Julie Park (University of Maryland)
Comment: James Deutsch (Smithsonian Institution)
Immigrant Dominance of Consumer Sectors
Location: Van Munching Hall, Room 1511
Andrew Godley (Henley Business School, University of Reading)
"Jewish Immigrant Entrepreneurs and the U.S. Garment Industry"
Pawan H. Dhingra (Department of Sociology, Oberlin College; and Asia Pacific American Program, Smithsonian Institution)
"From Middle Men to Model Minorities: How an Immigrant Business Can Start Small and Become Dominant"
Simone Cinotto (University of Gastronomic Sciences, Colorno [Parma], Italy, and Department of Italian Studies, New York University)
"The Alchemies of Race: Italian Wine Entrepreneurs in California before and after Prohibition, 1880-1980"
Chair: Uwe Spiekermann (German Historical Institute)
Comment: David Kirsch (University of Maryland)
Lunch and Keynote Address
Location: Van Munching Hall, Room 2333
Introduction: C. D. Mote (University of Maryland)
Alex Severinsky (Fuelcor LLC and University of Maryland)
"My Entrepreneurial Stairway in the USA"
Location: Van Munching Hall, Room 1505
Xiaojian Zhao (Department of Asian American Studies, UC-Santa Barbara)
"Chinese Ethnic Enterprises in the Global Era"
Tobias Brinkmann (Department of History, Pennsylvania State University)
"Mobile Modernizers: Jewish Immigrant Entrepreneurs from Central Europe in Nineteenth-Century America"
Eric S. Hintz (Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Smithsonian Institution)
"Rugged Altruism: Philanthropy among American Immigrant-Inventors and Entrepreneurs"
Jody Aguis Vallejo (Department of Sociology, University of Southern California)
"Leveling the Playing Field: Patterns of Giving Back among Los Angeles' Middle- and Upper-Class Latino Entrepreneurs"
Chair: Elizabeth Clifford (Towson University)
Comment: Will Hausman (College of William and Mary)
Removing Barriers to Immigrant Entrepreneurial Success
Location: Van Munching Hall, Room 1511
Ruth Wasem (Congressional Research Service)
"Global Competition for Talent: Parameters of and Trends in U.S. Economic Migration"
Wei Li (School of Geographic Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University) Lucia Lo (Geography Department, York University)
"Financing Immigrant Small Business in the U.S. and Canada"
Shweta Gaonkar and Rajshree Agarwal (Department of Management and Organization, University of Maryland)
"Shedding Leg Irons: The Impact of Mobility Constraints on High-Skilled Immigrant Wages over the Career Life Cycle"
Michele Waslin (Immigration Policy Center) and Marcia Hohn (Immigrant Learning Center)
"Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Creating Jobs and Strengthening the Economy"
Chair: Hartmut Berghoff (German Historical Institute)
Comment: Katherine Benton-Cohen (Georgetown University)
Closing Session: David Sicilia
Location: Van Munching Hall, Room 1511
Rajshree Agarwal is a Chaired Professor in Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. Her research interests focus on the implications of entrepreneurship and innovation for industry and firm evolution. Agarwal's recent projects examine the micro-foundations of macro phenomena, linking knowledge diffusion among firms, industries, and regions to the underlying mechanisms of employee entrepreneurship and mobility. She is an associate editor of the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal and the editor of the SSRN Entrepreneurship and Economics Journal. She also serves, or has served, on the editorial board of the Academy of Management Journal, the Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal and Strategic Organization.
David F. Barbe is the Director of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech). Barbe received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the John Hopkins University and worked in industry and government for 20 years. He was awarded the rank of Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) in 1978 for his pioneering work on charge coupled device imagers, now used in digital cameras, camcorders, fax machines and numerous defense and medical applications. Barbe joined the University of Maryland faculty in 1985. Since 2000, he has concentrated on technology entrepreneurship and innovation. Awards include: Stanford University's Price Institute Innovative Entrepreneurship Educators Award in 2002, the American Society of Engineering Education Outstanding Entrepreneurship Educators Award in 2003, the Olympus Lifetime of Education Innovation Award in 2008. He was named a "White House Champion of Change" and a 2011 Innovator of the Year by The Daily Record in 2011.
