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Dr. Jody Agius Vallejo
Dr. Jody Agius Vallejo is Associate Professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. She is also associate director of USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. Dr. Agius Vallejo holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Agius Vallejo’s research concentrates on: immigrant integration, the Latino middle class, Latino business owners, Latino elites, race and ethnicity, wealth accumulation, and inequality and mobility mechanisms. Dr. Vallejo systematically addresses these issues with a methodological approach that combines the qualitative strengths of traditional sociological inquiry (e.g. in-depth interviews, participant observation, and ethnography) with demographic analysis of representative statistics from the U.S. Census. Her book, Barrios to Burbs: The Making of the Mexican American Middle Class (Stanford University Press, 2012) examines the mechanisms—such as parental legal status, access to higher education, and business ownership—that expedite social mobility and integration into the middle class for Mexican Americans. Dr. Vallejo’s second book, in progress, examines the institutions that support the Latino economic elite, their patterns of ethnic philanthropy, and the challenges and successes they experience in business and in corporate America. She is also a Co-Principal Investigator with Lisa Keister on a project examining heterogeneous integration outcomes of today's new immigrants via the lens of wealth ownership and business ownership. This study, funded by the National Science Foundation, focuses on Chinese immigrant communities and relies on mixed methods including extensive quantitative analyses of large data sets and interviews with Chinese American business owners in Southern California.
Niels Frenzen specializes in immigration and refugee law and is director of the USC Gould School of Law Immigration Clinic. He has been teaching at USC since 2000 and practicing law since 1985. Prior to joining USC, Frenzen practiced with non-profit law offices: his experience includes working as directing attorney of the Immigrants' Rights Project at Public Counsel in Los Angeles; supervising attorney at the Haitian Refugee Center in Miami; and legislative coordinator of the ACLU of Iowa. He has represented many asylum seekers and other immigrants, has litigated federal court cases challenging the mistreatment of noncitizens, and has litigated immigration court national security cases involving classified evidence. He received his BA from Beloit College and his JD from Drake University Law School. He is admitted to the bars of California, Florida, Iowa, and is a member of the Law Society of England and Wales. Frenzen also writes and blogs about migration from Africa to Europe (http://migrantsatsea.org).