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Migration and Immigration

Alexandra Filindra Heading link

Associate Professor, Political Science

Alexandra Filindra is Associate Professor of Political Science and Psychology. She currently serves as the editor-in-chief for the Journal of Race, Ethnicity and Politics (Cambridge). She specializes in American immigration policy, race and ethnic politics, public opinion, and political psychology. Her work has appeared in Political Behavior, Policy Studies Journal, Regional Studies, Harvard Education Review, Migration Studies, International Migration and other journals. Dr. Filindra is the recipient of three best paper awards from the American Political Science Association and the Lucius Barker Award from the MPSA.

Faculty Profile

Claire Laurier Decoteau Heading link

Associate Professor, Sociology

Dr. Decoteau’s research focuses on the social construction of knowledge about health and disease, peoples’ grounded experiences of illness and health inequality, and the effects of economic, welfare and health policy on marginalized populations. Her work is international in focus and analyzes health and mental health in Africa and the African diaspora. Dr. Decoteau’s first book drew on global health research on HIV/AIDS conducted in South Africa from 2002-2012, and her newest book analyzes the health-seeking behavior and beliefs of Somali parents of children with autism in the US and Canada.

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Jennifer Jones Heading link

Assistant Professor, Sociology and Latin American and Latino Studies

As a scholar, Jennifer Jones seeks to examine the social construction of race by exploring three distinct sources of change in the contemporary racial landscape — immigration, the growing multiracial population, and shifting social relations between and within racial groups. By focusing on these three themes, Dr. Jones works to expand our understanding of how people become racialized and make sense of that racial identity, as well as how those identities impact social relations and politics.

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Mansha Mirza Heading link

Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy

Dr. Mirza’s research seeks to enhance health and social services for low-income, underserved communities, with a special focus on immigrant and refugee newcomers. In her work, Dr. Mirza collaborates with various community organizations. Her current projects focus on policy and programmatic innovations such as organizational capacity-building, language access trainings, and collaborating with community health workers and peer mentors.

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Nadine Naber Heading link

Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies & Global Asian Studies

Dr. Naber’s research theorizes the racialization of Arab and Muslim Americans within the contexts of empire and diaspora and seeks to answer the following: How can Arab American Studies respond to Orientalism and tackle sexism, homophobia, and racism in ways that neither reinscribe Arab-bashing nor engage in Orientalism? Dr. Naber’s current research focuses on the impact of state violence (policing/prisons; immigration; and war/surveillance) on mothers of color, highlighting what the visions and strategies of mother-activists bring to Chicago-based social justice movements.

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P. Zitlali (Lali) Morales Heading link

Associate Professor, Curriculum and Instruction

Dr. Morales’ research focuses on the linguistic practices of Latinx bilinguals, the language ideologies of multilingual immigrant communities, and bilingual education policy. She is a teacher educator preparing pre-service and in-service teachers to work with emergent bilingual students and their families. Dr. Morales is a co-editor of the book, Transforming Schooling for Second Language Learners: Theoretical Insights, Policies, Pedagogies, and Practices by Information Age Publishing. She coordinates the Bilingual and ESL endorsement at UIC.

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Ralph Cintron Heading link

Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies & English

Dr. Cintron’s research combines rhetorical theory and ethnography. He has worked among right-wing extremist groups, in Chicago’s Puerto Rican and Mexican neighborhoods, and Eastern Europe, focusing on matters of the undocumented, gentrification, liberalism, democracy, property rights, and the commons. He wrote Angels’ Town: Chero Ways, Gang Life, and Rhetorics of the Everyday and is currently working on Volatilities and the End(s) of Sovereignty that addresses modernity, indigeneity, and climate warming.

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Rohan D. Jeremiah Heading link

Associate Professor, Community Health Sciences

Dr. Jeremiah is a global public health scholarly practitioner working at the intersection of substance use, violence, and HIV/AIDS. He integrates social science theories into public health and social service research by examining trauma through the lens of intersectionality to explain domestic and global health men’s health disparities. Dr. Jeremiah’s research activities include harm-reduction services for sexual, gender minority young adults in Chicago and the Eastern Caribbean and trauma-informed assessments and care for resettled ethnic-minority refugee men in the United States.

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Sarah Abboud Heading link

Assistant Professor, Human Development Nursing Science

Dr. Abboud’s research centers on the intersections of ethnicity, sexuality, gender, health, and immigration among immigrants, ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities in the United States, in particular Arabs and Arab Americans, and in Lebanon. Her work is informed by social justice, intersectionality, and health equity frameworks and aims at decreasing the significant health disparities faced by marginalized populations. Along with her research work, she has extensive experience in sexual health, qualitative research methods, mixed methods, and community-based participatory research approaches.

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Xóchitl Bada Heading link

Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies Program

Dr. Bada is the author of Mexican Hometown Associations in Chicagoacán: From Local to Transnational Civic Engagement (Rutgers University Press). Her research interests include migrant access to political and social rights, migrant organizing strategies, violence and displacement, and transnational labor advocacy mobilization. She is coeditor of Accountability across Borders: Migrant Rights in North America (The University of Texas Press) and is currently a Fellow at the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study.

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Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar Heading link

Professor, Occupational Therapy & Disability and Human Development

Dr. Suarez-Balcazar’s research expands across several interrelated areas that concentrate on developing, implementing and evaluating culturally relevant community-based interventions to address health disparities, in particular obesity, among Latinos with disabilities. She is currently studying obesity prevention among children with developmental disabilities and their families through engaged-research and is also at work on a training grant on community living and participation for people with disabilities. She embraces a Community-Based Participatory Research and a Social Ecological approach to addressing concerns facing minority communities.

Faculty Profile