Asad L. Asad - Assistant Professor at Stanford University, Department of Sociology
Asad L. Asad is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Stanford University, where he is a faculty affiliate at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. His scholarly interests encompass social stratification, migration and immigrant incorporation, race/ethnicity, and health. Asad's current research agenda considers how institutions—particularly U.S. immigration policy and practice—mediate various facets of inequality. His ongoing projects include a book manuscript on how Latin American families perceive the threat of deportation, a series of related journal articles on the health consequences of deportability, and a new project examining how federal judges make decisions to denaturalize (or not) immigrants who have acquired U.S. citizenship.
Adrian Matias Bacong - Doctoral Student at University of California, Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health
Adrian Matias Bacong (He/His/Him), MPH, is a 3rd year doctoral student in Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. As the son of immigrant parents, Adrian's research focuses on both pre-migration and post-migration factors that affect immigrant health across the migration course and life course. Specifically, Adrian is interested in the role and fluidity of legal status and how legal status is racialized. Adrian's other research interests include the role of racism on health inequities among people of color and Asian American health.
Alein Y. Haro, MPH - Graduate Student at UC Berkeley, School of Public Health
Alein Y. Haro, MPH, is a doctoral student in Health Policy - Population Health Sciences at UC Berkeley. Alein’s research examines the association between policies and health disparities among immigrant communities and minorities in the US. She studies that impact of public policies on social inclusion and health outcomes among Latinx and immigrant populations. Her work seeks to clarify the individual, institutional, and structural mechanisms that link health and social policy changes to health care access and health outcomes. She is also a research fellow with the California Initiative for Health Equity and Action (Cal-IHEA), where she acts as a liaison between UC and CSU faculty and the policy-making community in Sacramento; conducts her own research on the intersection of health insurance, state policy and public opinion; and manages the "Improving Health Access for All Immigrants" portfolio. Her interest in immigration stems from her lived experience.
Stephanie Lynnette Canizales - UC Chancellor's Postdoctoral Scholar at UC Merced, Department of Sociology
Stephanie L. Canizales is a University of California Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Scholar at UC Merced. Stephanie earned her PhD from the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern California in 2018. She specializes in migration and immigrant incorporation, children and youth, inequality, poverty, and mobility, race/ethnicity, and organizations. Her book project, entitled Sin Padres, Ni Papeles, systematically examines why undocumented, unaccompanied Central American and Mexican youth migrate to Los Angeles, California, and how they incorporate into school, work, family, and community life as they come of age without parents. Stephanie’s research has been published in Ethnic and Racial Studies and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, as well as by Youth Circulations, the Conversation UK and US, the Globe Post, and UC Davis Center for Poverty Research, among others. Stephanie was formerly an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Texas A&M University. She will begin her appointment as Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Merced in Fall 2020.
Krystlelynn Caraballo - Doctoral Candidate at Georgia State University, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology
Krystlelynn is a doctoral candidate in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. Her research interests center around poly-victimization of Latinx immigrants. Specifically, she studies the correlates and consequences of poly-victimization, and the potential for criminal coping among poly-victims. Her dissertation utilizes a criminology, law, and society framework to theorize the risk of poly-victimization across an immigrant’s lifespan.
Denise N. Obinna - Assistant Professor of Sociology at Mount St. Mary's University, Departments of Sociology and Criminal Justice
Denise N. Obinna is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. Her research focuses on the complexities of the migration experience. Particularly on the fact that migration is often multifaceted and spans social, economic and legal divides. This means that the assimilation and integration of newcomers is often fraught with challenges based on national origins, race and legality. As such, a significant part of immigrant integration concerns legality as well as the ability to regularize status. Amid increases in enforcement and renewed scrutiny on immigration, her work illustrates that immigrants—both legal and undocumented often face anxieties with regards to their status. Immigration then, is not only a complicated social and economic process spanning national borders. It is also a legal one. Denise holds an MA and PhD in sociology from the Ohio State University.
Dr. Kristina Lovato - Assistant Professor of Social Work at California State University, Long Beach, Department of Social Work
Dr. Kristina Lovato, PhD, MSW, joined the CSULB School of Social Work faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2017. Her research focuses on enhancing child and family well-being among vulnerable and undocumented immigrant families, particularly those subject to immigration and/or public child welfare involvement. Through her research, she aims to develop culturally grounded interventions to increase services and supports for immigrant families at risk of child welfare involvement. Dr. Lovato’s scholarly work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and she has presented at national conferences. As a social work educator, Dr. Lovato draws upon over 12 years of clinical experience serving diverse immigrant families as a bilingual child welfare social worker, child therapist, and school-based mental health clinician. Dr. Lovato serves on the Board of Directors at Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition in Long Beach, CA.
