Event to launch new migration studies initiative at VCU

A hand grabs onto a wire fence. The flag of the United States of America is in the background.
A panel of VCU faculty with expertise in migration will discuss their teaching, research and community engagement Oct. 9. (Getty Images)

A panel of Virginia Commonwealth University faculty members who have expertise in migration will discuss their teaching, research and community engagement at a kickoff event Oct. 9 for a new migration studies initiative in the College of Humanities and Sciences.

The event, which coincides with National Hispanic Heritage Month, will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Room 1102 of the Academic Learning Commons, 1000 Floyd Ave. Attendance will be free and open to the public.

The College of Humanities and Sciences in 2017 set out to hire faculty members specializing in migration studies, aiming to enhance the study of Latin American immigration at VCU and to position the university as a thought leader in addressing the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly diverse nation.

The kickoff event will give attendees an overview of the goals and rationale of the migration studies initiative, introduce the VCU and Richmond community to the new faculty members, and gather feedback.

Five faculty members with expertise in migration have been hired in the College of Humanities and Sciences in the past two years. They are Indira Sultanic, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of World Studies; Gabriela León-Pérez, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Sociology; Paula Rodriguez Miguelez, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences; Rocio Gomez, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of History; and Michael Paarlberg, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Political Science.

Each new faculty member is teaching courses with content relevant to Latin America migration.

“It’s enriching to have a community of scholars who are doing research and teaching on the topic of migration but from different disciplinary perspectives,” said León-Pérez, who is teaching a class on immigration and American society. “I believe that this VCU initiative will lead to important contributions to current local and national conversations about Latin American immigration and the experiences of Latinxs in the U.S.”

The kickoff event will feature comments by León-Pérez, Gomez, Sultanic, Rodriguez Miguelez and Paarlberg, as well as G. Antonio Espinoza, Ph.D., associate professor of modern Latin American history in the Department of History.

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