Stephanie Canizales

Contact Information


Biographical Sketch

Stephanie Canizales earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles in June 2011 with a focus on Race, Ethnicity, and Politics and minors in Global Studies and Latin American Studies. Stephanie was a UCLA McNair Scholar and Undergraduate Research Fellow. She has worked as a community researcher and grant writer for the Orange County Children's Therapeutic ARTS Center (June 2008 - August 2011) and as an English and math instructor for the Central American Resource Center's Academic Enrichment Program (Summer 2012).

Stephanie entered the USC Department of Sociology doctoral program as a Dornsife Fellow in Fall 2011. She specializes in Central American migration, unaccompanied minors, immigrant integration, and the 1.5 and second generations. Her dissertation research examines the unaccompanied migration and incorporation trajectories of unauthorized Central American youth as they transition into adulthood in Los Angeles, California. Her advisors are Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo and Jody Agius Vallejo.


  • BA Political Science, UC - Los Angeles, 2011
  • M.A. Sociology, University of Southern California, 2013

Employment History

  • Graduate Research Assistant, Roberto Suro, USC Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, 2013 - 2015
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Jody Agius Vallejo, University of Southern California, Sociology, 2011 - Present
  • Graduate Research Assistant, USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, 2014 - Present
  • Teaching Associate, University of Southern California Department of Sociology, 2012 - 2015
  • Graduate Research Assistant, USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, 2015 - Present


  • Essay
    Canizales, S. L. (2015). Fast fashion, slow integration: Guatemalan youth navigate life and labor in Los Angeles. (Lauren Heidbrink and Michele Statz, Ed.). Youth Circulations. Link to blog.
    Journal Article
    Canizales, S. L. (2015). American individualism and the social incorporation of unaccompanied Guatemalan Maya young adults in Los Angeles. Ethnic and Racial Studies. Link to article.
    Canizales, S. L. (2014). Life for child migrants is even harder beyond the US border. The Conversation. Link to op-ed.
    Research Report
    Suro, R., Suarez-Orozco, M. M., Canizales, S. L. (2015). Removing Insecurity: How American children will benefit from President Obama’s executive action on immigration. USC Tomas Rivera Policy Institute and the Institute for Immigration, Globalization, and Education. Link to report.
    Canizales, S. L. (2015). Unaccompanied Migrant Children: A Humanitarian Crisis at the U.S. Border and Beyond. UC Davis Center for Poverty Research. Link to report.
    Canizales, S. L. (2014). Exploitation, Poverty and Marginality among Unaccompanied Migrant Youth. UC Davis Center for Poverty Research. Link to report.

Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works

  • Website, USC Tomas Rivera Policy Institue micro-site focusing on the Latino middle-class, found at:, Fall 2013   

Guest Lectures in Courses

  • SOCI 429 Immigration, Work, and Labor: American Individualism and the Social Adaptation of Unaccompanied Migrant Youth Workers in LA, Spring 2015   
  • SOCI 155 Immigrant America: Theories of Immigrant Assimilation, Spring 2015   
  • SOCI 155 Immigrant America: Unaccompanied Child Migrants: a 'Humanitarian Crisis' at the border and beyond, Spring 2015   
  • SOCI 155 Immigrant America: Intergenerational Conflict, Fall 2014   
  • SOCI 155 Immigrant America: Unaccompanied Child Migrants at the Border and Beyond, Fall 2014   
  • SOCI 429 Immigration, Work, and Labor: The Exploitation, Poverty, and Marginality of Unaccompanied Working Migrant Youth, Spring 2014   
  • SOCI 155 Immigrant America: Understanding Immigration Policy, Spring 2013   

Honors and Awards

  • USC Dornsife College Doctoral Fellow, 9/2011-5/2017  
  • NSF Sociology Program, Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, 2015-2016   
  • USC Dornsife College Endowed Fellowship, 2015-2016   
  • Maria Elena Martinez Summer Fieldwork Research Grant, 5/2015-8/2015  
  • Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship Honorable Mention, 2014-2015   
  • College 2020 Summer Research Stipend, 5/2014-8/2014  
  • American Sociological Association, International Migration Section Aristide Zolberg Student Scholar Award, Honorable Mention, 2013-2014   
  • Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship Alternate & Honorable Mention, 2013-2014   
  • Stanford University Center on Poverty and Inequality Research Fellowship, Fall 2013   
  • UC Davis Center for Poverty Research, Visiting Scholar, Fall 2013   

Service to the University


  • Member, Department of Sociology Graduate Committee, 2012-2013   

Media, Alumni, and Community Relations

  • Quoted in, "Young immigrants placed in sponsor homes are at risk of abuse, experts say," LA Times., 08/2015-  
  • Invited speaker, Center for Active Learning in International Studies Arsalyn Policy Seminar, 2014-2015   
  • "Where unaccompanied minors go when they immigrate to LA", KPCC Take Two, Fall 2014   

Other Service to the University

  • "Search for Safe Haven: Central American Child Migration." International Relations Undergraduate Association, Spring 2014   
  • "Immigration: The Social Justice Agenda beyond Reform." Tomas Rivera Policy Institute: Students Talk Back, Fall 2013   

Service to the Profession


  • American Sociological Association Latina/o Sociology Section Graduate Student Representative, 2015-2016   

Professional Memberships

  • Society for the Study of Social Problems, 2015-  
  • Latina/o Studies Association, 2014-  
  • American Sociological Association, 2011-  
  • Pacific Sociological Association, 2011-  
  • UCLA Program on International Migration, 2011-  



  • Sociology
  • 851 Downey Way
  • HSH 314
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-1059