Katherine Benton-Cohen is Associate Professor of History at Georgetown University. Her research interests focus on the histories of women and gender, race and immigration, and the American West. Her first book, Borderline Americans: Racial Division and Labor War in the Arizona Borderlands, explored the changing meanings of race in America through the microcosm of southeastern Arizona's mine and ranch country. Her current research examines the history of the U.S. Congress's Dillingham Commission, which conducted a massive study of immigration in the early twentieth century. She received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin in 2002.
Hartmut Berghoff is Director of the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., and Professor of Economic History at the University Göttingen in Germany. His fields of expertise include the history of consumption, business history, and immigration history. He has held research and teaching posts at University of Bielefeld, the University of Tübingen, Humboldt University Berlin, Beisheim Graduate School of Management Koblenz, and Harvard Business School. Most recently he has co-edited Decoding Modern Consumer Societies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and Doing Business in the Age of Extremes: Essays on the Economic History of Germany and Austria (Cambridge University Press, 2012). He is general editor of the GHI project "Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present." He is currently working on the history of consumption in Nazi Germany.
Tobias Brinkmann is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and History at Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on migration history, especially on Jewish migration within and from Eastern and Central Europe to North America after 1800 and the wider context (American immigration, history of refugees, migration in modern Europe and beyond). Brinkmann's most recent book, Sundays at Sinai: A Jewish Congregation in Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2012) explored the connections between religious reform and civic engagement. He is currently working on a book-length study that will reevaluate the history of the Jewish mass migration from Eastern Europe between 1860 and 1950. He earned his Ph.D. in 2000 from Technische Universität Berlin.
W. Bernard Carlson is Professor of History at the University of Virginia. His research interests concentrate on the history of technology; American business history; entrepreneurship; and social and cognitive theories of innovation. He is the author of Innovation as a Social Process: Elihu Thomson and the Rise of General Electric, 1870-1900 (Cambridge), as well as numerous articles. In 2008, he was awarded the Sally Hacker Prize for Best Popular Book by the Society for the History of Technology for his multi-volume work, Technology in World History (Oxford). Carlson is currently working on a biography of Nikola Tesla. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984.
Susan B. Carter is Professor Emeritus, Economics, University of California, Riverside and Visiting Scholar, University of California, Berkeley. She has published widely on the economic history of women's employment and education, labor markets, and immigration. She is a general editor of Historical Statistics of the United States, Millennial Edition, the five-volume quantitative history published by Cambridge University Press in 2006 and also author or co-author of a number of the major sections of this work. Her current research project explores the history of the Chinese restaurant in the United States during the Exclusion Era.
Simone Cinotto teaches U.S., Italian, and Food History at the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Pollenzo, Italy, where he is the Director of the Master's Program in "Food Culture and Communications." He has taught Italian American Studies at New York University in the summer. He has been Visiting Professor of Italian American Studies at the Department of Italian Studies at New York University (2008), Visiting Scholar of the History Department at Columbia University (2007, 2000, 1998), Fellow of the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University (2004), Visiting Fellow of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University (2000), and Resident Fellow of The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies-Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (2009, 2000, 1998). Cinotto is the author of Soft Soil Black Grapes: The Birth of Italian Winemaking in California (NYU Press). His most recent work is A Family That Eats Together: Food in the Making of Italian New York (University of Illinois Press). He earned his Ph.D. in American History from the University of Genoa in 2001.
