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This is a collection of oral history interviews conducted by the Chao Center for Asian Studies at Rice University (2010- ). The collection includes interview recordings with Asian Americans who mostly reside in greater Houston, and in some cases, outside of the region. Some interviews also include news clippings and photographs. The interviews are primarily in English and in some cases, in Asian languages.

Learn more about the Chao Center for Asian Studies at Rice University.

Recent Submissions

  • Dr. Hongliang Yang oral history interview and transcript 

    Yang, Hongliang (2021-06-06)
    Dr. Hongliang Yang was born and raised in a rural village in the Henan Province of China, where his family worked in the fields. Attending Shanghai Second Medical University, he earned his Master’s and PhD degree in medical microbiology. He immigrated to the United States after being accepted to a post-doctorate program at Colorado State University. ...
  • Nicky Sohn oral history interview and transcript 

    Sohn, Nicky (2021-06-02)
    Nicky Sohn was born in Seoul, Korea in 1992. She began practicing piano and studying music from a very young age; after moving around a lot with her parents in the southern part of the country, she graduated high school early and went to Mannes School of Music in New York City at the age of 16. She initially studied piano performance but switched to ...
  • Diana Weng Chen oral history interview and transcript 

    Weng, Diana (2021-06-05)
    Diana Weng was born in Taiwan and moved to the San Francisco’s Castro District with her family when she was 5 years old. Her family owned a restaurant and she recalls many memories of working in the restaurant during her childhood and teenage years. Ms. Weng majored in English Literature at UC Berkeley and remembers being drawn to a specific theater ...
  • Echo Yu He oral history interview and transcript 

    He, Echo Yu (2021-04-18)
    Echo He grew up in Deyang, Sichuan province in China, in early 1980s, a small town without much presence of art. Her mother worked in the local hospital, sometimes on night shifts, which contributed to her childhood memories of staying overnight in the hospitals, among which are both good and bad memories. She was trained in Chinese classical painting ...
  • Dinesh Singhal oral history interview and transcript 

    Singhal, Dinesh (2021-04-25)
    Dinesh Singhal was born in Morar, a small town in Madhya Pradesh India. After attending a boarding school from 4th to 12th grades,, he went to Ramjas College in Delhi, eventually earning an LLB (law) degree from Delhi University. Initially venturing into the United States on a whim to take a summer course, Mr. Singhal experienced a turbulent 12-year ...
  • Atul & Poonam Salhotra oral history interview on love 

    Salhotra, Atul; Salhotra, Poonam (2020-11-26)
    Poonam and Atul Salhotra met each other through their parents in an arranged marriage. Their first two meetings were with both of their families, and the third time being on their wedding day. They have been married for 33 years as of this interview. They have one son and one daughter who are both in their early 20s. In this interview for the podcast ...
  • Raj Salhotra oral history interview and transcript 

    Salhotra, Raj (2020-09-25)
    Raj Salhotra is an alumnus of Rice University and Harvard Law School. Mr. Salhotra is the Co-founder and Director of the non-profit education organization Momentum Education. He has dedicated his career to public service and pursuing his personal passion of equal opportunity in education. The interview goes through this life experiences through Rice ...
  • Melanie Pang & Kendall Toarmina Pang oral history interview on love 

    Pang, Melanie; Pang, Kendall Toarmina (2021-01-16)
    Melanie Pang (she/her), who was born in Missouri City, TX in 1986, is the Director of Advocacy at the Houston Food Bank. She was the inaugural co-chair of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s LGBTQ Board of Advisory for a two-year term. She advocates for policies that address root causes of poverty and food insecurity, leveraging relationships and resources for ...
  • J oral history interview on love 

    J (anonymous) (2020-12-15)
    J (they/them) is Korean who lives in Seoul, Korean. They believe in a non-amatonormative approach towards love and relationships where one relationship (whether it’s friendship or romantic relationship) does not take priority over another. J has been self-identified as AMAB1 neutrois since 2016 and they are currently around 30 years old. J and their ...
  • Nghi Nguyen & Nha Tu oral history interview on love 

