Graduate Fellows Program Alumni News

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Recent News from Alumni of the Graduate Fellows Program


Make a gift to the Graduate Fellow Program Fund here.  

Your gift will be used to provide training and mentorship to a new generation of scholars engaged in research on race, ethnicity, gender and class in the United States.

Congratulations to former ISSI Graduate Fellow Roberto Hernandez (Chicano Studies, San Diego State) on his new book Coloniality of the US/Mexico Border which engages in a provocative argument that borders—and border violence—are geospatial manifestations of long histories of racialized and gendered colonial violence. Based on more than twenty years of border activism in San Diego–Tijuana and El Paso–Ciudad Juárez, this book is an interdisciplinary examination that considers the 1984 McDonald’s massacre, Minutemen vigilantism, border urbanism, the ongoing murder of women in Ciudad Juárez, and anti-border music.

“Caring for ‘Super‐utilizers’: Neoliberal Social Assistance in the Safety‐net”

In a new article in Medical Anthropology Quarterly, former Graduate Fellow Mark Fleming and co-authors present their ethnographic research on health care providers in safety‐net settings and how they navigate and deploy expansions of care and social assistance for vulnerable people, particularly those who receive repeated, high‐cost medical interventions yet at the same time lack the basic resources for survival, including housing, food, and psychosocial support. Fleming is a Post-Doctoral Scholar at UC San Francisco.


In a recent Anthropology and Education Quarterly article, “A Mamá No la Vas a Llevar en la Maleta: Undocumented Mothers Crossing and Contesting Borders for Their Children’s Education, ” Rebecca Alexander, assistant professor of Education Studies at DePauw University and former ISSI Graduate Fellow draws on ethnographic research in a California school to re-examine "parental involvement."

New Book on the Lived Experiences of Mexican Teenage Girls

Lilia Soto, former ISSI Graduate Fellow and Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Wyoming, has a new book, Girl in the Borderlands: Mexican Teens Caught in the Crossroads of Migration. She will be giving a book talk at the Center for Latino Policy Research (2547 Channing Way) on September 26, 4-5pm.

Countering Disinformation, and U.S. Sanctions Against Russia

In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Alina Polyakova, Brookings Institution Fellow (Foreign Policy, Center on the United States and Europe) and former ISSI/CRWS Graduate Fellow, (with Geysha Gonzalez) proposes the US anti-smoking campaign as a model for countering disinformation.  And on KQED’s Forum, Alina discusses US sanctions against Russia.

Exploitation in the Gig Economy

On KQED’s Forum, Veena Dubal, former ISSI Graduate Fellow and now Associate Professor of Law at UC Hastings, shared her expertise on exploitation associated with Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing companies, the toll it is taking on taxi drivers, and consumer responsibility. Dubal argues, “Exploitation and convenience are not two sides of the same coin.” And in this video produced at UC Hastings, Dubal offers more critical reflections on work, law and the gig economy.

Scandinavian Exceptionalism? Isolation and Normalization in Danish Prisons 

Keramet Reiter, former ISSI Graduate Fellow and Associate Professor of Criminology, Law & Society, and at the School of Law at UC Irvine, has a new co-authored article, “Theoretical and empirical limits of Scandinavian Exceptionalism: Isolation and normalization in Danish prisons,” in Punishment & Society. Drawing on interviews with prisoners, staff and experts, the article documents lived experiences of punishment in the Danish prison context and challenges the theory of Scandinavian Exceptionalism with regard to confinement regimes.

The Diaper Dilemma and Manning Up

Former ISSI Graduate Fellow and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Fresno State University Jennifer Randles has two new articles. In “The Diaper Dilemma” (Contexts 2017) she argues that diaper need, a common and often hidden consequence of poverty, and the policy vacuum surrounding it represents a distinct cultural and economic problem. In “'Manning Up' to be a Good Father: Hybrid Fatherhood, Masculinity, and U.S. Responsible Fatherhood Policy," (Gender and Society 2018) she shows how a government program for poor men of color legitimates and sustains gender, race, and class inequalities through U.S. welfare policy.

Preventing Obesity in Latinx Children

Former ISSI Graduate Fellow and DrPH Carlos Penilla has a new article, “Obstacles to preventing obesity in children aged 2 to 5 years: Latino mothers’ and fathers’ experiences and perceptions of their urban environments,” in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Results from this study suggest that Lantinx parents’ demographic, social and community characteristics influence what and how they feed their children, as well as how often and the types of opportunities they provide for physical activity.