Elizabeth Clifford is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at Towson University and Director of the American Studies Program. Her research interests include immigration, gender, inequality, race and ethnicity, and pedagogy. Her co-authored book, Immigration and Women: Understanding the American Experience, was published by New York University Press in Spring 2011. She is also the coordinator of Towson's Baltimore Immigration Summit. She earned degrees from University of Toronto and Northwestern University, and has previously taught at Northwestern, University of Illinois-Chicago, and Connecticut College.
Yesenia Ruiz Cortes is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She worked for five years at the Mexican Educational Foundation of New York, a non-profit-organization that promotes educational achievement and community leadership among Mexican immigrants and their children. She is currently doing ethnographic fieldwork in both New York and Puebla, Mexico, analyzing a transnational Mexican migrant elite.
James Deutsch is a curator and editor at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage where he has helped plan and develop programs and exhibitions on the Peace Corps, Apollo Theater, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Mekong River, U.S. Forest Service, World War II, Silk Road, and White House workers. In addition, he serves as an adjunct professor -- teaching courses on American film history -- in the American Studies Department at George Washington University. He is also one of the principal investigators for Americans All, the Smithsonian Institution's initiative on migration and immigration.
Pawan Dhingra is Associate Professor of Sociology at Tufts University. He is the author of two books: the award-winning Managing Multicultural Lives: Asian American Professionals and the Challenge of Multiple Identities (Stanford University Press, 2007) and, most recently, Life Behind the Lobby: Indian American Motel Owners and the American Dream (Stanford University Press, 2012), which has been profiled by National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal, and other media venues. He has published articles on race, small-business ownership, identity, immigrant adaptation, geography, religion, and Asian American studies. From 2011-2012, he was a Museum Curator at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Hasia Diner is Professor of American Jewish History at New York University, with joint appointments in the Department of History and the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies. She is also Director of the Goldstein Goren Center for American Jewish History. Diner's research and teaching interests focus on the study of American Jewish history, American immigration and ethnic history, and the history of American women. Her most recent book, We Remember with Reverence and Love: American Jews and the Myth of Silence After the Holocaust, won the National Jewish Book Award in the category of American Jewish Studies. She has also written about other immigrant groups and the contours of their migration and settlement, including a study of Irish immigrant women and of Irish, Italian, and east European Jewish foodways.
Shweta Gaonkar is a doctoral student in the Department of Management and Organization at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Department of Metallurgical and Material Science. Her research interests include knowledge diffusion between an incumbent and a new firm through employee entrepreneurship.
Andrew Godley is Professor of Management and Business History and Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship in the Henley Business School at the University of Reading (UK). He is the Programme Director for the MSc Entrepreneurship and Management. He joined the University of Reading in 1991 after completing his Ph.D. at the London School of Economics. His research interests lie in the area of the economics of entrepreneurship and innovation, with a particular focus on the international food and pharmaceutical sectors. Godley is the author of Jewish Immigrant Entrepreneurship in London and New York: Enterprise and Culture (Palgrave, 2001). He has been a consultant to several leading firms and government departments and is a frequent commentator in the broadcast and written media on industry trends.
Brent Goldfarb is Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Goldfarb is the author or co-author of numerous articles on management, history, economics and finance. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University in 2002.
Marilyn Halter is Professor of History and Director of Graduate Studies in American Studies at Boston University where she is also a Research Associate at the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs (CURA). Her books include Shopping for Identity: The Marketing of Ethnicity; Between Race and Ethnicity: Cape Verdean American Immigrants, 1860-1965; her edited collection New Migrants in the Marketplace: Boston's Ethnic Entrepreneurs; and The Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Cape Verde (with Richard Lobban). Her current book manuscript, co-authored with Violet M. Showers Johnson, "African and American: Post-Colonial West Africans in Post-Civil Rights America," is forthcoming with NYU Press. Halter serves as an editor for the "New England in the World" series at University of New Hampshire/UPNE Press and co-chairs the Boston Immigration and Urban History Seminar in conjunction with the Massachusetts Historical Society.