Frania Mendoza Lua - Doctoral Student at University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, Department of Social Work
Frania Mendoza Lua is a Doctoral Student at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Her research focuses on how the socio-political construction of “illegality” is a key determinant of the health and well-being of U.S. citizen adolescents in mixed-status families. She is interested in examining how deportation threat and parental deportation shape the mental and sexual health of second-generation Latino adolescents. Furthermore, she is also interested in understanding the relationships that adolescents have with their deported parent, how technology and social media can be leveraged to maintain those relationships, and how digital transnational parenting influences the health of adolescents in mixed-status families.
Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, Frania was a Research Coordinator at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. She also served as a social worker in Washtenaw County, Michigan, and on numerous youth participatory action research projects working with parents and adolescents in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Frania received an MSW from the University of Michigan, School of Social Work and a BA in Political Science and Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Fulya Pinar - PhD Candidate at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Department of Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology
I am a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers University, Cultural Anthropology department. I have been conducting my field research for around 24 months in total in the different cities and districts of Turkey, on social and online connections created and used by migrants. I have also been moderating art sessions (http://beyond-museum.com) and Turkish classes with migrant women in the peripheral districts of Istanbul. I had my MA in Comparative Studies in History and Society and my BA in Business Administration and Economics in Istanbul. While doing so, I volunteered for many women's organizations in Turkey and Europe, some of which involved working on the Turkish-Syrian border with a focus of migrant women's sexual and psychological health.
Geri Dimas - PhD Student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Department of Data Science
Geri is a current PhD Student in Data Science at WPI. Her current research interests are in the application of machine learning, explainable AI and Mathematical Optimization on data that can benefit society; addressing the ethical issues of fairness, efficiency and interpretability in areas such as immigration, public health, safety and security. Currently her research focuses on applying queuing theory in the immigration, focusing on the asylum court processes.
Ivy Torres - PhD Student at University of California, Irvine, School of Public Health
Ivy Torres, MA is a third year PhD student in the Program in Public Health at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests lie at the intersection of racial stratification, occupational health inequities, aging, and the Latina/o/x community. In her academic work, she explores questions related to the concentration of Latina/o immigrants in low-wage and high-risk jobs; the role of racialization and gender processes in shaping the conditions under which Latina/o/x immigrants work; and the long-term health consequences for Latina/o/x employed in these jobs. She received her M.A. in Chicana and Chicano Studies from San Jose State University.
Jacob Kirksey - Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University
Dr. Kirksey’s scholarship is broadly focused on issues at the nexus of education and other areas of public policy, including immigration policy, child and family policy, and health policy. His work stresses a holistic approach to policymaking by drawing attention to knowledge gaps in how changes made in and outside of schools interact with dynamic educational contexts. The goal of his research is to foster data-driven decision making in local, state, and federal policy to forge win-win public policies that reduce inequity in schools. To evaluate programs and policies, Dr. Kirksey employs quasi-experimental techniques using datasets from school districts, government agencies, and large-scale surveys. He has published extensively on topics related to student absenteeism and truancy, inclusion and special education, the ripple effects of immigration enforcement, and teachers and teacher education.
My research exploring the educational consequences from harsh immigration enforcement policies seeks to provide information to key stakeholders about the extent to which students and their educators might need additional support during times of heightened immigration enforcement. Understanding who is impacted during these times and to what extent ensures that limited resources can be targeted to those in greatest need of educational support.
J. Nalubega Ross - Graduate Student at Arizona State University, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Department of Global Health
J. Nalubega Ross is a Ugandan American living in the dry dry desert of Arizona. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree at Arizona State University, with a focus on how refugees from Sub-Saharan Africa living in the United States, throughout their migration journey, look for and use information about sex and reproduction. Nalubega's interest in immigration comes from the fact she is an immigrant herself, and a childhood in Uganda observing the Rwanda Genocide, and the civil wars in Sudan, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Nalubega has a bachelor's degree from the University of Utah in Community Health Education and Promotion, as well as a master's of science degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in Bioinformatics. When not reading books for graduate work and avoiding writing, Nalubega spends tending to her ever growing collection of houseplants, watching and commenting on cartoons with her toddler and ranting to her partner about sex and reproduction in the United States.
Jenny Guadamuz - Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the USC School of Pharmacy, Program on Medicines and Public Health
Jenny S. Guadamuz is a postdoctoral research fellow at the USC School of Pharmacy (Program on Medicines and Public Health) and the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. She completed her PhD in pharmacoepidemiology and pharmaceutical policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She also holds an MS in health policy and administration from UIC and a BA in economics from Saint Louis University.
