Dina arrived at IU in 2013, and previously taught at the University of California, Davis. She received her PhD in sociology from the University of Arizona in 2001. She has been a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York and a visiting fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University.
Her research focuses on understanding how group boundaries and identities shift and change, which has broader implications for racial formation, immigrant incorporation, as well as intergroup conflict and cooperation. Dina recently completed a book, Redefining Race: Asian American Panethnicity and Shifting Ethnic Boundaries (Russell Sage Foundation, 2014), which traces the complex evolution of "Asian American" as a panethnic label and identity, and emphasizes how panethnicity is a deliberate social achievement negotiated by group members, rather than an organic and inevitable process.
Dina's current projects investigate the civic and political incorporation of immigrants in the United States, intergroup relations between native-born and immigrant groups in new and re-emerging gateways, the role of community-based organizations in the lives of immigrant youth, and how low-income groups navigate access to and opportunity provided by local institutions.