Will Hausman has taught at the College of William & Mary since 1981 and is currently Chancellor Professor of Economics. He was a founding editor of Enterprise & Society: The International Journal of Business History, and is editor of Business and Economic History On-Line. He has authored or co-authored articles and book chapters on the history of the electric utility industry, business history methodology, and the British coal industry. His most recent work is Global Electrification: Multinational Enterprise and International Finance in the History of Light and Power, 1878-2007 (with Mira Wilkins and Peter Hertner; Cambridge, 2008). He is the volume II editor of the GHI project "Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present."
Eric S. Hintz is an historian with the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. He currently serves as a curator on two exhibitions, Places of Invention and American Enterprise, and is responsible for producing the Center's annual symposium series, "New Perspectives on Invention and Innovation." Hintz earned his B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame (1996) and his masters (2005) and PhD (2010) in the history and sociology of science from the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include the history of science and technology and US business and economic history; he specializes in the history of invention and R&D. His publications have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Technology and Culture, the Business History Review, and Enterprise and Society. He is currently working on a book that considers the changing fortunes of American independent inventors from 1900-1950, an era of expanding corporate R&D.
Marcia Hohn joined the Immigrant Learning Center in 2003 to create and lead the ILC's Public Education Institute, which educates the public about the positive impact immigrants have on the American economy and communities. She has created strategic partnerships with key local and national organizations; published a series of commissioned research studies on immigrants as entrepreneurs, workers and consumers; and convened a state-wide conference on Massachusetts immigrant entrepreneurs. Prior to joining the ILC, Hohn was the director of Northeast SABES (System for Adult Basic Education Support). She holds a doctorate in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University and has more than 20 years of experience in adult learning and systems development. She has published extensively about immigrant entrepreneurship and organizational systems in adult basic education.
Alvaro Huerta is an urban planning scholar, nationally syndicated writer, and public intellectual. Currently, he is a Visiting Scholar at UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center. He earned his B.A. in history and M.A. in urban planning from UCLA. In addition, he earned a Ph.D. in city & regional planning from UC Berkeley. His research interests include urban planning, social network analysis, immigration, urban social movements, Latina/o politics and the informal economy. Completed in the fall of 2011, his dissertation, "Examining the Perils and Promises of an Informal Niche in a Global City: A Case Study of Mexican Immigrant Gardeners in Los Angeles," focuses on Mexican immigrants and their social networks in Los Angeles's informal economy.
David Kirsch is Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship in the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. His research interests include industry emergence, technological choice, technological failure, and the role of entrepreneurship in the emergence of new industries. He is the author of The Electric Vehicle and the Burden of History (Rutgers University Press, 2000). His work on the early history of the automobile industry has also been published in Business History Review and Technology and Culture. In 2003, his co-authored article on the Electric Vehicle Company received the IEEE Life Members Prize from the Society for the History of Technology. Kirsch is also interested in methodological problems associated with historical scholarship in the digital age. He is currently building a digital archive of the Dot Com Era that will preserve at-risk, born-digital content about business and culture during the late 1990s.
Alan Kraut is University Professor and Professor of History at American University. He is a specialist in U.S. immigration and ethnic history, the history of medicine in the United States, and nineteenth-century U.S. social history. He is the author or editor of eight books and over a hundred articles and book reviews. His books include The Huddled Masses: The Immigrant in American Society, 1880-1921 (1982; rev. 2001), American Refugee Policy and European Jewry,1933-1945 (1987, co-authored), and Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes, and the "Immigrant Menace" (1994). The latter volume won the Theodore Saloutos Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society. His 2003 volume, Goldberger's War: The Life and Work of a Public Health Crusader, was honored with the Henry Adams Prize from the Society for History in the Federal Government, the Arthur J. Viseltear Prize from the American Public Health Association, and the Watson Davis and Helen Miles Davis Prize from the History of Science Society. Covenant of Care: Newark Beth Israel and the Jewish Hospital in America (2007, co-authored) received the Author's Award from the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance. A co-edited volume, Ethnic Historians and the Mainstream: Shaping America's Immigration Story is forthcoming in 2013. He is the chair of the History Advisory Committee of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and a former president of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society. He is a non-resident Fellow of the Migration Policy Institute and a fellow of the Society of American Historians. He is currently President- elect of the Organization of American Historians.
