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.

Below we feature news from our alumni. To see books by our alumni, visit this page.


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Geographer Explores Resegregation and Inequality in Northern California

Alex Schafran, Lecturer in Geography at University of Leeds and former ISSI Grad Fellow, was featured on KQED Forum discussing his recent book The Road to Resegregation: Northern California and the Failure of Politics. In the podcast he discusses the new factors that have driven people of color out of cities, into the farther reaches of the Bay Area, resulting in long commutes, unstable finances and rising poverty, and compounding the effects of long-standing housing discrimination.

Practical PhD

One of our alumni, Zawadi Rucks-Ahidiana, Assistant Professor of Sociology at SUNY Albany, has launched a new blog with advice and insight to make the PhD process more transparent from start to finish and beyond.  

Public Scholarship on Technology, Work, and Resistance

Veena Dubal, former ISSI Graduate Fellow and now Associate Professor of Law at UC Hastings, published a series of essays and op-eds in the spring and summer of 2019:

Paying for Health Care for Adult Undocumented Immigrants

In Gavin Newsom’s ‘California For All’ budget, undocumented immigrants are not included,” an op-ed by Dani Carillo, Research Specialist at UCSF and former Graduate Fellow, was recently published by Cal Matters. Dr. Carillo applauds the governor for covering undocumented immigrants under 26 and draws on her research to show how necessary it is to include health coverage for all.

Precarity and Labor Market Freedom

Day Labor Agencies, ‘Backdoor’ Hires, and the Spread of Unfree Labor,” a new article by Gretchen Purser, former Graduate Fellow, now Associate Professor of Sociology at Syracuse University. The article, in Anthropology of Work Review, examines how day laborers and day labor agency dispatchers negotiate and navigate the practice of “backdoor” hiring, wherein employers hire workers from, but not through, the agency.

Urban Geography

Nathan McClintock, Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University and former Graduate Fellow, is one of the new editors of Urban Geography and welcomes submissions from other alums! His own recent articles include "Cultivating (a) Sustainability Capital: Urban Agriculture, Ecogentrification, and the Uneven Valorization of Social Reproduction" in the Annals of the American Association of Geographers and "Urban Agriculture, Racial Capitalism, and Resistance in the Settler‐Colonial City" in Geography Compass.

Honors for the "Pushouts," a Documentary about Former Fellow Victor Rios

“The Pushouts” is an award-winning film about the journey of Victor Rios from gang member to sociology professor working for a better future for youth and working to reconceptualize how failure and success are constructed. This article in Remezcla explains how the film-makers repurposed old footage of Rios for the film, which has won numerous awards.  Dr. Rios is a former ISSI Grad Fellow and currently Professor of Sociology  and Associate Dean of Social Sciences at UC Santa Barbara. He is best known for his book Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys (NYU Press 2011).

Policy and Possibilities: the Undocumented Youth Movement

Genevieve Negrón‐Gonzales, Associate Professor of Education at University of San Francisco and former ISSI Graduate Fellow, shares her social change scholarship in academic and policy outlets. “Political Possibilities: Lessons from the Undocumented Youth Movement for Resistance to the Trump Administration” is her recent article in Anthropology and Education Quarterly, drawing on ten years of qualitative and ethnographic research with undocumented young people and reflecting on her own lifetime of activism. “Deportation as an Educational Policy Issue: How We Can Fight Back & Why We Must” is her recent policy brief in the UndocuScholars Policy and Research Brief Series.


Private Prisons, Profits, and Immigrant Detention

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 article in The American Scholar, on private prison companies and immigrant detainees. "Paying to Be Locked Up" explains how private prison companies are treating immigrant detainees like convicted criminals and reaping huge profits from the detainees. 

Award for Eric Pido's Book on Circuits of Migration and Processes of Connection between the Philippines and California

Migrant Returns: Manila, Development, and Transnational Connectivity by Eric J. Pido was recognized with the 2019 Association of Asian American Studies Book Award. The book 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. He gave a talk on his book at ISSI; the video is available here.

Police Harassment and Surveillance of Hmong-American Young Men

In her recent article, “Criminalization and Second-Generation Hmong American Boys,” Bao Lo, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at CSU Sacramento and former ISSI Graduate Fellow, explores the often-overlooked criminalization of Southeast Asian Americans. She explores the ways even high-acheiving second generation Hmong American boys are criminalized as men of color and hypercriminalized as gang members in their Sacramento neighborhood.

“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."

Social Class and College Choices

Former ISSI Graduate Fellow Yang Lor (University of the Pacific) has a chapter, “Narratives of Interdependence and Independence: The Role of Social Class and Family Relationships in Where High-Achieving Students Apply to College,” in the recent volume Research in the Sociology of Education. Based on interviews with high-achieving students, he found that lower-SES students tend to limit their college choices to primarily selective and nonselective public colleges closer to home, while higher-SES students are more likely to apply to selective private universities in other parts of the country, thus giving them additional choices.

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.

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.


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.

Inspiring Words from Pedro Noguera

Pedro Noguera was the keynote speaker at the ISSI social change award ceremony in 2017. Noguera is Distinguished Professor of Education, UC Los Angeles and a former Graduate Fellow. Video of his talk, "Writing, Resisting and Research: The Role of Scholarship During the Trump Presidency" is available here (his talk begins 59 minutes into the video).

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.

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.

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.

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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