Dr. Guadamuz uses an interdisciplinary approach to identify how structural determinants (i.e., macro-level systems, institutions, and policies) impact the use of healthcare, especially medications among vulnerable populations. Her current research focuses on disparities in access to healthcare and health outcomes across immigration status. Immigration status is a critical yet overlooked factor influencing disparities because noncitizens experience significant barriers to legal and social protection, including inadequate healthcare access. She has also conducted research in the fields of drug utilization in vulnerable populations (e.g., children and older adults), policies to mitigate prescription drug risks, and the role of pharmacy accessibility in determining access to medications using cross-sectional and cohort studies, administrative claims, and geospatial data.
Dr. Guadamuz’s unique research perspective has garnered funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as part of their inaugural cohort of Health Policy Research Scholars, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, as a T32 fellow. Her research has been published in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals, including JAMA, the American Journal of Public Health, and Health Affairs.
Justin Vinneau - Doctoral Candidate at University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Sociology
Justin Vinneau Palarino is a Ph.D. Candidate in sociology and a graduate affiliate of the Population Program with the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. His areas of research interest are international migration, population health and aging, and quantitative methods. His dissertation work examines the health of racially black immigrants from the Caribbean and across Africa living in the United States. He is also involved in several other collaborative projects examining both the mental and physical health of Mexican, Central/South American, and Caribbean immigrants in the U.S.
Kevin Lee - Graduate Student at University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health
Kevin Lee is a second-year Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) student at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interest is in conceptualizing and operationalizing the effects of structural discrimination on immigrant worker health through an examination of immigration and labor policy. His previous multidisciplinary work includes conducting research and evaluation related to sexual health and HIV, sex and labor trafficking, access to health care services, financial savings behavior, and workforce development, often among underserved immigrant communities. He currently works at the UC Berkeley Labor Center where he researches barriers to employer-sponsored health insurance among underserved workers in California. Kevin received both his BA in Ethnic Studies and Psychology, and MPH in Health & Social Behavior from UC Berkeley.
Mahesh Somashekhar - Assistant Professor of Sociology at University of Illinois at Chicago
Mahesh Somashekhar is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is interested in the effects of immigrant entrepreneurship on economic development, labor markets, and urban neighborhoods. His current research project aims to understand the unique challenges faced by undocumented immigrant entrepreneurs. While it is illegal to employ undocumented immigrants in the United States, it is legal for undocumented immigrants to own businesses in the formal economy. In previous work, he analyzed how retail chains gentrify immigrant business corridors as well as how the suburbanization of ethnic business districts affects immigrant workers.
Milkie Vu Ph.D. Candidate at Emory University, School of Public Health
Milkie Vu is a PhD candidate in Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She will start her National Cancer Institute-funded T32 postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University in September 2021. Milkie obtained a BA in History & Cultural Anthropology from Duke University and an MA in Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. Milkie's research interests focus on structural and socio-cultural determinants of health and well-being among immigrants and refugees in the U.S. Her doctoral dissertation used mixed-method research to examine HPV vaccine decision-making in Vietnamese immigrant families. She has served as a Principal Investigator on several research projects funded by federal, foundational, and institutional sources. She is a current recipient of the F31 National Research Service Award from the National Cancer Institute.
Radhika Gore - Postdoctoral Fellow at NYU School of Medicine
Radhika completed a PhD in sociomedical sciences at Columbia University -- an interdisciplinary program that applies social science theory and methods to examine public health issues -- and a postdoctoral fellowship in primary care research at the NYU School of Medicine. Radhika's research broadly concerns the social and political conditions that shape primary care delivery and clinic-community ties in low-income, urban settings in the US and globally. Her dissertation was an ethnographic study of public-sector primary care provision in urban India, focusing on the "street-level" dilemmas that doctors in municipal government clinics confront in their everyday work. Her most recent research focuses on clinic-based efforts to integrate health and social services for low-income immigrant and racial/ethnic minority populations in New York City. As the COVID-19 pandemic began in NYC, Radhika took up a position at a social-impact technology company whose platform enables health-related organizations (e.g., health care providers, public health departments, payers) to connect people to social services and community-based resources. In this position, Radhika supports health systems to develop interventions that bridge health and social care for vulnerable populations, and to assess their health and social impact.
Shelley Rao - PhD Student at Indiana University Bloomington
Shelley Rao is a doctoral candidate in sociology at Indiana University Bloomington, where she is also currently pursuing a MS in statistics. She holds a BS in Industrial and Labor Relations and MPA from Cornell University. Her primary research interests include immigration, race/ethnicity, and Asian Americans, with a focus on political ideology and how it shapes policies regarding education and the workplace. Her work is inspired by research that highlights outcomes and challenges unique to different Asian ethnic subgroups. Her master’s thesis used the 2002-2003 National Latino and Asian American study to examine various types, amounts, and combinations of social roles and its effects on physical health, through a comparison of Chinese, Filipino, and Vietnamese groups.
