Central American Studies

Teresa Williams León, Ph.D.

Teresa Williams Leon
Office location:
Jerome Richfield 340G


Dr. Williams León is a joint appointment in Central American Studies and Asian American Studies.  Her research and teaching interest focus on transnational, transborder, multiethnic/multiracial identity, communities and institutions, race and ethnic relations, and the Asian diaspora in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

In 2002, Teresa Williams León was awarded the Prism Award from the National Hapa Issues Forum for her contributions to multiracial identity scholarship.  In 2004 & 2005, she was awarded the Polished Apple Teaching Awards from the University Ambassadors.  In 2007, she won CSUN's Outstanding Faculty Award & in 2009, she was recognized for her commitment to international education with the "Outstanding Service Award" by the Omega chapter of Phi Beta Delta (the international scholar's society).


  • Ph.D. Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles, 1997
  • M.A. Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles, 1991
  • M.A. Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, 1989
  • B.A. Japanese Language and Literature, University of Hawai'i, Manoa, 1986
  • A.A. Asian Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, 1983


  • Dr. Williams Leon is currently collaborating on publication projects with Dr. Velina Hasu Houston (USC), Dr. Curtiss Takada Rooks (LMU) and Dr. H. Rika Houston (CSULA) on transnational multiracial/multiethnic identity & intersectionality. 
  • Co-editor, (with Velina Hasu Houston), special issues of Amerasia Journal (1997, Vol. 23, No. 1) titled, "No Passing Zone: The Artistic and Discursive Voices of Asian-Descent Multiracials."
  • Co-editor (with Cynthia L. Nakashima), The Sum of Our Parts: Mixed Heritage Asian Americans (Temple University Press, 2001).
  • UCLA lists Dr. Williams Leon as one of the "remarkable individuals" trained by the Asian American Studies MA program in its "35 Notable Accomplishments and Milestones for Asian American Studies at UCLA".