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The American Sociological Association and the Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) are pleased to introduce the five new Fellows who comprise MFP Cohort 37. The MFP Advisory Panel met this past spring in Washington, DC, to review the highly competitive pool of applications. MFP Cohort 37 consists of PhD candidates with strong and diverse sociological research interests. The new Fellows will officially begin their participation on August 1, 2010.
They will attend the 2010 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, where they will take part in a day-long orientation that will include a brief history of the ASA and a series of presentations by sociologists (including several former Fellows) with expertise in a variety of research areas. The new Fellows will also participate in a number of required sessions and workshops and have the opportunity to network with sociologists with similar research interests from across the country and abroad. At the Annual Meeting, they will attend MFP-sponsored events including a breakfast meeting with all currently active Fellows on Saturday, August 14 and a professional workshop co-sponsored by MFP on Sunday, August 15. They will also be introduced individually and as a group at the MFP Benefit Reception on Monday, August 16.
In 2010-2011, MFP enters its first year without primary funding from an NIH T32 training grant from the National Institute of Mental Health or the National Institute on Drug Abuse funding. MFP is now supported in full by generous contributions from Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS), Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD), the Midwest Sociological Society (MSS), the Association of Black Sociologists (ABS), the Southwestern Sociological Association (SSA), and ASA Council as well as the significant annual contributions made by many ASA members. This year MFP will also begin drawing on the funds raised from sociologists who have pledged up to five years of financial support through the MFP Leadership Campaign, led by ASA Immediate Past Vice-President Margaret Andersen at the University of Delaware. The success of the MFP Leadership Campaign, which has raised more than $430,000 in pledges to date and is still collecting pledges, has allowed MFP to add two funding lines for a total of seven Fellowships in 2010-2011 (see the January 2010 Footnotes).
The five new Fellows are listed below, along with designations that recognize the annual contributions to the program made by sociological associations and, beginning this year, the MFP Leadership Campaign. They will join two Fellows who are continuing their training in the program from the past year, Marcus Hunter (ABS MFP) at Northwestern University and Rebecca Romo (SWS MFP 1) at the University of California-Santa Barbara.
Undergraduate Institution: Clark University
Graduate Institution: Texas A & M University
Eugenia grew up in Actopan Hidalgo, Mexico. When she was 16 years old, she immigrated to the United States. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Philosophy from Clark University in Massachusetts and holds two master’s degrees, one in Vocational Rehabilitation from the University of Texas at Austin and the other in Epidemiology from the Texas A&M University Health Science Center. She is currently a doctoral candidate in demography and sociology at Texas A&M University and is now writing her dissertation. Her main areas of interest are demography, medical sociology, and statistics and research methods. She is especially interested in the application of these research areas to health disparities and the fertility of minorities in the United States. In her dissertation, she is investigating the factors that contribute to high rates of teen pregnancy among minorities, with a special focus on Latinas. Eugenia is specifically addressing the relationship between access to education and teen pregnancy. Additionally, among her other ongoing research projects is an analysis of the impacts of missing data on hypothesis testing.
Undergraduate Institution: University of Notre Dame
Graduate Institution: University of Minnesota
Elaine is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Minnesota (UM), where she is focusing on the sociology of health and illness. She received her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Notre Dame and an MPH from the University of Minnesota. In her work, she blends perspectives and methods from medical sociology, life course scholarship, and social stratification research in order to understand social inequalities in health. In collaboration with John Robert Warren and Phyllis Moen, her work has appeared in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior as well as The Craft of Life Course Research. Her dissertation, "The Unintended Consequences of Biomedical Advances: Social Inequalities in Health Behaviors among Pregnant Women," examines the process by which health inequalities are reproduced. She hypothesizes that peer networks provide new health information and influence health behaviors by defining acceptable behaviors, which affect the social and economic hardships experienced by disadvantaged groups over time. Her dissertation research is supported by the Department of Sociology, a UM Graduate School Thesis Research Grant, and the Children, Youth and Family Consortium at the University of Minnesota, as well as the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making and the National Science Foundation.
Undergraduate Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Graduate Institution: University of California-Irvine
Born and raised in Orange County, CA, Dana received his undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in systems engineering, Japanese, and international relations. After a short stint in the corporate world as a consultant for IBM, Dana returned to academia, earning a master’s degree in Asian American Studies from San Francisco State University. Stemming from his work there, Dana sought on-the-ground experience and was awarded the 2007 Mike M. Masaoka Congressional Fellowship from the Japanese American Citizens League, and was placed in the office of Congressman Mike Honda as a legislative aide. Dana has also published on the effects of welfare reform on Asian Americans in California in Harvard’s Asian American Policy Review. Now pursuing his doctorate at UC-Irvine, he applies his previous experiences to his research on race, immigrant incorporation, and political sociology. In his dissertation, Dana challenges conventional understandings of assimilation and acculturation looking through the critical lens of citizenship. Taking the case of later-generation Japanese Americans, he argues that traditional assimilation paradigms cannot fully explain the partial citizenship exercised and experienced by immigrant-origin communities of color without accounting for limitations in social and cultural citizenship.
Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
Graduate Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
While at the University of California-Santa Cruz where he received his bachelor’s degree in politics and legal studies, Forrest had the opportunity to learn from influential scholars such as Angela Davis, who taught him to critically analyze the often invisible impacts that race and class have on communities like those found in his hometown. He began working on prisoners’ advocacy issues as an investigator for various public defenders. This work continued throughout his master’s program in justice, law, and society at the American University in Washington, DC. In 2006, he returned home and entered the sociology program at UCLA in hopes of utilizing his education to improve conditions there. He has found opportunities to fuse his passion for social activism with academic research, most recently by turning his attention to Skid Row in Los Angeles, working with grassroots organizations to empower homeless and low-income residents to fight for equal and just treatment from the police and city officials. Teaching has played a major role in this effort, as he has looked for ways to fuse undergraduate education and civic engagement to push social activism even further.
Undergraduate Institution: California State Polytechnic University-Pomona
Graduate Institution: Ohio State University
Lisa Williams was born and raised in Los Angeles and after two years, has yet to adjust to the freezing winters and humid summers in Columbus, OH. As a doctoral student at Ohio State University (OSU), she is developing expertise in racial and gender stratification with focuses on workplace discrimination and educational achievement. Her master’s thesis, which received the OSU Department of Sociology 2010 Clyde W. Franklin Award, investigates the implications of gender and racial composition for the emergence of general incivility, sexual harassment, and racial discrimination in the workplace. Her thesis also considers whether human resource structures, such as an Equal Employment Opportunity office and diversity training, reduce the likelihood of workplace discrimination. Currently, with Vincent Roscigno, Lisa is examining the bureaucratic justifications employers give for discrimination toward women, minority, and older workers. Additionally, she and Claudia Buchmann are conducting comparative research on racial inequalities in educational outcomes in a range of societies. In April, Lisa was also awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She is grateful for the support of her graduate and undergraduate faculty mentors and the McNair Scholars Program at California State Polytechnic University-Pomona where she received her bachelor’s degree in sociology.