Simon Ruhnke - Graduate Student at University of Utah, Department of Economics
Simon Ruhnke is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in economics at the University of Utah. Originally from Germany, his interest in immigration policy arose during his work in the German parliament during the height of the European “refugee crisis” in 2015. In his dissertation research, Simon uses quantitative research methods to study how their social and institutional environment impacts the health and well-being of immigrants in the U.S. He specifically focuses on the vulnerable population of undocumented immigrants, who find themselves in a, particularly exclusionary environment. Simon has taught both graduate and undergraduate classes in Poverty & Inequality and Health Economics and is a research fellow of the Health Economics Core of the University of Utah. He received his B.A. in economics and philosophy from the University of Göttingen and an M.Sc. in economics from the University of Utah.
Tibrine Da Fonseca - PhD Candidate at Northeastern University
Tibrine da Fonseca is a 5th year PhD candidate in sociology at Northeastern University. Her research interests include health inequality, immigration law and policy, race and ethnicity, immigrant rights mobilization, and health-related deservingness. Her dissertation project will utilize a mixed-methods approach to explore how divergent and racialized local immigration-related policy measures shape the health care experiences and health access of immigrants within the context of a global pandemic. Her previous research has examined how young adult immigrant rights activists mobilize in relation to municipal sanctuary policies. She is a recipient of the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship.
Tibrine received her B.A. from Simmons College, and an M.A. from Northeastern University. Prior to her graduate studies, she was lead paralegal with the Medical-Legal Partnership Boston, where she contributed to the development of trainings for frontline health care providers on how to screen for unmet legal needs as social determinants of health.
Tianjian Lai - PhD student in Sociology at UCLA
I am a 4th-year PhD student in Sociology at UCLA. I am interested in how legal and social boundaries around citizenship and legal status shape immigrants’ wellbeing in the United States and France. My dissertation will examine the outcomes of children living in mixed legal status families. Other research considers the consequences of citizenship denial, the effects of initial legal status on migrants’ integration trajectories, and legal status stratification in immigrants’ civic participation.
I have an MA in Sociology from UCLA and a BA in Sociology from the University of Chicago. My research has been funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide Program, the Russell Sage Foundation, Sciences Po LIEPP, and the French Institute for Demographic Studies.
Tolulope Babalola - Graduate Student, University of Southern California
Tolu is a second-year Ph.D. student at the University of Southern California. Tolu is interested in studying Black ethnic politics within the United States, which cannot be done without examining the internal and external migration story and patterns of Black Americans. Tolu is also interested in studying punitiveness and its relationship with Black incarceration (from prisons to detention centers) in the United States and other parts of the world. When Tolu is not studying, he enjoys cooking and trying new West African recipes.
William Martinez - Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Francisco/UCSF Health and Human Rights Initiative
I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Director of Child and Adolescent Services (CAS) within the Division of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (ICAP) at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG). I co-chair the Advocacy and Policy Committee of the UCSF Health and Human Rights Initiative, a multidisciplinary, interdepartmental hub focused on eliminating health disparities among asylees. I am also the principal investigator for the Fuerte program, a school-based group prevention program targeting newcomer immigrant youth in the San Francisco Unified School District at-risk for mental health concerns. My current research focuses overall on reducing behavioral health inequities and disparities among low income ethnic minority youth, with a specific emphasis on immigrant populations. I use a socioecological approach to understanding these concerns across three areas of inquiry: 1) the impact of social determinants on behavioral health inequities and disparities; 2) implementation and dissemination of evidence-based prevention and intervention programming for traumatic stress; and 3) policy and advocacy focused on improving conditions for juveniles in immigration court proceedings.
Ashley Crooks-Allen - Doctoral Candidate at the University of Georgia
Ashley Crooks-Allen is a Sociology Ph.D. candidate at the University of Georgia, where they focus on Black immigrant identity and social movements. Their dissertation is tentatively titled, “Mestizaje Undone: A Qualitative Social Media Analysis of Afro-Latinx Identity & Social Movements.” This work will take a qualitative approach to understanding how Afro-Latinx people use social media to make identity claims in relation to the Black Lives Matter Movement. Their master's research focused on Afro-Caribbean Identity & Experiences with the Black Lives Matter Movement in Georgia. They also completed a certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. They graduated from Emory University with a major in creative writing and a minor in sociology. At Emory, they were a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. They are from Irvington, NJ and are of Afro-Costa Rican descent. What happens when Afro-Latinx people enter the U.S. context with completely different notions of race? Their interest in Black migratory identity formation came from living the effects of their parents migrating to the U.S. and settling into Black prescribed spaces. In conjunction with academia, they also devote time to spoken word poetry and activism.
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