Sophia Rodriguez is an Assistant Professor in the Minority and Urban Education specialization in the Teaching, Learning, Policy, and Leadership department. Dr. Rodriguez's interdisciplinary scholarship, drawing on tools from education, anthropology, and sociology, asks questions about the social and cultural contexts of education policy and practice. Her integrated research agenda addresses issues related to racial equity, urban education and policy, and centralizes minoritized youth voices. Her two current longitudinal projects, funded by the Spencer and W.T. Grant Foundations (2018-2022) and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), utilize mixed-methods and ethnographic designs to investigate how community-school partnerships, teachers, and school-based mental health professionals promote equity and advocate for undocumented (im)migrant and refugee youth. The IMLS project that focuses on newcomer migrant youth belonging was recently awarded the prestigious Library of Congress Literacy Award. Her scholarly work has appeared in Anthropology & Education Quarterly, Educational Policy, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Teachers College Record and Urban Education. In 2022, she was named a William T. Grant Scholar to conduct a longitudinal study about how schools manage the welcome of newcomer immigrant youth. For her work to date, Rodriguez received the Early Career Award for Division G (Social Contexts of Education) in the American Educational Research Association.
William T. Grant Scholars Award (2022-2027)
Early Career Award Recipient, Division G (Social Contexts of Education), American Educational Research Association (2022)
Oustanding Reviewer, AERA Open, American Educational Research Association (2022)
Excellence in Scholarship Award (Pre-Tenure), College of Education, Univeristy of Maryland, College Park (2022)
Latinx Research Center, Research Fellow, Santa Clara University (2020-2023)
Visiting Scholar, Center for the Social Organization of Schools and School of Education, Johns Hopkins University (2020)
Recipient, Library of Congress Literacy Award for "Linking Learning and Belonging" project (2019)
Member, Scholar Network for the Study of Immigration, Colorin Colorado (from 2018)
Recipient, North Carolina Association for International Educators Professional Development Scholarship (2018)
Visiting Scholar, Sociology/Interdisciplinary Studies, Vassar College (Summer, 2018)
(*Denotes graduate student co-author)
Please email me for copies of the manuscripts.
- Rodriguez, S. & Conchas, G. (In Press). Race Frames: Structuring Inequality and Opportunity in a Changing Educational Landscape. Teachers College Press.
Peer-reviewed Journal Articles (Selected)
- Rodriguez, S., Bennett, C.,* Yu, M., Acree, J.* (In Press). Activism and resistance from the trenches: A comparative study of undocumented migrant experiences in China and the U.S. Comparative Education Review.
- Rodriguez, S. & Macias, E.* (Conditional Accept). “Even being a citizen is not a privilege here.”: Undocumented Latinx immigrant youth and perceptions of racialized citizenship. Sociology of Race & Ethnicity.
Rodriguez, S. (2022). “Immigration knocks on the door...We are stuck..”: A multi-level analysis of undocumented youths’ experiences of racism, system failure, and resistance in policy and school contexts. Teachers College Record. doi:10.1177/01614681221093286
Rodriguez, S. & Crawford, E. (2022). School-based personnel advocacy for undocumented students through collective leadership in urban schools: A comparative case study. Journal of Research on Leadership Education. https://doi.org/10.1177/19427751221081887
Rodriguez, S., Roth, B., & Villarreal Sosa, L. (2022). "Immigration enforcement is a daily part of our students' lives": School social workers' perceptions of racialized nested contexts of reception for immigration students. AERA Open. https://doi.org/10.1177/23328584211073170
- Sinclair, K., Rodriguez, S. & Monreal, T. (2022). "We can be leaders": Minoritized youths' subjugated (civic) knowledges and social futures in two urban contexts. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. 10.1080/09518398.2022.2025488
Villarreal Sosa, L., Roth, B. & Rodriguez, S. (2021). Crossing Borders: Exploring the Role of School Social Workers in Immigrant-Serving Schools, Social Work Research, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1093/swr/svab011 (authors contributed equally).
