Sophia Rodriguez is an Associate Professor in the 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, and is forthcoming in Educational Researcher. 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.
Honoree, Maryland Research Excellence, Division of Research, University of Maryland (2023)
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, University 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. (2022). Race Frames: Structuring Inequality and Opportunity in a Changing Educational Landscape. Teachers College Press. https://www.tcpress.com/race-frames-in-education-9780807766828
Peer-reviewed Journal Articles (Selected)
Rodriguez, S. & Wy, G.C.* (Conditional Accept). Struggling to belong: Evidence from a survey with middle and high school youth in public schools. Educational Researcher.
Rodriguez, S., Bennett, C.,* Yu, M., Acree, J.* (2023). Activism and resistance from the trenches: A comparative study of undocumented migrant experiences in China and the U.S. Comparative Education Review. https://doi.org/10.1086/722832
Rodriguez, S. & Macias, E.* (2022). “Even being a citizen is not a privilege here.”: Undocumented Latinx immigrant youth and perceptions of racialized citizenship. Sociology of Race & Ethnicity. https://doi.org/10.1177/23326492221114812
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
- 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
- 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. (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. (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.
- Lopez-Escobar, L.* & Rodriguez, S. (2023). Schools under Siege: The impact of immigration enforcement on educational equity by Patricia Gándara and Jongyeon Ee. Anthropology & Education Quarterly.
- 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., 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
Media Mentions / Writings
- Cohen, L. (2023, July 19). Portland schools embracing multilingual education. Press Herald. https://www.pressherald.com/2023/07/16/portland-schools-embrace-multili…
- Rodrigues, M. (2023, Mar 22). The post-DACA generation faces steep barriers to college in the South. The Chronicle of Higher Education. https://www.chronicle.com/article/dreams-derailed
- Washington Post. (October 12, 2022). Challenges that young immigrants face in US public schools. https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2022/10/12/challenges-immigran…
- 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
- Mentoring Grant, William T. Grant Foundation (Principal Investigator, Funded, $60,000). Mentoring activities with doctoral student Lisa Lopez-Escobar. “Latinx youth belonging in community-based organizations.” (2023-2024)
- William T. Grant Scholars Program (Principal Investigator, Funded, $350,000). “The educational welcome of newcomer immigrant children: A mixed-methods study of school-community partnerships to reduce inequality.” (2022-2027).
- Abell Foundation, Improving Retention and Success of Baltimore City Students Graduates in Maryland. (Sub-contract).
- William T. Grant Foundation, Officer's Research Grant (2020-2022).
- Spencer Foundation, Small Grants Program (Co-PI, Funded $49,661). "Equity for immigrant students: Examining the influence of school social workers in K-12 settings" (2018-2022).
- Institute for Museum and Library Services. "Linking learning and belonging: A collaborative approach to narrowing the achievement gap for new arrival immigrant teens." (Sub-contract).
TLPL 788: Immigration and Education
TLPL 770: Black and Latinx/o Education: History and Policy
TLPL 788: Critical Policy Analysis of Urban Education