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Immigrants Of The Day: Professor Lan Cao of Vietnam, Milena Markovna "Mila" Kunis of Ukraine, and Ariadna Thalía Sodi Miranda of Mexico

by Kevin R. Johnson

Professor Lan Cao (Vietnam)

Cao653Lan Cao (1961-) is the author of the 1997 novel Monkey Bridge and is a professor of law at the College of William & Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law. Monkey Bridge is the semi-autobiographical story of a mother and daughter who leave Vietnam to come to the United States.

Cao was born in Vietnam and experienced the Vietnam War as a civilian. She moved to the United States when she was 13. Cao received her B.A. in political science from Mt. Holyoke College and her J.D. from the Yale Law School. She specializes in International Business & Trade; International Law; Law and Development. Cao currently teaches Corporations, International Business Transactions, and International Trade Law.

Cao joined the William & Mary law faculty in 2001 after teaching law at Brooklyn Law School. She clerked for Judge Constance Baker Motley of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and practiced law with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York City.

Besides Monkey Bridge (1997), Cao is co-author of Everything You Need to Know About Asian Americans (Penguin Plume 1996) ( 2d ed. 2004). Cao has written many law review articles.

August 21, 2007 | Permalink

Milena Markovna "Mila" Kunis (Ukraine)

Milakunists01Milena Markovna "Mila" Kunis (Ukrainian) (born August 14, 1983), is an actress best known for playing spoiled brat Jackie Burkhart on "That '70s Show," a favorite show of one of your ImmigrationProf bloggers.  Kunis also performs the voice of the character Meg Griffin on the animated television series "Family Guy."

Kunis was born in Kiev, Ukraine, Soviet Union (now Ukraine). At age 7, she moved to Los Angeles. Kunis learned English by watching "The Price Is Right"; host Bob Barker spoke slowly enough for her to understand. Kunis took after-school acting classes and was cast in minor roles in children's programs and television commercials, appearing in a 1994 episode of the soap "Days of Our Lives."

Kunis recently wrapped production on the feature film "Tom 51." Her additional feature film credits include roles in "American Psycho II," "Get Over It," "Krippendorf's Tribe," "Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves," "Knockout Kid," "Santa With Muscles," "Piranha" and "Make a Wish, Molly." Kunis also starred as young "Gia Carangi" in the critically acclaimed cable movie "Gia." Her additional television credits include recurring roles on "7th Heaven" and "Nick Freno," as well as guest-starring appearances on "Grounded for Life", "Baywatch," "Days of Our Lives," "The John Larroquette Show," "Unhappily Ever After," "Walker, Texas Ranger," "Moloney," "Pensacola: Wings of Gold" and "Hudson Street." Kunis has received two Young Star Awards for Best Young Actress Performance in a Comedy Series. Additionally, she also earned a Young Hollywood Award from Movieline Magazine.

August 22, 2007 | Permalink

Thalia (Mexico)

Thaliasodi Thalía (born Ariadna Thalía Sodi Miranda, August 26, 1971 in Mexico City) is a Latin Grammy-awarded singer and actress. She is one of Mexico's most famous telenovela actresses and has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide.

In 1981, Thalía started her musical career as a vocalist in the Mexican child group Din Din. She later performed as a soloist. In 1984, she was cast in the teenage version of the stage production Grease, being cast in the lead role of Sandy. In 1986, Thalía replaced one of the original female vocalists of Timbiriche. That same year, she was cast in her first soap opera, Pobre Señorita Limantour. In 1988, Thalía starred in the Mexican telenovela Quinceañera, after which she moved to Los Angeles to prepare for a solo career.

In 2000, Thalia starred in the independent film, Mambo Café, in which she played a young Puerto Rican girl, alongside Danny Aiello, Paul Rodriguez, and Rosanna de Soto. Later that year, Thalía married the former president of Sony Music, Tommy Mottola, at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. They currently live in New York City.

Thalia is a naturalized U.S. citizen and has maintained her Mexican nationality.

Thalía also has worked as a record producer, composer, TV and radio host, fashion designer, magazine editor, and model. She has been a guest on television programs such as Entertainment Tonight, El Show de Cristina, Good Morning America, Hard Copy, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, and 20/20. In 2007, she joined the ABC Network in order to start the radio program "The Conexión Thalia Radio Show," where she talks about music, fashion, news and political issues. In September, Thalia is expecting her first child.

Click here for the Official Thalía website and here for the Thalía Official Fan Club Website.

August 23, 2007 | Permalink

These posts were orginally posted on the ImmigrationProf Blog here, here and here.

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog .

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.