SIMRM 2023

Victor Agboga

PhD Student at the University of Warwick

Victor Agboga is a PhD student at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. He has a BA in Philosophy from the Imo State University, Nigeria, an MA in Global Governance and Development from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany, and an MSc in African Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research interest revolves around African politics, African diaspora studies, African political economy, human security, and international development.

Carlos Aguilar

PhD Student, Sociology

I am a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, and a 2022 and 2023 Turner Schulman Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, & Immigration. Throughout my graduate career, my theoretical and empirical work has revolved around the experiences and opportunities encountered by undocumented youth and young adults in the United States. Today, my dissertation explores the meanings and implications that immigrant “illegality” poses in the lives of Dominican immigrants residing in Puerto Rico, and the ways in which this community...

John C. Arroyo

Assistant Professor in Engaging Diverse Communities

John C. Arroyo, Ph.D., AICP, is an Assistant Professor in Engaging Diverse Communities and Director of the PNW Just Futures Institute for Racial and Climate Justice at the University of Oregon. He received a doctorate in Urban Planning, Policy, and Design from MIT. He is a governor-appointed member of the Oregon State Advisory Committee on History Preservation and currently serves on the boards of the Public Humanities Network of the Consortium for Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) and the School for Advanced Research (SAR). Beginning in the 2023-24 academic year, Arroyo will be an...

Darwin A. Baluran

Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Darwin Baluran is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Glenn College of Public Affairs and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University. He earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Science in Health Systems Management from Loyola University Chicago, where he was also a McNair scholar. He is particularly interested in examining how racialization processes differentially harm marginalized communities and addressing the disconnect between the conceptualization of race as a dynamic social construct and how it is often...

Elif Buyukakbas

PhD student in Sociology

Elif Buyukakbas is a third-year PhD student in Sociology and MS student in Applied Statistics at Northwestern University. Her main research areas include gender and migration research with a range of interests in issues of power and state, violence, and families. She is currently interested in the circulation of political remittances, which describe the multi-directional flow of political ideas and norms between places. She is also interested in the role of different family arrangements and states in upholding structures of power and different gender regimes. She holds a BA in Economics...

Karina Chavarria

Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University Channel Islands

Dr. Karina Chavarria is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University Channel Islands. Broadly, her research agenda bridges multiple sociological sub-fields: education, migration, and race and ethnicity. In particular, she examines the relationship between educational inequalities as these impact marginalized youth across race/ethnicity and immigration status, with particular attention to youth’s agency in enacting transformative social change.

Carlo Chunga Pizarro

Ph.D Student, Urban Planning and Public Policy Department

Carlo Chunga Pizarro (he/they) is a first-generation PhD student in the Urban Planning and Public Policy Department at the University of California, Irvine. They received a BS and master's in urban planning from Texas A&M University. He is originally from Piura, Peru, but immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 7 and was raised in Texas. Their research focuses on how undocumented communities engage in disaster planning and the extent to which sanctuary cities center undocumented individuals in disaster preparedness and mitigation.

Catherine L Crooke

PhD student at UCLA

Catherine Crooke (she/they) is a PhD student in Sociology at UCLA. Catherine’s current research uses ethnography to study asylum lawyering in Los Angeles, examining how immigration attorneys adapt their work to navigate exclusionary policies of migration control. Before pursuing her PhD, Catherine worked at the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) and with various organizations assisting displaced people in Lebanon, Jordan, the Caribbean, and the United States. Catherine holds a JD from Yale Law School, an MSc in Refugee & Forced Migration Studies from the University of...

Teresita Cruz Vital

PhD student in Economics at UC Berkeley

Tere is a third year PhD student in economics at UC Berkeley. She received a BA in economics from UC Berkeley in 2018 and was a Gates Millennium and McNair Scholar. Her research interests exist at the intersection of labor economics and economic inequality and center immigrant communities. Tere and her family’s experience as Mexican immigrants in the US and the work she has done working with immigrants in her community influenced her decision to pursue graduate school, and continue to inform her research questions. Prior to starting her PhD, Tere completed a 2-year post-bacc program at...

Shiyue Cui

Ph.D. candidate in the Sociology Department

Shiyue Cui is a Ph.D. candidate in the Sociology Department at the University at Buffalo, where she researches social inequality, international migration, race and ethnicity, and environmental sociology. She is working on her dissertation entitled “‘Making It Work Here’: Mixed Methods Research about Refugee Employment, Family Dynamics, and Gender Roles.” In this study, she examines how family dynamics and gender roles influence the employment outcomes of Asian refugees as they resettle in Western New York.