The Una Fellowship is given each year to an outstanding woman graduate student in the field of history to “foster the spirit of inquiry and individuality” so characteristic of the woman for whom the fellowship is named, Una Smith Ross, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1911 and a master’s degree in 1913 from Berkeley. The 2015-16 Una Fellow certainly embodies such qualities.
Yu-Hui (Amy) Lin, a first-year Ph.D. student in Ethnic Studies, is described by one of her professors as “a very open-minded and creative thinker who sees and seeks connections between scholarly literatures in a truly eye-opening way.” Another adds: “She embodies the attributes of the ideal student-scholar who recognizes the important nexus between scholarship and social justice.”
Ms. Lin’s own personal story of arriving in the U.S. at age 12 with her mother, and entering a complicated immigration system, informs her current academic pursuits. Having earned her B.A. in Political Science from UCLA, she aspires to become a scholar-activist and an educator whose commitment to learning goes beyond the classroom. For her doctoral program, Amy proposes a research project on the racialization of undocumented East, South, and Southeast Asian immigrants in the US. Her focus will be on their narrated experiences, and by studying history, politics, and sociology she’ll explore the cultures and practices of resistance that these communities have developed to create ethnic unity, or to protect, or alternatively, to silence their members’ undocumented status.
Amy works with ASPIRE (Asian Students Promoting Immigrant Rights through Education), the Pan-Asian undocumented immigrant organization that helps challenge the invisibility of undocumented Asians, fights to end inhumane deportations, and provides community education and empowerment. Its current push is to improve access to health care. This effort is echoed in Amy’s involvement with the CA Endowment (Healthcare for All) campaign.
The 2015-16 Una Fellowship was awarded at a small ceremony that included representatives of the Graduate Division, faculty mentors and fellow doctoral students from Amy’s academic department, Ethnic Studies. Before dinner, in accord with tradition, a striking vintage necklace that belonged to Una was placed around her neck. So bejeweled, Amy sparkled throughout the entire evening.
About the Una Fellowship
The Una Fellowship is given each year to an outstanding woman graduate student in the field of history at Berkeley to “foster the spirit of inquiry and individuality” so characteristic of the alumna for whom the fellowship is named. Una Smith Ross studied history at Berkeley in the early 1900s, when women were still a small minority among both undergraduate and graduate students. Una earned her B.A. in 1911 and her M.A. in 1913. Her husband, Edward Hunter Ross, donated funds in 1971 to establish this fellowship in her memory. To highlight its importance, he attended the award’s dinner-ceremony numerous times during his lifetime.