- Rodriguez, S. & Kuntz, A. (2021). Avowing as healing in qualitative inquiry: Exceeding constructions of normative inquiry and confession in research with undocumented youth. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/09518398.2021.1930256
- Rodriguez, S. & Acree, J.* (2021). Discourses of belonging: Intersections of truth, power, and ethics in research with migrant youth. American Journal of Evaluation. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098214020963837
- McCorkle, W. & Rodriguez, S. (2021) When Nationalism Supersedes Belief in Religious Freedom: An Analysis of Teachers’ Beliefs, Educational Studies, 57:2, 182-201, DOI: 10.1080/00131946.2020.1863802
- Rodriguez, S. (2021). "They let you back in the country?": Racialized inequity and the miseducation of Latinx undocumented students in the New Latino South. The Urban Review. https://doi-org.proxy-um.researchport.umd.edu/10.1007/s11256-020-00594-8
- Rodriguez, S., Roth, B., & Villareal Sosa, L. (2020). “Sometimes, it’s about breaking rules.”: School social workers’ role as nepantleras and equity for undocumented students. Social Service Review. https://doi.org/10.1086/712044
- Rodriguez, S. (2020). Community-school partnerships as racial projects: Examining belonging for newcomer migrant youth in urban education. Urban Education. Online first: https://doi.org/10.1177/0042085920959126
- Rodriguez, S. & McCorkle, W. (2020). On the educational rights of undocumented students: A call to expand teacher awareness and empathy. Teachers College Record. 123(5). Online first: https://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentId=23502&fbclid=IwAR0vBxN-g…
- Rodriguez, S. (2020). “I was born at the border, like the ‘wrong’ side of it”: Undocumented Latinx youth experiences of identity, belonging, and racialized discrimination in the U.S. South. Anthropology & Education Quarterly. 51(4), 496-526. https://doi.org/10.1111/aeq.12357
- Rodriguez, S. & Acree, J.* (2020). Biopolitical power in evaluation research with transnational migrant youth. Evaluation. 26(4), 456-473. Online first: https://doi.org/10.1177/1356389020914314
- Rodriguez, S. (2019). “You’re a sociologist, I am too”: Theorizing disruption in fieldwork with undocumented youth. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. 49(2), 257-285. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0891241619882075.
- Rodriguez, S. (2019). “We're building the community; it’s a hub for democracy”: Lessons learned from a library-based program for newcomer immigrant and refugee youth. Children and Youth Services Review, 102, 135-144.
- Rodriguez, S. & McCorkle, W.* (2019). Examining teachers’ awareness of immigration policy and its impact on attitudes toward undocumented students in a southern state. Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, 31(1), 21-44.
- Rodriguez, S. (2018). ‘Good, deserving immigrants’ join the Tea Party: How South Carolina policy excludes Latinx and undocumented immigrants from educational opportunity. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 26(103). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/epaa.26.3636.
- Rodriguez, S., Monreal, T.*, & Howard, K.J. (2018). “It’s about hearing and understanding their stories”: Teacher empathy and socio-political awareness toward newcomer undocumented students in the New Latino South. Journal of Latinos and Education. DOI: 10.1080/15348431.2018.1489812.
- Rodriguez, S. & Monreal, T.* (2017). “This state is racist”: Policy problematization and undocumented youth experiences in the New Latino South. Educational Policy, 31(6), 764–800.
- Rodriguez, S. (2017). “People hide, but I’m here. I count”: Examining undocumented youth identity formation in an urban community-school. Educational Studies, 53(5), 468-491.
- Rodriguez, S. (2017). “My eyes were opened to the lack of diversity in our best schools”: Re-conceptualizing competitive school choice policy as a racial formation. The Urban Review, 49(4), 529-550.
- Rodriguez, S., Naficy, H., & Russo, M. (2020). “It’s a hub for democracy”: How a library-based program increases belonging for newcomer immigrant and refugee youth. In Ana Ndumu (Ed). Borders & belonging: Critical examinations of LIS approaches toward immigrants. Sacramento, CA: Litwin Books/Library Juice Press.
- Rodriguez, S., Bonezzi, D.,* & Koehler, K.* (2020). “How long do we have to wait?: Examining school choice, selective enrollment schools, and the reproduction of racial inequality in a southern community. In Gilberto Conchas, Briana Hinga, Miguel N. Abad, & Kris Gutierrez (Eds). The Complex Web of Inequality in North American Schools. NY, NY: Routledge. 23-45.
Guest Edited Journals
- Rodriguez, S. & Blum, D. (2020). “I’ve never cried with a stranger before”: Pedagogies of renewal and research dilemmas with/by undocuscholars. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/09518398.2021.1967505
- Rodriguez, S. (2020). Migranthood: Youth in an era of deportation by Lauren Heidbrink. Anthropology & Education Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1111/aeq.12363
- Ramos, D. & Rodriguez, S. (2020). Invited book review, Measuring Race: Why disaggregating data matters for addressing educational inequality by Robert Teranishi et al. Teachers College Record.