Wei Li is Professor of Asian Pacific American Studies in the School of Social Transformation at the University of Arizona. Her foci of research are urban ethnicity and ethnic geography, immigration and integration, financial sector and minority community development, focusing on the Chinese and other Asian groups in the Pacific Rim. Her recent book, Ethnoburb: the New Ethnic Community in Urban America (University of Hawaii Press) won the 2009 Social Science Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies. She is currently working on studying the roles of bank institutions in facilitating immigrant community and business development.
Lucia Lo is Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography at York University (Toronto). Her research interests include immigration, settlement, integration, and urban transformation; consumer preference and shopping behavior in both East and West; ethnic entrepreneurship and ethnic economies; and GIS applications in immigration studies. She is the author of dozens of articles on immigration and geography. Her forthcoming book is titled Chinese Moving through Canada: Close Door, Open Door, and Revolving Door (McGill-Queen's University Press).
Martin Lutz received his Ph.D. from the University of Konstanz, Germany, in 2009. His dissertation "Siemens in German-Soviet Economic Relations During the Weimar Republic" was published in 2011 and his second book, a biography of Carl von Siemens, is forthcoming in March 2013. He is currently working on a project on Mennonite, Amish, and Hutterite economic history in the United States since the second half of the 19th century. His main research interest is the development of economic institutions in the 19th and 20th centuries.
C.D. Mote s Regents Professor and Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering and the former President of University of Maryland, College Park. He has produced more than 300 publications, holds patents in the U.S., Norway, Finland and Sweden, and has mentored 56 Ph.D. students. Prior to assuming the Presidency at Maryland, Dr. Mote served on the University of California, Berkeley faculty for 31 years. From 1991 to 1998, he was Vice Chancellor at Berkeley, held an endowed chair in Mechanical Systems and was President of the UC Berkeley Foundation. Mote received the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Julie Park is Assistant Professor of Sociology and an affiliate of the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Maryland, where she teaches courses in immigration, Asian Americans Studies, and social demography. She is also a faculty associate of the Maryland Population Research Center. Prior to joining the Maryland faculty in 2008, she was a research assistant professor in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development and the associate director of the Population Dynamics Research Group at the University of Southern California. Her research focuses most broadly on the adaptation process of immigrants in the United States which includes the areas of immigration, demography, race, and urban studies. Specifically, she examines how immigrants improve their socioeconomic status with longer duration in the U.S. and how residential segregation changes in new and established immigrant gateways. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Southern California in 2003.
Alejandro Portes is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Migration and Development at Princeton University. He is the author of 250 articles and chapters on national development, international migration, Latin American and Caribbean urbanization, and economic sociology. He has published 30 books and special issues. His books include City on the Edge: The Transformation of Miami, co-authored with Alex Stepick and winner of the Robert Park Award for best book in urban sociology and the Anthony Leeds Award for best book in urban anthropology in 1995; and Immigrant America: A Portrait, designated as a Centennial Publication by the University of California Press in 1996. His current research is on the adaptation process of the immigrant second generation in comparative perspective, the role of institutions on national development, and immigration and the American health system.
Alex Severinsky is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland. He is the inventor of the Hyperdrive power-amplified internal combustion engine power train used in the Toyota Prius and other vehicles, as well as the founder and Chairman Emeritus of PAICE Corporation, which licenses the Hyperdrive to hybrid vehicle manufacturers. In 2006, he became CEO of Fuelcor LLC, an intellectual property development and management company. Severinsky holds 30 patents in the United States with numerous patent filings in countries worldwide. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Institute for Precision Measurements in Radioelectronics and Physics (Moscow, Russia) in 1975.
