Staff and affiliate pages:
Student and visiting scholar profiles:
(in alphabetical order, by last name)
Professor of Sociology
(listed alphabetically by last name)
Spring 2014 - present
Stephanie Canizales is a doctoral student in the University of Southern California's Department of Sociology. Before arriving at USC, Stephanie earned her B.A. in Political Science from UCLA in June 2011 with a focus on Race, Ethnicity, and Politics and minors in Global Studies and Latin American Studies. She was also 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 and as an English and math instructor for the Central American Resource Center's Academic Enrichment Program.
Stephanie specializes in Central American migration, immigrant integration, and the 1.5 and second generations. Her on-going work examines the unaccompanied migration and adaptation experiences of unauthorized Central American youth and young-adults in Los Angeles. Stephanie received a research fellowship from Stanford University's Center on Poverty and Inequality for her work on unaccompanied working migrant youth's labor market experiences and hopes to continue work that informs immigrant integration policy.
Summer 2014 - present
Robert Chlala is a Ph.D. Student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern California. Prior to graduate school, he spent over 10 years working in organizing, legal advocacy and educational services with youth and immigrant communities. He also conducted independent research for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, the California Fund for Youth Organizing and the California Endowment on issues affecting young people of color in California. Upon entering graduate school, he worked with Prof. Veronica Terriquez to conduct quantitative analysis tracing the impact punitive discipline has on young men’s educational and economic trajectories.
Robert's current qualitative research sits at the intersection of urban studies, labor, race/migration and social movements, investigating how workers mobilize to transform city policy around policing in Los Angeles.
He is excited to continue engaged research that can make lasting ties between universities and community and labor organizations, and can speak to the everyday concerns of people working hard to build lives of dignity, happiness and equality. Robert is inspired in this work by his family and friends’ struggles and victories, and his practice of Nichiren Buddhism with the Soka Gakkai International, a constant reminder of the vast potential that all life possesses.
Sandy Lo is a second-year MPP student interested in issues of social justice, economic equity, urban and social policy, and immigration law and policy. While at USC Price, she has been involved with the Partnership for an Equitable Los Angeles (PELA), The Students of Color and Allies Policy Forum (SCAPF), and is now a research assistant with the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII).
Prior to beginning her graduate school education at Price, she worked as a community legal advocate at the Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles where she provided in-language legal assistance to the monolingual API communities of Los Angeles. Sandy also provided many direct services that included translation, interpretation, naturalization assistance, and deferred action assistance to the eligible youth in the greater Los Angeles area. She is also an active board member of the National Asian Pacific American Womens Forum's (NAPAWF) Los Angeles Chapter and loves meeting and engaging with progressive API women all throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
Iliana G. Perez is a DACAmented graduate student at Claremont Graduate University (CGU) pursuing a Ph.D. in Education and M.A. in Economics. Iliana graduated from CSU-Fresno with a B.A. in Mathematics and Minor in Economics. Iliana navigated the educational system in the U.S. as an undocumented student for 18 years until she became a DACA recipient in 2013. This experience is what motivated her to pursue graduate studies and pave the way for others to do the same.
Iliana's research focuses on immigrant students, economics of immigration, and education policy and reform. Iliana has shared her story and presented her work to various audiences across the country via keynotes and research presentations at professional conferences, organizations and college campuses. Her personal story, as well as her work, have been featured in several media outlets including the LA Times, Business Insider, CNN, CNNE, The Huffington Post, Univision, La Opinion, Radio Bilingue and various other journals, blogs and newspapers around the world. Iliana plans to use her knowledge and research skills to help inform education and immigration policies in the U.S. and abroad.
Víctor George Sánchez Jr. is a first year Master of Public Policy student at the USC Price School of Public Policy. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Víctor is the son of immigrant parents from Costa Rica and México. A proud first-generation Chicano/Latino, he graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with dual majors in Sociology and Latin American & Latino studies.
