Prior to completing a PhD at the University of New Brunswick in 2010 and joining the faculty of Wilfrid Laurier University, I worked for several years in the government and non-governmental sectors of Canada, the United States and Mexico in a number of areas including Canada’s foreign policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean, North American integration, the inclusion of non-governmental actors in international organizations and Summits, social policy and poverty eradication, and foreign qualification recognition. I have spent and continue to spend some of the best moments of my life working, studying and traveling in Mexico, and I am the only member of my family who is not a Citizen of Peru.
My research examines migration, with a specific focus on immigrant and refugee youth, migrants with precarious immigration status, and the securitization of the international refugee determination process. I am currently leading a SSHRC Insight Grant-funded study of the postsecondary transition of African Refugee youth across Canada. The national project involves African scholars and education specialists at six Canadian universities along with several community organizations. In addition to my Canadian-based research, I have ongoing projects in Mexico including studies of Central American and African asylum seekers with colleagues at el Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR) and El Tec de Monterrey (ITESM), and narratives of stranded migrants in Mexico and Morocco with WLU colleague Dr. Abderrahman Beggar. I am also deeply involved in ongoing research on the intercultural competence of university students and the ethics of conducting international field courses and internships in Mexico and Ghana.
I consider myself a qualitative researcher who loves to listen to people’s stories. I believe in George Marcus’s (1995) exhortation to “follow the people, not just the places that they are going, but also to the places they happen to go along the way.” I am a member of several research institutes and networks including the Tshepo Institute for the Study of Contemporary Africa (WLU), The Centre for Research on Security Practices (WLU), the International Migration Research Centre (WLU), the Centre for Refugee Research (York), Pathways to Prosperity, and I am on the organizing committee for the annual Strangers in New Homelands Conference at the University of Manitoba. I have published two books: “Getting Used to the Quiet: Immigrant Adolescents’ Journey to Belonging in New Brunswick, Canada” (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2012), which made a valuable contribution to the academic literature on immigration to small cities and rural communities, and “Immigrant Youth in Canada: Theoretical Approaches, Practical Issues, and Professional Perspectives” (Oxford University Press, 2018), the first university-level textbook on immigrant youth in Canada. I have also published several articles in national and international peer-reviewed journals and frequently contributes short articles and opinion pieces to newspapers. I am the recipient of the 2018 Donald F. Morgenson Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence in Internationalization.
I have research assistantship opportunities for senior undergraduate students interested in the field of immigration and I am always looking for Spanish-speaking students. I am willing to supervise graduate students in the areas of immigration and ethnic studies.
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