Violet M. Showers Johnson is Professor of History and Director of Africana Studies at Texas A&M University. A scholar of the history of race, ethnicity, and immigration in the United States, she studies the experiences of immigrants of African descent. Her publications include The Other Black Bostonians: West Indians in Boston, 1900-1950 (2006), her co-edited volume (with Isabel Soto Garcia) Western Fictions, Black Realities: Meanings of Blackness and Modernities (2011) and "'What, Then, is the African American?' African and Afro-Caribbean Identities in Black America," Journal of American Ethnic History (Fall 2008). Currently, with Marilyn Halter of Boston University, she is completing a book under contract with NYU Press entitled "African and American: Post-Colonial West Africans in Post-Civil Rights America." She is on the Executive Board of the Collegium for African American Research (CAAR) and the Editorial Boards of the Journal of American Ethnic History and the Forum for European Contributions in African American Studies (FORECAAST) series.
David Sicilia is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He is also a fellow at the Center for Financial Policy at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. His research and teaching center on business, economic, and technology history, with a special emphasis on the history of capitalism. His first book, The Entrepreneurs: An American Adventure (with Robert Sobel), tells the stories of three dozen leading U.S. entrepreneurs across a range of industries. The two in-depth corporate histories that he published with Harvard Business School Press - Labors of a Modern Hercules: The Evolution of a Chemical Company (with Davis Dyer); and The Engine That Could: Seventy-Five Years of Values-Driven Change at Cummins Engine Company (with Jeffrey L. Cruikshank) - explore the inner workings of two technology-intensive multinationals and the broader trends they exemplified in postwar business. In The Greenspan Effect: Words that Move the World's Markets - voted a Library Journal Best Business Book of the Year - Sicilia and Cruikshank dissect the influence of the powerful Fed Chairman's public pronouncements on investor behavior. Sicilia's co-edited books include Constructing Corporate America: History, Politics, Culture (with Kenneth Lipartito) and The United States Executive Branch: A Biographical Directory of Heads of State and Cabinet Officials (with Robert Sobel).
Uwe Spiekermann is a Deputy Director of the German Historical Institute. His work focuses on the economic and social history of 19th and 20th Germany; on the history of consumption, namely the history of retailing and nutrition; and the history of science and knowledge. With Hartmut Berghoff, he co-edited Decoding Modern Consumer Societies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). He is general editor of the GHI project "Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present." The author of four monographs and numerous articles, he is now working on a transnational comparison of the concept of quality in science, consumer goods industries, and politics. He earned his D. Phil. from the University of Münster in 1996.
Zulema Valdez is Associate Professor of Sociology at Texas A&M University. She is a recent Ford Foundation postdoctoral fellow and been the recipient of grants from the Social Science Research Council and the National Science Foundation. Her interests include racial and ethnic relations, intersectionality, Latino/a sociology and economic sociology. Her work has been published in The Sociological Quarterly, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and Social Science Quarterly, and is featured in several edited volumes. She is the author of The New Entrepreneurs: How Race, Class and Gender Shape American Enterprise. Her research examines how social group formations (based on race, class, gender, nativity and the like) affect the social and economic life chances of American workers and entrepreneurs. In a second area of research, she is developing a new approach to assimilation rooted in intersectionality.
Jody Aguis Vallejo is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern California. She specializes in immigration, immigrant integration, race/ethnicity, and Latinos. Her book, Barrios to Burbs: The Making of the Mexican-American Middle Class (Stanford, 2012), examines patterns of mobility and socioeconomic incorporation among the Mexican-origin middle class in Southern California. Her newest project is a study of middle-class and professional Latino entrepreneurs in Los Angeles. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine, in 2008.