Ties that Bind: Family Obligations as Constraints to Student Educational Endeavors

Former ISSI Fellow and recent Sociology PhD Yang Lor has a new article, “Ties that Bind: Family Obligations as Immediate and Anticipatory Obstacles,” in Race Ethnicity and Education. Based on a study of 30 low-income Hmong American high school students, the article shows how poverty and family obligations create gender-based expectations that prevent Hmong youth from pursuing opportunities for social mobility.

New Article on Patient-Inmate Perspectives on Jail Psychiatric Services

Leah Jacobs, former ISSI Graduate Fellow and now Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh, has a new article, “‘It’s Not Like Therapy’: Patient-Inmate Perspectives on Jail Psychiatric Services,” (with Sequoia Giordano) in the journal Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. Based on a qualitative study of patient-inmate experiences, Leah finds that jails struggle to provide even the most basic and essential forms of psychiatric care; alternatives that connect patient-inmates with community-based providers are badly needed.

Responding to Violence, Keeping the Peace

Former ISSI Graduate Fellow Cid Martinez has a new article, “Responding to Violence, Keeping the Peace: Relations between Black and Latino Youth,” which was recently published in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Cid is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of San Diego.

Award for Public Understanding of Sociology

Congratulations to Victor Rios, former ISSI Graduate Fellow and Professor of Sociology at UC Santa Barbara, who was awarded the American Sociological Association’s Public Understanding of Sociology Award (2017). The award is given annually “to an ASA member, person or persons, who have made exemplary contributions to advance the public understanding of sociology, sociological research, and scholarship among the general public.”

New Edited Volume on NGOs and “Cultures of Doing Good” 

Amanda Lashaw, former ISSI Graduate Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Education Department at UC Santa Cruz, is the co-editor of a new book, Cultures of Doing Good: Anthropologists and NGOs (U Alabama Press, 2017). The book offers a survey of NGO dynamics in varied cultural and political settings.

New Article on Party Identification and the Immigrant Cohort Hypothesis

Former ISSI Graduate Fellow and President of the Institute for Good Government and Inclusion Loan Le has a new article, “Party Identification and the Immigrant Cohort Hypothesis: The Case of Vietnamese Americans” (with Phi Su), which was recently published in the journal Politics, Groups and Identities.


Student Veterans and the Rise of the Military-Friendly Campus 

ISSI Visiting Scholar and former ISSI Graduate Fellow Ellen Moore was interviewed by the Chronicle of Higher Education about her new book, Grateful Nation: Student Veterans and the Rise of the Military-Friendly Campus (Duke University Press, 2017).


From First-Generation College Student to Tenure-Track Faculty Member

David Hernández, Assistant Professor of Latino/a studies at Mount Holyoke College and former ISSI Graduate Fellow, shares his experiences as a first-generation college student in this essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education, "A First-Generation Student’s Survival Strategy: Work More, Sleep Less" and in this post, “My PhD didn’t level the playing field,” on the blog site Breaking Cycle.

States of Incarceration

ISSI former Graduate Fellow Sarah Lynn Lopez and her students at University of Texas, Austin, created this exhibit on the architecture of immigrant detention facilities in Texas. The project unveils the architecture of detention and migrants’ experiences in detention centers by documenting where they are, what they are, and who they incarcerate. Sarah is Assistant Professor of Architecture at UT and was awarded a Mellon Fellowship in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities to spend 2016-17 at Princeton University.

New Book by Eric Pido on Circuits of Migration and Processes of Connection between the Philippines and California

In Migrant Returns: Manila, Development, and Transnational Connectivity (Duke University Press 2017),  Eric J. Pido examines the complicated relationship among the Philippine economy, Manila’s urban development, and balikbayans—Filipino migrants visiting or returning to their homeland—to reconceptualize migration as a process of connectivity. Focusing on the experiences of balikbayans returning to Manila from California, Pido shows how Philippine economic and labor policies have created an economy reliant upon property speculation, financial remittances, and the affective labor of Filipinos living abroad. Eric is a former ISSI Graduate Fellow and currently Associate Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University

Award for Research on Solitary Confinement in American Prisons

Keramet Reiter, Assistant Professor at UC Irvine and former ISSI Graduate Fellow, was awarded the 2017 American Society of Criminology's prestigious Ruth Cavan Young Scholar Award, a major recognition of her work. The award highlights outstanding scholarly contributions to the discipline of criminology by a scholar who has received his or her degree within the past five years. The award recognizes her book 23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long Term Solitary. Drawing on the research she did for her book, Reiter explains how to improve the conditions and processes of solitary confinement in this Los Angeles Times editorial. She argues for involving guards in reform and for providing them with more resources, in addition to setting clear time limits for solitary confinement, ensuring that prisoners are in humane conditions, and providing mental health treatment. 