Prior to grad school, Víctor was the Community Engagement Development Coordinator for the Northeast region with the AFL-CIO. There, he helped build relationships with community groups around a shared agenda that included access to good jobs, health care, quality public education, affordable housing, and immigrant rights. As president of the UC Student Association during his undergraduate years, he helped lead the development and implementation of statewide campaigns advocating for greater access and affordability within the state's public higher education system. Upon graduation, his passion for empowering marginalized communities led him to Washington, D.C., where he was elected as vice president and then president of the US Student Association. There, he managed and implemented grassroots campaigns around national issues like student debt reform, the federal DREAM Act, and the preservation of educational access and financial aid programs for low-income students.
Víctor hopes to leverage his social justice organizing background to acquire the skills needed to further empower--through policy--low income and historically marginalized communities. He hopes to further focus on issues at the intersection of income inequality, anti-displacement/sustainable community and economic development as well as race and migration.
Fall 2014 - present
Walter Thompson-Hernandez is a recent graduate from Stanford University with a Master’s in Latin American Studies and an emphasis in immigration, racial ideologies, and identity. In the past, Walter’s research has looked at the impacts of interracial mixing between African Americans and Latinos in South Los Angeles, and the transmission of racial ideologies between Mexican-origin groups in urban and rural spaces in California. He is a native of Los Angeles, California and is excited to be involved with PERE and CSII as a member of the Latinos in South L.A. research team before beginning his PhD studies.
(listed alphabetically by last name)
Fall 2014 - present
Paxton is a Junior at the University of Southern California majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Digital Studies. His professional interests involve global business, finance, and digital media. One day he hopes that he can start a company where these interests can intersect and provide a positive impact on underprivileged communities.
On campus he works as a member of the executive board for ALPFA, an undergraduate finance and accounting club that strives to bring internships, jobs, and other opportunities to students of color at USC interested in the field of finance. As he finishes his remaining years at USC, Paxton hopes to take advantage of the various professional and social opportunities that USC provides, and looks forward to a fulfilling career after graduation.
Summer 2015 - present
Jinny is a senior at USC majoring in Health and Humanity. A self-described activist, she considers social justice and environmental consciousness her two main passions, and aims to work with community groups throughout Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Her previous experience includes producing a documentary examining the prison reintegration process, blogging about maternal health in Africa, and volunteering at local animal shelters. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a professional career in nonprofit and humanitarian work.
Fall 2014, Fall 2015
Graphic Design Intern
Chrystal is a Junior majoring in Environmental Studies with minors in Communication Design and Environmental Engineering at USC. Her studies aim to explore the interface between science, society, art, and design. Her previous experiences include internships for SURGE Art in China, where she designed style guides, website mockups, and various print projects. She has also developed magazine layouts, flyers, promotional and identity materials. Chrystal describes herself as a free spirited tree hugger with a creative streak and wishes to improve society’s attitude towards environmental issues. She can be found around campus dancing with the OTG Dance Team, innovating with a Design For America team, and participating in the USC Environmental Student Assembly (ESA).
Summer 2014 - present
Erika is a rising senior studying Environmental Studies with a Statistics minor. As an active student on campus she participates in the Trojan Marching Band, USC Helenes, USC Sports Analytics and she hopes to join the newly formed Environmental Student Assembly this fall. After declaring a statistics minor she was introduced to programming and manipulating data sets. As a research intern at PERE she works on environmental justice projects, and she plans to continue applying statistics to the environmental field in the future.
2014 - Present
Felicitas Reyes is in her third year at USC as an American Studies and Ethnicity major. She began working for PERE/CSII in November 2014 and has helped assist in outreach events and other administrative duties. She is also the undergraduate research assistant for Vice Dean George Sanchez in his office of Diversity and Strategic Initiatives. She has also worked with the Roots Foundation as the administrative director. She is also involved with Chicanos for Progressive Education as the executive assistant and as a member of the Latino Fellowship. Felicitas has also worked on a community engagement project known as History in Box that works to collect certain items that depict historical themes which will be utilized in Boyle Heights’ classrooms. She hopes to start her own research project with undocumented youth and Freedom University in Georgia as an extension of her previous immigrant research in Japan.