Leo Chavez, anthropology Distinguished Professor, is the 2019 recipient of the Distinguished Career Award, given by the Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists. The biannual prize recognizes a senior anthropologist who has made outstanding contributions by way of research, teaching, service and public engagement efforts that enhance understanding of Latinx lives and communities in the U.S.

“Professor Chavez's award is well deserved and beautifully exemplifies the values and most important strengths of UCI's anthropology department,” says Kim Fortun, UCI professor and chair of anthropology. “He is a role model and we are very proud of him.”

Chavez has been a member of the UCI anthropology faculty since 1987. His research on transnational migration, particularly among Latinx communities, is the focus of four books, including The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens and the Nation, which earned the American Anthropological Association’s 2009 Latina and Latino Book Prize. He’s authored more than 100 academic articles, produced two films, and penned numerous op-eds on the uphill battle undocumented immigrants face in American society with status affecting everything from physical and mental health to access to education and housing. His work has helped debunk stereotypes of the Latinx threat narrative echoed by politicians, pundits and journalists for which he consistently provides expert commentary.

Chavez earned his Ph.D. at Stanford University. In 2017, he was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.



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