Graduate Fellows

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Founded in 1976, the Graduate Fellows Program (GFP) provides an interdisciplinary, intergenerational, and inclusive environment for research and training at the Berkeley campus. The GFP plays an integral part in training scholars to address the pressing challenges that face California, the nation, and the world. Read more here.


René Espinoza Kissell, Education

René Espinoza Kissell is a Ph.D. candidate in Education Policy specializing in the political economy of urban education, community engagement in school district reform, and the racial politics of educational privatization. Her dissertation examines the race and class politics surrounding public-private partnerships in Oakland’s public schools, focusing on how community stakeholders and policy elites navigate changing district governance through coalition building. A proud product of Milwaukee Public Schools, René received her B.A. in Latin American Studies and Spanish Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her M.A. in Education Policy from UC Berkeley.

Eunice Lee, Anthropology

Eunice Lee is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology; her research focuses on citizenship, migration, urban social movements, and law. During her ISSI fellowship, she will complete a project on urban citizenship and local refugee policy in San Francisco. Her interdisciplinary research draws upon training in anthropology and law to explore how attorneys advance the citizenship claims of refugee families via city-based initiatives. Eunice also helps direct the legal program at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at UC Hastings College of the Law. She previously worked as a litigator at the Immigrants' Rights Project of the national American Civil Liberties Union and practiced and taught refugee law as the Albert M. Sacks Clinical Teaching and Advocacy Fellow at Harvard Law School. Eunice received her B.A. from Stanford University with honors and distinction and her J.D. from Yale Law School. 

Renee Mack, Social Welfare

Renee Mack is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Social Welfare specializing in the provision of mental health services within the criminal justice system. Her dissertation uses a mixed-methods approach to understand how legal requirements shape clinical care for individuals with serious mental illness.  Specifically, Renee will analyze the ethical commitments, institutional constraints, and differences in treatment that are perceived and encountered by clinical staff and patients at a state psychiatric hospital. Renee holds a B.A. in Economics-Philosophy from Columbia University, an M.A. in Psychology in Education from Teachers College, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and an M.S.W from U.C. Berkeley. Prior to coming to Berkeley, Renee worked as a research assistant at the New York State Psychiatric Institute; she is currently working on her state licensure in clinical social work while she completes her doctorate.

Ryan Rhadigan, Rhetoric

Ryan Rhadigan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Rhetoric with a concentration in Critical Theory. He has a Master’s degree in American Indian Studies from UCLA. Ryan’s dissertation research historicizes and contextualizes ongoing Native American rhetorical engagements with legal and technoscientific discourses by examining how archival technics have shaped the conditions of legibility for Native American ontological and epistemological claims and impacted indigenous communities’ collective efforts to challenge, transform, and democratize scientific practices.

Michael V. Singh, Education

Michael V. Singh is a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Education and a member of the Designated Emphasis program in Women, Gender, & Sexuality. His dissertation explores the ways neoliberal framings of urban education dictate how boy of color programming approaches the perceived “deficits” of boys of color, and the imagined productive masculinities to be created. His research is structured as a year-long, ethnographic case study of a Latino male mentorship program in an urban school district in California. Drawing from rich ethnographic data in Latino male educational spaces, Michael’s work provides a timely addition to the growing research on boys of color and calls for a conscientious and intersectional engagement with the cultural politics of Latino masculinity. An article based on his dissertation pilot study, titled “Role models without guarantees: Corrective representations and the cultural politics of a Latino male teacher in the borderlands,” was recently published in Race Ethnicity and Education.

Anthony Wright, Medical Anthropology

Anthony Wright is a Ph.D. candidate in Medical Anthropology at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. His research interests include biomedical practice (particularly the fields of oncology and psychiatry); childhood and adolescence; the family and kinship; education and learning; and homelessness and mental illness. His regional interests are the United States and Mexico. His dissertation research focuses on pediatric and adolescent cancer treatment in Oakland, California. He is investigating how various forms of violence impinge upon the treatment process, as well as how morally charged discourses of parenthood, childhood, and adolescence structure the experience of treatment. He will explore these issues through ethnographic research at Children’s Hospital Oakland and at cancer-related events throughout the Bay Area. 


Institute for the Study of Societal Issues
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