Odessa Gonzalez Benson

Ana Paula Pimentel Walker

Mieko Yoshihama

Current Students

See Graduated Students

Alexandra Judelsohn

Alex is a third-year Ph.D. Candidate at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning. Her research interests include how aspects of cities impact resettlement outcomes in the U.S. refugee resettlement program. Prior to joining the Ph.D. program, Alex worked as a Research Associate at the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab at the University at Buffalo where she collaborated with colleagues on research centered around how the built environment impacts health. She has conducted research in the United States and Kashmir.


Bader AlBader

Bader AlBader is a doctoral candidate in architecture at the University of Michigan.

His research examines spaces and institutions of higher education and the ways in which they contribute to the development of cities and states, particularly in the Arab World. Bader is also interested in issues of multilingualism, transregionalism, and translation, especially as they relate to academic production. The most recent conference he has organized is ‘Utopia vs. the City.’


Irene Routté

Irene RoutteIrene Routté is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan in the joint program in Social Work and Socio-Cultural Anthropology. Her research is focused on refugee resettlement, forced migration and displacement, and centers how people are in relationship with their built and natural environment and its effects on well-being and community resilience/development. She is particularly concerned with how community organizations can best support and empower those who are the most marginalized and at risk of displacement due to the effects of climate and environmental change.


Jenika Scott

Jenika Scott is a candidate for an MSW degree at the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan. She is enrolled in the Global Pathway Program with a focus on policy, program evaluation, and research. She holds a BS in Political Science with a concentration in international relations and public policy from Rutgers University. Prior to her current studies, she gained experience in various aspects of program planning, facilitation, and leadership at her previous university. Currently, she is interning at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center on the Unaccompanied Children’s team. Her interest in research was sparked through a study abroad program in Brazil, where she worked with a non-profit organization (Saude Crianca), and her passion was further ignited through the McNair Scholars program. Her research interests include all areas of social development among minority groups, disadvantaged populations, and immigrants, particularly women and youths/children.

Nicolás Juárez


Nicolás Juárez is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan in the joint program in Social Work & Anthropology. Broadly, his research is focused on the tactical and organization strategies of Black, Indigenous, and peasant environmental movements in the United States and Mexico. In particular, Nicolás is interested in the relative efficacy of these various tactics and strategies, their relationship to the political ideologies of the movements, and in which factors are conducive to their overall success in accomplishing their goals.



Shaylyn MacKinnon



Shaylyn MacKinnon is a dual degree student at the University of Michigan pursuing a Master of Social Work and Master of Public Policy. Her research interests include refugee resettlement, refugee-led community-based organizations, economic and educational mobility, and the role of local, state, and federal policy in supporting marginalized communities. She is particularly interested in policies around asylum seekers in the U.S., the limitations they place on formal political and economic engagement, and how to develop and advocate for policies that are more inclusive and give agency to the groups they target.



Wendy Lu

Wendy Lu


Wendy Lu is a student in the MSW program at the University of Michigan, with focuses on Policy & Political Social Work and Program Evaluation & Applied Research. Her past work has focused around domestic and sexual violence programs and language access. As a 1.5 generation immigrant, Wendy is interested in the gendered experiences of immigrants and refugees, particularly around issues of race and poverty. Wendy is passionate about the relationship between research and political advocacy, and hopes that her work with Just Futures will contribute to a more just and equitable world.


Nelson Jean Francois

Nelson Jean Francois


Nelson Jean Francois is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan in the social work & Anthropology joint program. His research’s general theme is Public Health, pandemics, and medical desert areas. He is interested in knowing, in particular, how people manage to have care in medical desert areas, especially during times of medical crisis in the Caribbean and the U.S.


Global Community



Michigan Banyamulenge Community

University of Michigan Partners

Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research

Institute for Women and Gender

National Institute for Institutional Diversity

Detroit Urban Research Center

School of Social Work Office of Global Activities

School of Social Work Dean’s Office

Taubman College of Urban Planning and Architecture Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office

Ginsberg Center

Summer Research Opportunities Program