Wendi Yamashita serves as the Coordinator of the Asian American Studies Minor. She received her PhD in Gender Studies (2018) and her MA in Asian American Studies (2010) from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research examines Japanese American public memories of World War II incarceration in relation to settler colonialism and the prison industrial complex. Interrogating the centrality of carcerality to U.S. forms of racial and gendered punishment, her work considers Asian American racialization in relation to other groups of color as a means of striving for meaningful cross-racial coalition building.
In addition, Wendi is a supporter of the Manzanar Committee and serves as Co-Director of their program Katari: Keeping Japanese American Stories Alive. This program serves to provide college-age youth with the opportunity to learn about Japanese American history and its preservation at the Manzanar National Historic Site.