Immigrant of Distinction Award

The Immigration History Research Center, the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs co-hosted the Immigrant of Distinction Award ceremony on Thursday, March 14, 2013.

The recipients of the 2013 Immigrant of Distinction Award are Irma Marquez Trapero and Juventino Meza Rodriguez. The award honors immigrants who have made substantial contributions to their communities or professions through exceptional leadership, high achievement or moral courage.

The award ceremony was followed by a forum, "Educate, Honor and Unite: A Community Forum for Immigration Reform in 2013".

Moderator: Erika Lee, Immigration History Research Center
Panelists: Juventino Meza Rodriguez (Immigrant of Distinction Award recipient), Irma Marquez Trapero (Immigrant of Distinction Award recipient), John Keller (Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota), Michele Garnett McKenzie (The Advocate for Human Rights).


IHRC/A Appreciation Event
The Immigration History Research Center and Archives hosted its annual Appreciation Event on My 8, 2013 honoring staff, faculty, students, and volunteers.

Keystone Awards:

Haven Hawley, Cindy Herring, Jeff Nelson

Career Achievement Award:

Professor Katherine Fennelly

Certificates of Appreciation:

Michael Anuta

Katie Evans

Emily Janisch

Kris Kiesling

Halyna Myroniuk

Mia Overly

Lisa Vecoli

Margaret Yzaguirre


Estonian Research & Archives Symposium
The Immigration History Research Center along with the Baltic Heritage Network hosted a symposium on Estonian Research and Archives on May 9, 2013.


Somali Diaspora Research Workshop

On Monday, April 22nd, the IHRC hosted its first Somali Diaspora Research Series exploring histories and contemporary issues.

We welcomed Abdi Roble and Doug Rutledge of the Somali Documentary Project. This was followed by a presentation by Fartun Abdi on the Sheeko Project, a collection of Somali youth stories created by and for Somali youth. Ahmed Yusuf, author of the recently-published book Somalis in Minnesota gave contexts to the experiences of Somalis in Minnesota.

Friends of the IHRC/A Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Friends of the Immigration History Research Center and Archives will be held on Saturday, Nov.2, 2013, 5:30pm-9:00pm, at St.Mary's Greek Orthodox Church (Terrace Hall) 3450 Irving Ave.So., Minneapolis,MN. The cost for the dinner and program is $30 per person. Advance reservations are required. The theme of this year's program is "Celebrating our Ethnic Histories" and the featured speaker is IHRC Director, Dr. Erika Lee who will make a presentation on the current IHRC project entitled " Immigrant Stories"- an interactive digital storytelling project that documents and archives the experiences of contemporary immigrants and refugees and connects them to the U.S.' rich history of immigration. Three pilot videos from this project will be shown.

The banquet evening will also include an international buffet provided by Kafe 421, a display of posters depicting the history of various ethnic communities, a short tour of St.Mary's, and the Klezmorim Band who will provide entertainment during the social hour. The evening will culminate with the drawing of door prizes as well as raffle prizes which include a variety of ethnic restaurant certificates and other items. Cost of the raffle tickets is $5.00 each and will be sold at the door.

Proceeds will help benefit upcoming IHRC/A 50 anniversary projects. Please send your advance reservation by Oct. 25th, 2013, and check payable to Friends of the IHRC to: Friends of the IHRC, 311 Elmer L. Andersen Library, 222-21th Av. S., Minneapolis, MN. 55455.

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the IHRC Graduate Fellowships for 2013-2014:

Zachary Colby is the Hildegard and Gustav Must Graduate Fellow in Estonian-American Studies, Doctor in Music candidate and a Voice major.

Zachary Colby

Zach is working toward the completion of doctorate in voice at the University of Minnesota. He has a B.A. in Music Education from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana and an M.A. in Voice from the University of Minnesota. Zach also teaches classes as a teaching assistant in the School of Music at the university as well as literature classes through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Zachary performs as a tenor in many venues around the Twin Cities in recital, concert, and operatic performances.

Waleed F. Mahdi is the Francis Maria Fellowship in Arab American Studies, a PhD candidate in American studies, and is a student of development studies & social change at the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC).

Waleed Mahdi
He is a Fulbright and ICGC-MacArthur scholar with main research interests in American studies, Arab studies, popular culture, and postcolonial studies. His current dissertation project proposes an interdisciplinary reading of major Arabic and American narratives primarily engaged in the construction of a transnational Arab American identity. As a Francis Maria fellow at the Immigration History Research Center (IHRC), he plans to conduct archival research of the Phillip Hitti and Frank Maria papers in an attempt to ground Arab Americans' contemporary struggle for self-representation in history.

Russell Adrian is a Doctoral of Musical Arts student in conducting and recipient of the Finnish American Studies Fellowship.

Russell Adrian

He is studying Finnish choral music with the primary objective of performing works from within the collections. He is currently cataloging manuscript works of Paul Karvonen and creating performance editions that can be shared with ensembles throughout the community.


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