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Immigrant Stories in Video

Students Conduct Summer Research Project

By Sandra Seitz

As part of the extensive research project directed by Robert Forrant and Christoph Strobel, five high school students and five UMass Lowell graduate students worked as a team to collect immigrant oral histories. They conducted the research in the summer of 2007.

The students interviewed 25 people from Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa. They learned why people chose to come to Lowell, how they adapted to life in the city, how their culture is maintained here and how it will be passed on to future generations. 

The team members compiled what they learned and incorporated it into a 25-minute video

Members of the team represented a variety of places, including Cambodia, Japan, Ghana, Malaysia and Russia. This was a great advantage when identifying immigrants who would share their stories. Events such as the African and Puerto Rican festivals were also invaluable in gathering contacts. 

Team members were Patrick Chhoy, Thuquynh Dinh, Beatrice Donkoh, Eika Hunt, Ekaterina Konovalova, Shaun McCarthy, Robert Moreau, Raksa Son, Peter Thornton and Allegra Williams. Patricia Coffey was the project manager.