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ASU professor receives Rockefeller Foundation writing fellowship

ASU professor Wei Li and colleague Lucio Lo standing on a bridge
May 06, 2014

Together with her collaborator, Lucia Lo of York University in Canada, Arizona State University professor Wei Li has been awarded the Rockefeller Foundation's prestigious Bellagio Center writing residency fellowship.

As a Bellagio Fellow, Li will spend four weeks this fall at the Bellagio Center on Lake Como in Northern Italy. The Resident Fellows program combines the opportunity for uninterrupted work during the day, with the opportunity to spend time with other Fellows in the evenings – leaders, writers and artists from a wide array of fields.

Past Bellagio Foundation awardees include highly prominent figures such as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and P.K. Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Li and Lo will use their time at the Bellagio Center to write up their research on access of immigrants and immigrant businesses to formal financial services throughout North America. The two researchers will compare and contrast financial regulatory histories and immigration policies in the United States and Canada, and among varied immigrant groups.

“Immigrants to North America are diverse not only in origin, language and religion, but also in the human and financial resources they bring to the receiving societies,” explains Li. “Our work aims to uncover the extent to which immigrants are marginalized in the financial arena, and suggest ways of incorporating them.”

Wei Li is a professor of Asian Pacific American studies and geography in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU, with appointments in the School of Social Transformation and the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. Her research specialties are international migration and integration, highly skilled migration and transnational connections, immigrant settlement and minority finance, focusing on the Pacific Rim.

Li’s research on banking and immigration has been supported by the National Science Foundation, and Lo’s work is supported by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Li has held several prominent roles with the U.S. Census Bureau, including serving as an inaugural member of the U.S. Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations. She chaired the Census Bureau's Race and Ethnic Advisory Committees on the Asian Population from 2010-2012 and is a member of the International Steering Committee of the International Metropolis Project.

The School of Social Transformation and the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning are academic units in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.