    Nguyen, Nghi; Tu,Nha (2021-01-18)
    Nghi Nguyen (he/him) is a fashion designer based in Houston. He was born in Vietnam and immigrated to Houston to complete his studies at the Houston Community College in fashion design. He currently runs his own fashion line online. Nghi was assigned female at birth and has been undertaking medical injections since Feb 2020. Nha Tu (she/her), also ...
  • Harry Gee Jr. oral history interview on love 

    Gee, Harry Jr. (2021-02-08)
    Harry Gee, Jr. is the owner and founder of his own law offices, Harry Gee Jr. and Associates, here in Houston. His firm specializes in immigration law, although they have ample experience in several other areas. Mr. Gee was born in China, but grew up in the U.S., and has lived in Houston for most of his life. Throughout his childhood and teenage ...
  • Renqian Yang oral history interview and transcript 

    Yang, Renqian (2021-04-29)
    Renqian Yang was born in Xiangtan, Hunan Province, China in 1987. She earned her B.F.A. in Ceramics from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing in 2009 and her M.F.A. in Ceramics from Syracuse University in 2014. In May 2008, when she was attending Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in Chongqing, she also experienced one of the most devastating earthquakes ...
  • Thomas Tran oral history interview and transcript 

    Tran, Thomas (2021-04-22)
    Thomas Tran is a Vietnamese-American artist who was born and raised in Alief, Houston, Texas in 1996, an area known for its rich diversity. Since a young age, he has loved to make art centered around his everyday thoughts and feelings. He creates illustrations, comics, and murals. He studied at the Columbus College of Art and Design from 2014–2018, ...
  • Robert W. Gee oral history interview and transcript 

    Gee, Robert W. (2021)
    Mr. Robert W. Gee (“Bob”) was born in Houston in 1951. He grew up in a modest working class neighborhood, as what he called, “the wrong side of the tracks” referring to the railroad track. He was born to parents of Chinese immigrants. He later went on to attend the University of Texas at Austin for Law School where he earned a Bachelor's Degree with ...
  • Medha K. Karve oral history interview and transcript 

    Karve, Medha K. (2021-05-26)
    Medha Karve was born in Mumbai, India in 1957 to parents of first-generation Indian-Americans. When she was 9 years old, her father immigrated to the US as a scientist at Yale University with his family and was one of the first scientists to study moon rocks after the Apollo moon landing, after the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 loosened ...
  • Dr. Vipul Mankad oral history interview and transcript 

    Dr. Mankad, Vipul (2021-04-14)
    Dr. Vipul Mankad, born in 1944 in Viramgam (a town in Gujarat, India), had unique experiences growing up. His father was a respected physician, and while his family was not wealthy, they lived comfortably. While completing his medical education in India, he became particularly interested in research, which subsequently fueled his motivation to immigrate ...
  • Marlo Diosomito oral history interview and transcript 

    Diosomito, Marlo (2020-12-21)
    Marlo Diosomito was born in Manila, Philippines on July 3, 1970. After growing up with his grandparents from a young age, he attended the University of the Philippines studying math and chemistry. Immediately following his graduation, he began teaching ESL and STEM instruction at a United Nations refugee program in Bataan. Diosomito then taught at ...
  • Eva Ren oral history interview and transcript 

    Ren, Eva (2021-05-19)
    Eva Ren, whose Chinese name is Yisu Ren, was born in 1996 in Beijing China, to a family of artists. With such a strong root in art, she did not even have a second thought or decision process about pursuing another career. She left China at 18 years old to study in the US, and gained a Bachelor of Arts in Art/Art Studies, General and Philosophy from ...
  • David So oral history interview and transcript 

    So, David (2021-04-13)
    David Jinho So was born in Daejeon, South Korea in 1987. At age 8, his family immigrated to the United States so his dad could pursue seminary school in New Orleans, Louisiana. After graduating from LSU with a degree in finance, Mr. So worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch as a financial advisor. During that time, he began getting more involved in ...
  • Lynn Batte oral history interview and transcript 

    Batte, Lynn (2021-05-28)
    Lynn Gail Ryan Batte was born on January 15, 1959 in Houston, TX. She is the niece of the late Beck Hong Gee (1922-2020), who was a World War II veteran during which he was stationed in the UK, and Houston Chronicle illustrator for over three decades. Beck moved to the US through Angel Island when he was 9, but was denied a public education because ...

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