Teaching & the MMFRP

I am a leader in community-engaged learning. My teaching has won numerous awards, including UCSD’s Distinguished Teaching Award, Changemaker Faculty Fellowship, and honors for “breaking out of the classroom” and promoting opportunities for Latinx students.

I direct the Mexican Migration Field Research Program (MMFRP), a comprehensive year-long practicum in which undergraduate and graduate students do original, on-the-ground research in migrant communities on both sides of the US-Mexico border. Latinx students make up more than 90% of participants in the program. Participating gives them unique opportunities not only to conduct empirical research on pressing problems in migrant communities but also to synthesize and present their results to high-level lawmakers and advocacy organizations in Mexico and California.


MMFRP students interview a deportee in Tijuana

I also teach courses on migration, gender, engaged fieldwork, research methods, and postcolonial and feminist theory to undergraduate and graduate students.

Before becoming a scholar, I directed service-learning programs in partnership with NGOs in rural Latin America. All of my teaching pushes students to interrogate their assumptions, bring the world into the classroom, and bring their insights back out to the world. We do this through praxis: learning by doing.

Teaching Awards 

  • UCSD Distinguished Teaching Award
  • UCSD Outstanding Mentor Award, Academic Enrichment Programs
  • UCSD Changemaker Faculty Fellow, for campus leaders in community-engaged service learning
  • UCSD Breaking out of the Classroom Grant
  • UCSD Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Course Development Grant
  • American Sociological Association Section on Teaching and Learning Teaching Innovations and Professional Development Award
  • UC Berkeley Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award

Courses Taught

  • The US-Mexico Border
  • Trauma-Informed Community Action Research
  • Field Research in Migrant Communities, Graduate and Undergraduate
  • Feminist Theory, Graduate Seminar
  • Urban Sociology, Graduate and Undergraduate
  • Research Analysis and Reporting, Undergraduate Seminar
  • The Practice of Social Research
  • In-Depth Interviewing, Graduate Seminar
  • Gender, Power, and Globalization
  • Development in Theory and History
  • Contemporary Immigration in Global Perspective
  • Sociology of Poverty
  • Classical & Contemporary Social Theory

MMFRP group pic