Mellon Fellow Studies How Activists Work to Make DREAM into Reality
July 22, 2011
Categories: Inside UNM
Claudia Anguiano, a 2011 Mellon Fellow at UNM has closely watched the progress of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) act as it moves through the U.S. Congress since it was first introduced in 2001. She has had a long term interest in immigrant rights reform as a Mexican immigrant herself who was drawn to grad school to explore her dissertation topic "Undocumented, Unapologetic and Unafraid: Discursive Strategies of the Immigrant Youth DREAM Social Movement" by her life experiences.
Anguiano spent 11 months in the field participating with DREAM activist groups in California, New Mexico and at the national level. She did about 400 hours of field work as research for her dissertation. She has documented three progressive phases of the DREAM youth movement, outlining the unique strategies used by the youth to petition for social change. As part of her research she did 10 in-depth personal interviews with activists in leadership position and secondary accounts of the DREAM youth movement.
For Anguiano, the Mellon fellowship allowed her to give her undivided attention to the fieldwork and writing of her dissertation. She thinks a major element of the fellowship is the camaraderie among doctoral candidates working on similar projects. She appreciates Tema Milstein, Ph.D. for encouraging her to apply and Ilia Rodriguez, Ph.D. for being an invaluable Mellon mentor. Anguiano successfully defended her dissertation and is excited to start her position as lecturer at Dartmouth College to teach speech courses at the Institute for Rhetoric and Writing.
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