Growing up in a multiracial Japanese American family and living in New Jersey and then California, I thought a lot about which social categories I and other people belonged to. When I went to UC Irvine for college, I connected with many other multiracial people about our similar experiences. At UC Irvine I majored in Biological Sciences initially hoping to go to medical school. But after joining a psychology lab to fill a requirement, I found that I loved psychological research and that it connected to many of the questions I had as a kid. I then completed my PhD in Developmental Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh.
One of the best parts of pursuing a research career is talking about science with my sister, Haley Amemiya, who continues to amaze me with her commitment to making STEM a more welcoming place. I also have been lucky to have Bima Hasjim as my partner, who is a general surgery resident at UC Irvine.
Beyond spending time with loved ones, I love watching movies and learning about the stories behind them, eating ice cream (especially ube or cookies and cream), listening to Mariah Carey's 90s catalogue (I'm a superfan!), and finding unique coffee shops.
My parents, Kenjie and Jackie
One of my favorite pictures of my dad and me
Me and my sister, Haley
Bima's medical school graduation