2016 University of California-Davis. PhD, Sociology
2012 University of California-Davis. MA, Sociology
2007 University of California-Davis. BA, Sociology and Communication (Honors, Phi Beta Kappa)
My areas of expertise include immigrant integration, children and families, and immigrant health. I collect and analyze data (both quantitative and qualitative) to understand the social world and what drives human behavior and action. My research is influenced by growing up as the daughter of refugees in San Jose, CA and living and working in Washington, DC. My current work examines how immigrants and their children navigate various settings as they build their lives in the United States.
I work extensively with Stata and Dedoose mixed-method software. I carry out statistical analysis using linear, logit and tobit regression, multilevel modeling, and factor analysis. These methods are complemented by qualitative analysis through focus groups, in-depth interviews, phone surveys and questionnaires. We live in a data-driven world where there are endless possibilities to what this information can tell us and how we can use it to help shape our communities. To this end, I'm passionate about mentorship and helping to train the next generation of researchers and analysts.
Subject Matter Expertise
U.S. migration; international migration; immigrant incorporation; race and ethnicity; marriage and family; adolescent development and wellbeing; healthcare and health disparities; mental health; mixed-method research
2016 Congressional Fellowship, American Sociological Association
2015 Minority Fellowship Program Award, American Sociological Association (Cohort 42)
2014 Dissertation Writing Award, UC Davis Sociology Department
2014 Graduate Program Fellowship, UC Davis Office of Graduate Studies
2013 Graduate Research Fellowship, UC Davis Center for Poverty Research
Office of Congressman Mike Honda at U.S. House of Representatives, Washington D.C.
Sep 2016 - present
Sociology Department at University of California, Davis
Mar 2014 - Jun 2016
Undergraduate Research Center at University of California, Davis
Aug 2013 - Jun 2016
Sociology Department at University of California, Davis
Jun 2012 - Jun 2016
See Collaboration for detailed descriptions.
Antitrust Division at U.S. Department of Justice, Washington D.C.
Jul 2007 - Aug 2009
There are endless possibilities to what data can tell us. Here are some significant*** digits you should know about me:
26 to 4 million
Size of data sets I work with. I quality-check and analyze complex numerical and textual information on a daily basis and have experience with city, state and national-level data sets from the US, Asia and Latin America. I have a proven ability to work with large amounts of data and exercise a high level of attention to detail to ensure accuracy across data sets and projects.
Forthcoming co-authored publications about how hospitals and clinics providing culturally competent care through Spanish-bilingual nurses affect Latino patients in California. This work is funded by the Center for Poverty Research at the University of California-Davis.
Amount of funding I have raised to conduct my research, having successfully convinced granting organizations of the innovation, importance and impact of my work.
1 of 6
I am one of a half-dozen nationally recognized and awarded researchers by the professional organization for sociologists in 2015. I have met and networked with a diverse group of scientists, expanding my knowledge about the cutting-edge data analysis being done in the field.
Amount of presentations, lectures and workshops I have delivered over the past three years in my various roles. I have a polished and dynamic communication style that appeals to audiences including domestic and international students and researchers in fields ranging from economics to psychology. I am also prepared to handle tough Q&A sessions.
Number of research assistants I supervise on the Extended Families Study. As a project manager, I have significant experience in creative problem solving and see collaboration and teamwork as essential to the research process.
Positive satisfaction rating from participants for my role as the Program Coordinator of the Research Training & Mentorship Program (RTMP). I have developed strong relationships with over 40 participants, understanding and responding to their needs to make the most of their program experience.
Years with the US Department of Justice where I investigated healthcare and health insurance mergers and acquisitions. I have significant experience when it comes to understanding the government and industry side of health care.
Immigrants and Community Organizations
Immigrant Health Care
"Caring and Carrying the Cost: Hispanic Nurses' Challenges and Strategies for Working with Co-ethnic Patients" with Ming-Cheng Lo (accepted in the Russell Sage Foundation's Journal of the Social Sciences special issue "New Immigrant Labor Market Niches")
We explore the structural and cultural constraints faced by Hispanic nurses who work with co-ethnic immigrant patients in Northern California, as well as how they deal with these issues.
Immigrant Youth Mental Health
"'Determinants of Asian and Latino Youth Self-Esteem" with Joanna Hale (under review at Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies)
We determine racial group differences in self-esteem outcomes as predicted by individual, family and school contexts among Asian and Latino second generation children of immigrants.
U.S.-Mexico Child Migration
"Child Migration from Mexico to the United States" with Erin Hamilton
We detail Mexican family structures prior to and during migration to the U.S. using population data that tracked Mexican households over time and across space, including across the Mexico-U.S. border.
U.S.-Mexico Stepwise Migration
"Examining the Connection between Domestic and International Migration in Mexican Migrant Trajectories" with Erin Hamilton
We analyze north-south and rural-urban domestic and international migration trajectories between Mexico and the U.S.
Across Generations: Immigrants and their Children's Experiences of Living in Extended Families
Migration since the 1960s have coincided with a significant increase in the number of extended households—those with non-immediate relatives—since the 1980s. This "doubling-up" has peaked in the last several years as part of the Great Recession, highlighting economic inequality as a concern for America’s diverse families. Despite the financial insecurity experienced by a majority of Americans during the recession, immigrants in extended households tend to have higher incomes and lower poverty rates than immigrants in nuclear families, indicating that coresidence is motivated by more than just economic concerns. My dissertation uses the extended family to understand immigrant integration through a mixed-method study design and asks: how do the causes, meanings, and consequences of extended living arrangements apply to recent migrants, and how do they change over immigrant generations?
I argue that the determinants, outcomes, and understandings of extended living for immigrants are different than they are for natives. Recent migrants’ orientation to coresidence reflect culturally-bounded values from the home country, along with struggles during the migration process, that prove to be beneficial to their adaptation in the United States. Over time and across generations, immigrants’ experiences with coresidence become similar to natives where they reflect socioeconomic barriers and instability, and are understood as a lack of self-sufficiency or independence. For the descendants of immigrants, the process across generations is one of integration into American society, both in terms of cultural and economic stratification. However, the implication of this integration is that a previously beneficial family form for immigrants has been undermined and weakened.
Immigration and Opportunity
Social and demographic analysis of immigration: motives and experiences of immigrants; immigration and social mobility; immigration, assimilation, and social change; multicultural societies.
Teaching Assistant: Fall 2011, Fall 2012
Sociology of Health Care
Overview of sociological research in medicine and health care, with emphasis on the organizational, institutional, and social psychological aspects.
Teaching Assistant: Fall 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2015
Functions of the social definitions of race and racial groups. Analysis of racial conflict, oppression, and other forms of ethnic stratification. Models of ethnic interaction and social change. Emphasis on racial relationships within the U.S.
Reader: Summer 2012
Self and Society
Principles and basic concepts of sociological social psychology. Includes the study of the character of the self, identity, roles, socialization, identity change, emotion and social interaction.
Teaching Assistant: Winter 2010, Spring 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Winter 2012
Sociology of Gender
Analysis of biological, psychological, cultural and structural conditions underlying the status and roles of men and women in contemporary society, drawing on a historical and comparative perspective.
Reader: Summer 2011
We live in a data-driven world where there are endless possibilities to what this information can tell us. To this end, I'm passionate about mentorship and helping to train the next generation of researchers and analysts.
UC DAVIS Research Training & Mentorship Program
The Research Training & Mentorship Program pairs graduate student mentors with second year undergraduates in the humanities and social sciences to introduce students to academic research and help them build research and analytical skills. For more information and to apply, click here.