Dan Wadhwani is Assistant Professor of Management and Fletcher Jones Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of the Pacific. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania before studying on a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Business School. He was a lecturer on the faculty of the Harvard Business School for two years prior to joining Pacific in 2006. His research focuses on the areas of entrepreneurship and business history. His recent paper, "Schumpeter's Plea: Historical Approaches to the Study of Entrepreneurship" won the 2006 "Best Conceptual Paper Award" from the Academy of Management's Entrepreneurship Division. He has co-edited (with Geoffrey Jones) the two-volume series Entrepreneurship and Global Capitalism, which examines the role of entrepreneurial activity in international economic integration over the last century and a half. He is also completing a book that examines the sources of innovation and expansion in the U.S. consumer finance industry and is the volume V editor of the GHI project "Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present."
Ruth Ellen Wasem is a domestic policy specialist with the Congressional Research Service at the U.S. Library of Congress, where she has written on the areas of adolescent pregnancy, citizenship, homelessness, immigration, and human services. Since 2000, she has led the team of policy analysts, attorneys, librarians and research assistants who work in immigration. Her most recent publications have focused on comprehensive immigration reform, employment-based immigration, immigrant diversity, numerical limits on immigration, and access of noncitizens to federal benefits. During 2011, Wasem testified before Congress twice on the push-pull forces on unauthorized migration and on human rights issues pertaining to immigration policy. Her book, Tackling Unemployment: The Legislative Dynamics of the Employment Act of 1946, is forthcoming from Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Wasem is also an Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at the University of Texas's Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs (Washington Semester). She earned her Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan in 1990.
Michele Waslin is Senior Policy Analyst at the Immigration Policy Center, a division of the American Immigration Council located in Washington, D.C. She tracks and analyzes immigration policy and the immigration debate, writes fact sheets and reports on a multitude of immigration-related topics, coordinates the IPC research agenda and builds relationships with academics and other authors, provides technical assistance to organizations, conducts public education events, and maintains relationships with wide array of national, state, and local advocacy organizations as well as federal agencies. Waslin has authored several publications on immigration policy and post-9/11 immigration issues and appears regularly in English and Spanish-language media. Previously she worked as Director of Immigration Policy Research at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and Policy Coordinator at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. She received her Ph.D. in 2002 in Government and International Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Political Science from Creighton University.
Elizabeth Zanoni is Assistant Professor of History at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She is a modern U.S. historian interested in transnational and comparative approaches. She specializes in U.S. and global migration, consumer culture, and gender history. Her current research project explores links between Italian migration and trade in Italy, the U.S., and Argentina to describe changing consumer practices and gendered national identities in all three countries during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She is the author of "'Per Voi, Signore': Gendered Representations of Fashion, Food, and Fascism in Il Progresso Italo-Americano during the 1930s" in the Journal of American Ethnic History 31, no. 3 (Spring 2012).
Xiaojian Zhao is Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and former Chair of the Department from 2005 to 2008. She has published several books, including Remaking Chinese America: Immigration, Family, and Community, 1940-1965 (Rutgers University Press, 2002; winner of the History Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies) and The New Chinese America: Class, Economy, and Social Hierarchy (Rutgers, 2010). She has taught at UC Santa Barbara since 1994. She has offered courses in Asian American History, Chinese American History, Asian American Women's History, Asian Americans in American Law, and Asian American Families. She has also offered advanced research seminars for students interested in working with archival materials.
Min Zhou is Professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies in the Department of Asian American Studies at UCLA. She was the founding Chair of the Department (2001-2005). Her main research interests include international migration, ethnic and racial relations, immigrant entrepreneurship, education and the new second generation, Asia and Asian America, and urban sociology. She is the author of Chinatown: The Socioeconomic Potential of an Urban Enclave, The Transformation of Chinese America, and Contemporary Chinese America: Immigration, Ethnicity, and Community Transformation; co-author of Growing Up American: How Vietnamese Children Adapt to Life in the United States; and co-editor of Contemporary Asian America and Asian American Youth: Culture, Identity, and Ethnicity. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany in 1989.