Laura Enriquez, UCI Chicano/Latino studies associate professor, has received a $50,000 grant from the Russell Sage Foundation to further her UC Collaborative to Promote Immigrant and Student Equity (UC PromISE) project. The 18-campus University of California and California State University system-wide study, which began in 2019, dives deeply into the extent to which undocumented status disrupts students’ educational experience, outcomes and overall wellbeing. Already, the research team has produced two reports that paint a complex picture of a largely first-generation student population compromised by immigration status. The new injection of funding from RSF will support data analysis on previous survey responses to determine factors impacting post-graduate mobility, and support in-depth interviews with select student participants to learn how individual actions, campus resources, and institutional context may help reduce inequalities.

Enriquez earned her bachelor’s at Pomona College where she was a student activist who helped undocumented high school and college students navigate obstacles encountered in their educational pathways. The topic became her research focus as a graduate student at UCLA where she earned her Ph.D. She joined the UCI campus in 2014 as a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Scholar in sociology, and in 2015, she was appointed as a tenure-track assistant professor in Chicano/Latino studies. In her short time with the Irvine campus, she’s earned multiple accolades and grants for excellence in research and mentorship, focusing on the educational, political, and social experiences of undocumented young adults and members of mixed-status families.

Enriquez is one of only 21 scholars across the United States and Canada to receive funding in the second round of the RSF’s Pipeline Grants Competition. Designed to promote diversity and support underrepresented early- and mid-career tenure-track scholars in the social sciences, the initiative is a partnership with the Economic Mobility and Opportunity program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Learn more online.


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