I entered graduate school in Berkeley in 1953 and received my MA in Sociology from UCLA in 1952 working with Ralph Turner. In Berkeley, I studied with Reinhard Bendix, William Petersen, and Herbert Blumer. I was greatly influenced by the global outlook of Reinhard Bendix who wrote the forward to the publication of my thesis by UC Press.
I left China, my native country, when I was a child to join my father in the Philippines. As a resident alien who had been through the difficult World-War II years and other hardships in the Philippines, I developed a deep interest in race and ethnic relations. This central interest led me in 1954 to the graduate program in sociology at Berkeley. Professor Tamotsu Shibutani, my dissertation adviser, invited me to work with him on a special project after I received my Ph.D. in 1958.