Three social sciences scholars netted awards at the second annual Latino Excellence and Achievement Dinner on April 4. The awards celebrate research excellence and achievements across all schools on the UCI campus and specifically those who provide encouragement and support for the Latinx community.  

Below are the recipients from social sciences and their awards. Congrats to all those celebrated and honored!

Faculty Excellence

anita casavantes bradfordAnita Casavantes Bradford, Chicano/Latino Studies

Casavantes Bradford, an associate professor, is an out-going advocate for first generation college students who calls upon her own first gen university experience when advising and mentoring students. She launched the UCI First Generation Faculty Initiative four years ago to train relatable faculty as mentors and allies of students unfamiliar with college culture. The program is now a UC systemwide initiative involving almost a thousand UC faculty and it has served as a model for similar programs at universities nationwide. As a long-term activist for undocumented students, she spearheaded the campus’ overall first gen initiative and served as founding chair of UCI’s Committee for Equity and Inclusion for Undocumented Students (CEIUS).

Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Casavantes-Bradford joined the UCI faculty in 2013. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history and English literature at Simon Fraser University. She holds a master's degree in history and politics from Texas A&M University in Kingsville and a Ph.D. in U.S. and Latino/Latin American history from UC San Diego. She’s a historian of migration and critical refugee studies, and her research interests include comparative and transnational Latina/o history, the history of immigration, race and ethnicity, and childhood, family and education. Her current book project, Suffer the Little Children: Unaccompanied Child Migrants and the Geopolitics of Compassion in Postwar America is under advance contract to the University of North Carolina Press.

laura enriquezLaura E. Enriquez, Chicano/Latino Studies

Enriquez, an assistant professor, often draws on her research to drive her work for educational equity on campus. Her goal: to ensure that diverse communities, including undocumented, first-generation, low-income, women, and racial minority students, have access to academic spaces that can support their unique educational goals. As faculty-in-residence of the UCI DREAM Center, she helped established the Scholars-in-Residence program to train undocumented graduate and professional school students to provide professional development programming to undocumented undergraduate students. As the Chicano/Latino Studies graduate emphasis director, she has revitalized the department’s graduate emphasis, which now includes 23 Ph.D. students from across campus, and hosts regular professional development and community building events. Enriquez joined the UCI faculty in 2015. She earned her bachelor’s in sociology and history from Pomona College where she began working closely with undocumented immigrant students. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in sociology from UCLA. Her research focuses on undocumented young adults and mixed-status families. She’s currently leading a two-year, $270,000 initiative to better understand the impacts of immigration policy on the University of California’s student population – estimated to include 4,000 undocumented students and even more from mixed-status families. The initiative builds on her Undocumented Student Equity Project, a student-initiated collaboration that conducts research and data collection to inform educational institutions on how to best provide resources that meet the needs of undocumented students.

Graduate Excellence

francisco jassoFrancisco Jasso, Political Science

Graduate student Francisco Jasso’s research focuses on the question of the relationship between linked fate – shared politicized ethnic (or racial) identity – and Latino political behavior.  In his dissertation, Jasso rigorously analyzes the implications of shared identities on different forms of Latino political engagement using two carefully selected time periods of high and moderate Latino political mobilization. His contributions have also appeared in mentorship activities as part of the Diverse Educational Community and as a Doctoral Experience (DECADE) PLUS Leadership Coach. He received his bachelor’s in political science and Chicano/a studies at UC Santa Barbara.


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