Meet 2020 Centennial Center Research Grant Recipients Danielle Lemi and Diane Wong

Diane Wong will be starting as assistant professor of political science at Rutgers University, Newark in Fall 2020. She is excited to work with such a vibrant community of scholars, students, and practitioners, and to be in a department that uplifts innovative pedagogy and community engagement.

Dr. Wong’s research interests include Asian American politics, gender and sexuality, urban displacement, comparative immigration, race and ethnicity, cultural and media studies, and community-engaged research. As a first-generation Chinese American born and raised in Flushing, Queens in New York City, her research is intimately tied to the Asian diaspora and urban immigrant experience. Her current book project focuses on intergenerational resistance to gentrification in Manhattan’s Chinatown. As a scholar that traverses disciplines, Dr. Wong draws from a combination of methods including ethnography, participatory mapping, archival research, augmented reality, and oral history interviews. She is also working on a second book project on contemporary Asian American activism, it brings together a diverse range of issues from sex work decriminalization to abolition, deportation to decolonization, cultural production to intergenerational memory.

Outside of academia, she is working on a poetry project and currently has a multimedia exhibit titled “Homeward Bound: Global Intimacies in Converging Chinatowns” on view at the Pao Arts Center in Boston until September.


Danielle Lemi is a Tower Center Fellow at the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. She is a scholar of representation in American politics, with a focus on identity, race, and gender. Dr. Lemi uses experimental and elite interview methods to apply theoretical frameworks of identity and group behavior to questions of voter behavior and legislative politics. Her work has been published in Politics, Groups, and Identities, Du Bois Review, Journal of Race, Ethnicity and Politics, PS: Political Science and Politics, British Journal of Political Science, and Perspectives on Politics. In addition to being a Centennial Center Research Grant Recipient, Dr. Lemi’s previous research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the APSA Latino Scholarship Fund, and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Dr. Lemi received her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, Riverside in 2017, and grew up in the California East Bay Area. She was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and a first-generation college student. She is actively learning how to decolonize herself, her existing and future work, and the discipline.


Diane Wong and Danielle Lemi used their Centennial Center Research Grant in support of a writing retreat for junior women of color scholars.

Over the course of three days before the 2020 Southern Political Science Annual Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, nine junior women of color from universities around the country met to participate in a writing retreat supported by the APSA Centennial Grant. During this time, they engaged in accountability partnerships, thought exercises, and in-depth writing experiences paced by their own needs and goals.   In the grantee’s words, “each participant found space at the retreat to authentically and fully engage in dialogue about what it means to be a woman of color in political science, how graduate school shaped their early career experiences, and what their work provides in terms of intervening in the discipline. The retreat provided: space for intellectual development and mentoring, emotional and spiritual support, and a physical environment conducive to rest and reenergizing from burnout.” Participants interrogated academic and disciplinary practices passed down within the discipline and deliberated on how to shift from surviving to thriving as their fullest selves in academia.  They are now collaboratively writing a special issue focused on identifying interventions to support junior women of color in the discipline and on creating infrastructure for similar programs in the future.


Since 2003, the Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs has offered scholars a wide selection of funds that can be applied to the costs of research, including travel, interviews, access to archives, or costs for a research assistant. In order to provide additional support to our members during the current crisis, this year the Centennial Center is making research grants more flexible by expanding the categories of costs eligible for funding. Eligible costs now include: 1) Research costs associated with interviews and surveys, access to archives, and more 2) Salary support for PIs 3) Salary support for research assistants 4) Per diems regardless of location 5) Research software and hardware, including devices necessary for scholars with disabilities to conduct their research. We recognize that APSA members may have needs not included in the above list. If you have a cost that is not listed here, please contact us at Grants typically range from $500-$1500 but funds can be requested in any amount up to $2500 maximum. The next application deadline is June 15, 2021. Learn more and apply!