- Rodriguez, S. & Thompson, E.A.* (2019). Invited book review, Fragile families: Foster care, immigration, and citizenship by Naomi Glenn-Levin Rodriguez. Anthropological Quarterly, 91(1).
Public Scholarship and Policy Briefs
Rodriguez, S. (2021). School-personnel support for newcomer unaccompanied children and youth in urban schools. Blog Post. William T. Grant Foundation. http://wtgrantfoundation.org/the-system-makes-it-hard-for-them-exploring-the-challenges-and-strategies-for-schools-in-supporting-newcomer-unaccompanied-immigrant-youth
- Rodriguez. S. & Zapata, M.* “The system isn’t built for us.” Exploring Black and Latinx parent experiences of educational exclusion in a local district to reduce inequality. Brief. Black & Brown Coalition, Identity Inc. Seek Common Ground (Project details: https://seekcommonground.org/covid-19/bbceee
- Rodriguez, S., Roth, B., Villarreal Sosa, L. (2021). Knocking down barriers to inclusion: School social workers advocacy for immigrant students. Immigration Initiative at Harvard. Issue Brief Series, No. 8. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University. https://immigrationinitiative.harvard.edu/knocking-down-barriers-inclus…
- Rodriguez, S. 2019. “Educator and school-based personnel’s advocacy for undocumented youth in K-12 settings.” Policy Brief No. 06-2019, Sociology Policy Briefs, Retrieved November 2019. https://www.policybriefs.org/briefs
- Rodriguez, S. (2019). A space to belong: Newcomer migrant youth in Hartford, CT. Online: http://www.youthcirculations.com/blog/2019/1/9/a-space-to-belong-newcomer-migrant-youth-in-hartford
- McCorkle, W., Rodriguez, S., & Monreal, T.* (2018). Appendix on Teaching Immigration Issues. Confronting false narratives in the immigration debate. Social Education. 82(6). 353- 354. https://www.socialstudies.org/social-education/82/6/confronting-false-n… [Resources for educators]
- Rodriguez, S. & Monreal, T.* (2017). “Why the ‘bad hombre’ Trump is the least of our worries: How state policies criminalize immigrant and undocumented youth.” Online: http://www.youthcirculations.com/blog/southcarolina
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinal. (January 13, 2022). Midwestern community colleges work to lure, and keep, students struggling with poverty. https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/solutions/2022/01/13/midwestern-com…
- Borderless Magazine. (December 16, 2021). Immigrant Community College Students Struggle to Find Support During COVID. City Colleges of Chicago immigrant students balance extra work hours, technology issues and limited English proficiency with remote learning. https://borderlessmag.org/2021/12/16/immigrant-community-college-students-struggle-to-find-support-during-covid/
- USA Today and Greenville News. (2021). She thought she was adopted. Now, her fight to stay in the US is just beginning. https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/nation/2021/03/08/immigration-adoption-woman-fights-stay-us-nicaragua/6890100002/
- William T. Grant Foundation (2021) - Reflections from the Reducing Inequality Convening: Research During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- William T. Grant Scholars Program (Principal Investigator, Funded, $399,147). The educational welcome of Central American newcomer immigrant children: A mixed-methods study of school-community partnerships to reduce inequality.
- William T. Grant Foundation, Officer's Research Grant (Principal Investigator, Funded, $50,000). "School-based personnel and equity for undocumented students in K-12 schools" (2020-2023).
- Spencer Foundation, Small Grants Program (Co-PI with Ben Roth and Leticia Villarreal Sosa, equal contributors; Funded $49,661). "Promoting equity for immigrant students: Examining the influence of school social workers in K-12 settings" (2018-2022). See: https://www.immigrantequityproject.org/
- Abell Foundation, Improving Retention and Success of Baltimore City Students Graduates in Maryland. (Sub-contract).
- Institute for Museum and Library Services (Co-PI; Funded, $595, 204.; subaward $60,000). "Linking learning and belonging: A collaborative approach to narrowing the achievement gap for new arrival immigrant teens" (2016-2021).
For more information, visit: https://www.immigrantequityproject.org/
TLPL 788: Immigration and Education
TLPL 770: Black and Latinx/o Education: History and Policy
TLPL 788: Critical Policy Analysis of Urban Education