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Faculty Research & Projects
Biliterate Certificate Option
Renelinda Arana, PhD
Assistant Professor of Sociology
210-434-6711, ext. 8151
PhD, 2008, Princeton University (Sociology); MA, 2005, Princeton University (Sociology); BA, University of Texas at Austin (Anthropology)
Student Engagement, Hispanic Identity and Retention
The importance of improving college students' student engagement and success remains a central topic among educational leaders and policy makers (Pascarella and Terenzini, 2005). This study aims to collect and examine both quantitative and qualitative information on undergraduate Hispanic students at Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU). I hope to assess the interconnection of several important factors that might influence students' overall college experience: students’ self-identification and connection to the Hispanic heritage; students’ engagement in various campus activities and programs; student retention.
Continue conducting research on immigration patterns and immigrant issues. Particularly, I aim to explore immigrant activities and their educational and civic incorporation in the United States. Performed rigorous statistical analyses of data collected from individuals & groups. Collaboration with Cristina Escobar, Research Fellow at Princeton University, Center for Migration and Development.
Nicaraguan Refugee Case Study
I am in the process of an ongoing documentary film about Sandra Arana and Family in order to explore the social and economic forces influencing the adaptation of this family. This documentary represents an in-depth case study of refugee life and up-rootedness; family history; social structure and factors explaining success/failure, politics in USA; impact of immigration law on immigrants and Nicaragua politics and civil unrest, etc.
Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems, Environmental Sociology, Classical and Contemporary Sociological Theory, Race, Class and Gender Studies, Migration and Assimilation, Minority Studies, more to come.
Publications, Exhibits, and Awards:
“Bridging the gap: transnational and ethnic organizations in the political incorporation of immigrants in the United States.” Ethnic and Racial Studies. Sep 2008. Vol. 31, Iss. 6.
“Divided or Convergent Loyalties? A Report on the Political Incorporation Process of Latin American Immigrants in the United States.” The International Journal of Comparative Social Research. 2008
Dissertation: “Rebuilding society behind prison walls: Examining the structure of prisoner-run reform organizations”, Princeton University, 2008.
Organized and fundraised art exhibition: “Behind Prison Walls: An Exhibit featuring the artwork from men of the New Jersey State Prison”. Princeton, NJ, 2005
Distinguished Scholar at the University of Texas at Austin for perfect academic record, 2001
President’s Honors List, University of Texas at Austin, 1999-2001.
President’s Honors List, San Antonio College, 1997-1999.
Lifetime member of Phi Theta Kappa & Phi Kappa Phi – National Honor Societies.
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