New Book by Willow Lung-Amam on Immigrants and the "American Dream" in a Silicon Valley Suburbbook cover

Willow Lung-Amam, former ISSI Graduate Fellow and currently Assistant Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Maryland, College Park, has a new book. “Trespassers? Asian Americans and the Battle for Suburbia” (University of California Press 2017) follows one Silicon Valley community as it transforms from a sleepy rural town to one of the nation's largest Asian American–majority cities. The book highlights the passionate efforts of Asian Americans to make Silicon Valley their home by investing in local schools, neighborhoods, and shopping centers. It also provides a textured tale of the tensions that emerge over this suburb's changing environment.


Analyzing Activism: This is What Democracy Looks Like!

Dawn Dow and colleagues have been conducting research at protests since the Trump inauguration to understand the motivations and civic engagement of participants. Their findings from the Women's March in Washington, DC in January are reported in this Sociological Images blog and this Science of Us article. This article on The Conversation reports on the Women’s March, the March for Science and the People’s Climate March, showing intriguing similarities among the participants. Dawn is a former ISSI Graduate Fellow and now Assistant Professor of Sociology at University of Maryland, College Park.

book coverNew book by Patrisia Macías-Rojas Provides a "Street-Level" Perspective on Immigration Enforcement in the US

From Deportation to Prison: The Politics of Immigration Enforcement in Post-Civil Rights America” is a new book by Patrisia Macías-Rojas, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Illinois at Chicago, and former ISSI Graduate Fellow. Drawing on over a decade of ethnographic and archival research, the book explores how mass incarceration and law and order policies of the past forty years have transformed immigration and border enforcement. She provides a “street-level” perspective on how this newly punitive regime has serious lived implications for the day-to-day actions of Border Patrol agents, local law enforcement, civil and human rights advocates, and for migrants and residents of predominantly Latina/o border communities.


Authorities, Institutions, and Gang Members Are the Focus of New Book by Victor Rios

In his new book Human Targets (University of Chicago Press 2017), Victor Rios, Associate Professor of Sociology at UC Santa Barbara and former ISSI Graduate Fellow, follows young gang members into schools, homes, community organizations, and detention facilities, watches them interact with police, grow up to become fathers, get jobs, get rap sheets—and in some cases get killed. Rios makes a powerful case that the traditional good kid/bad kid, street kid/decent kid dichotomy is much too simplistic, arguing instead that authorities and institutions help create these identities—and that they can play an instrumental role in providing young people with the resources for shifting between roles.


New Book by Katrinell Davis on Gender and Racial Inequality Among Transit Workers

Katrinell Davis, Assistant Professor of Sociology at University of Vermont and former ISSI Graduate Fellow, has a new book published: Hard Work Is Not Enough: Gender and Racial Inequality in an Urban Workspace (University of North Carolina Press, 2017). Drawing on archival material and interviews with African American women transit workers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Davis grapples with our understanding of mobility as it intersects with race and gender in the postindustrial and post–civil rights United States. She provides a comprehensive account of how political, social, and economic factors work together to shape the culture of opportunity in a postindustrial workplace.



New Article on Gender and Sexuality in the Neo-liberal Public High School

Susan Woolley, former ISSI Graduate Fellow and now Assistant Professor of Educational Studies at Colgate University, has a new article in Gender and Education.  "Contesting silence, claiming space: gender and sexuality in the neo-liberal public high school" is based on an ethnographic study of a California high school and "challenges us to think through how ‘safe spaces’ to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning are marked and contested through semiotic means in the social landscape of the neo-liberal public high school."

Trump Accused of Giving 'a Shot of Adrenalin' to Canadian Racists

Fidan Elcioglu, former ISSI Graduate Fellow and now Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, is quoted in this article about racism in Canada after Trump’s election. "His unfiltered rhetoric may sound disturbing to much of America, but much of America has been masking its existing biases for decades." 

