Chiara Galli, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Comparative Human Development
I am Assistant Professor of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago. I received my Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2020 and was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell from 2020 to 2022.
My research is situated in the fields of: international migration; refugee studies; law & society; political sociology; gender; children, youth, & the life-course; and families. I study the legal and political struggles that lie at the heart of classifying migration flows, how immigration laws shape people’s lives, and how children differ from adults as migratory actors and legal subjects in their own right. My research has been generously funded by several agencies, including the National Science Foundation, and has been published in the journals Social Problems, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and Ethnic and Racial Studies, as well as in book chapters and policy reports.
My forthcoming book, titled Precarious Protections: Unaccompanied Minors Seeking Asylum in the US, is an ethnography of the experiences of Central American unaccompanied minors and their immigration attorneys as they pursue applications for refugee status in the US asylum process. It will be published in February 2023 by University of California Press.
I am currently working on two new collaborative research projects. With Dr. Filiz Garip (Princeton), we are using Mexican Migration Project survey data to compare determinants of Mexican child and adult migration to the US, asking how these have evolved historically from the1960s until today. With Tatiana Padilla (Cornell), we are studying access to legal representation and determinants of case outcomes for unaccompanied minors in U.S. Immigration Court using administrative data compiled by TRAC.
Linda Zhao, PhD
Assistant Professor, Sociology
Linda Zhao’s research focuses on how social contexts (such as levels of diversity or inequality in a population) can shape intergroup dynamics in social networks, how social networks and social contexts are linked to our behaviors and decisions, and how such networks can generate inequality. Her projects investigate intergroup dynamics, inequality, and social influence in networks within the areas of immigrant integration, policing, and public health. Zhao’s current work leverages data from a range of contexts such as adolescent friendships in classrooms, officer networks in police departments, as well as quasi-experimental settings using computational models. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Zhao was a Frank H.T. Rhodes Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cornell Population Center. Zhao earned a PhD from Harvard in Sociology in 2020, a MA in Statistics from Harvard in 2017, and a BA in Economics from Princeton in 2013.
Graduate Student Coordinators
Frania Mendoza Lua, MSW
Doctoral Candidate, Crown Family School of Social Work Policy and Practice
Frania Mendoza Lua, MSW is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. Her research considers disjointed yet overlapping lines of inquiry– the health of children and youth in immigrant families, immigration policies and enforcement, and social policy. She is interested in examining how these areas intersect, and how this intersection may provide a deeper understanding of Latine individual health, and health disparities in the United States affecting Latine communities. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, Mendoza-Lua’s research underscores the importance of examining policy, social, and cultural factors concurrently to understand health behaviors and health outcomes of Latine communities in the United States.
Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, Mendoza-Lua was a Research Associate at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. She also served as a medical social worker and youth organizer in Washtenaw County, Michigan and a social work consultant on university and community youth participatory action research projects with Latine parents and adolescents in Michigan. Mendoza-Lua received a Master of Social Work (MSW) with a concentration in interpersonal practice and health from the University of Michigan, School of Social Work, and Bachelors’ degrees in Political Science and Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles where she was also a Ronald E. McNair Research Scholar.
Doctoral Student, Department of Sociology
My research aims to understand the educational, political, and social inequalities that undocumented immigrants encounter in higher education institutions. Particularly, I am interested in examining the experiences of undocumented students that were not able to qualify for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). In addition, I want to explore and document how undocumented immigrants utilize social media to build meaningful connections and community.