Disenfranchisement Due to Debt

In 30 states, people who owe debts from criminal and court fees cannot vote. In this Washington Post op-ed, Karin Martin and Anne Stuhldreher argue that “withholding voting rights because of debt tells those with a criminal history: You don’t get a say. It means that, after having otherwise paid their debt to society, individuals with previous convictions are cut off from civic engagement.” Karin is a former ISSI Graduate Fellow and now assistant professor of Public Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales Honored as Emerging Leader

Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales, Assisstant Professor in the Department of Leadership Studies in the School of Education at the University of San Francisco, received the 2016 Emerging Leader Award from the Chicana/Latina Foundation.  The Chicana/Latina Foundation is a non-profit organization which promotes professional and leadership development of Latinas. Read more about Genevieve and her numerous contributions here.

Article on Day Laborers, Race, and Illegality Wins Award

In his  article in Latino Studies,  “Racialized illegality: The regulation of informal labor and space," Juan Herrera analyzes “the construction of racialized forms of difference between indigenous and nonindigenous Latino workers, based on an examination of their solicitation practices at day labor hiring zones.” The article was recognized with the Distinguished Contribution to Research Article Award from the Latino/a Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. Juan is a former ISSI Graduate Fellow and currently Assistant Professor of Geography at UC Los Angeles.

New Article on MUNI Bus Drivers and Neoliberal Time Discipline

Mark Fleming, former ISSI Graduate Fellow and currently a visiting scholar at BCSM, has a new article, “Mass Transit Workers and Neoliberal Time Discipline in San Francisco,” in American Anthropologist. In the article, based on ethnographic research with bus drivers, he shows how “neoliberal time discipline works to delegitimize the wage labor contract itself and to fracture the social arrangements of long-term, waged employment.”


New Book on Marriage Promotion in the US

Congratulations to former ISSI Graduate Fellow Jennifer Randles on her new book, Proposing Prosperity: Marriage Education Policy and Inequality in America (Columbia University Press 2016). Jennifer is Assistant Professor of Sociology at CSU Fresno. Drawing on ethnographic research in government-funded marriage classes for low-income couples and interviews with participants and providers, "she takes the reader inside healthy marriage classrooms to reveal how their curricula are reflections of broader issues of culture, gender, governance, and social inequality. In analyzing the implementation of healthy marriage policy, Randles questions whether it should target individual behavior or the social and economic context of that behavior."


Can philanthropy alleviate inequality? Do anti-poverty programs work on the ground? 

In her new book, Erica Kohl-Arenas, former ISSI Graduate Fellow and now Assistant Professor at The New School, bores deeply into how these issues play out in California’s Central Valley, simultaneously one of the wealthiest agricultural production regions in the world and home to the poorest people in the United States. The Self-Help Myth: How Philanthropy Fails to Alleviate Poverty reveals how philanthropy maintains systems of inequality by attracting attention to the “behavior” of poor people while shifting the focus away from structural inequities and relationships of power that produce poverty. In Fresno County, for example, which has a $5.6 billion plus agricultural industry, migrant farm workers depend heavily on food banks, religious organizations, and family networks to feed and clothe their families. 


Planning for Social Justice

Congratulations to Fernando Burga, former ISSI Graduate Fellow and now Assistant Professor in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. He received an award from the American Planning Association for his work with community organizers in the Greater Washington neighborhood of San Jose, CA

Cid Martinez’s The Neighborhood Has Its Own Rules: Latinos and African Americans in South Los Angeles Now Available

The Neighborhood Has Its Own Rules: Latinos and African Americans in South Los Angeles The Neighborhood Has Its Own Rules: Latinos and African Americans in South Los Angeles by Cid Martinez, former CRSC Graduate Fellow and Assistant Professor of Sociology at University of San Diego, was recently published (NYU Press, 2016). Based on in-depth ethnographic field work collected when Martinez lived and worked in schools in South Central, this study reveals the day-to-day ways in which social institutions in South LA— its churches, its local politicians, and even its gangs—have reduced conflict and kept violence to a level that is manageable for its residents. 



Make a gift to the Graduate Fellow Program Fund here.  

Your gift will be used to provide training and mentorship to a new generation of scholars engaged in research on race, ethnicity, gender and class in the United States.

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