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Texas A&M-Kingsville professor named Career Enhancement Fellow

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KINGSVILLE (May 23, 2022) — The Institute for Citizens and Scholars has named Dr. Liliana Rodriguez, assistant professor of sociology at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, as one of 28 new Career Enhancement Fellows for the 2022-23 academic year.


The Career Enhancement Fellowship is funded by the Mellon Foundation and administered by Citizens and Scholars. It seeks to increase the presence of underrepresented junior and other faculty members in the humanities, social sciences and arts by creating career development opportunities for selected Fellows with promising research projects.


Rodriguez was one of nine junior faculty who will receive a 12-month fellowship while another 19 were chosen for six-month fellowships. The program will provide Rodriguez with a one-year sabbatical stipend; a research, travel or publication stipend; mentoring; and participation in a professional development retreat.


“This fellowship will allow me the opportunity to concentrate on advancing my research on immigrant youth,” she said. “It is designed to help junior faculty along the tenure process by providing us with mentorship and financial support. I, therefore, aim to use this time to advance my research on adolescent arrivals to provide a more robust understanding of the heterogeneous immigrant youth experience.


“This is a great honor for me,” Rodriguez added. “As an academic mother, I always strive to show my daughters that education is powerful and that we must always seek opportunities that help us achieve our personal, academic and professional goals. I know how inspiring it is to see others that look like us accomplish great things and I am proud to have been named a 2022 Career Enhancement Fellow because I know they are watching me.”


She said it is also important that faculty at Texas A&M-Kingsville take part in initiatives that are made available. “It is great to see Texas A&M-Kingsville represented in this award. We have a lot to offer and the world needs to see that.”


About Dr. Liliana Rodriguez

Rodriguez is an assistant professor of sociology in the psychology and sociology department. In addition, she is co-coordinator of the Southwest Borderlands and Mexican American Studies. Under this capacity, she has helped organize a university-wide lecture series each semester in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month and Women’s History Month. She also has created curriculum changes and embarked on collaborative projects with surrounding institutions to provide research opportunities for students.


Her research interests include immigration, race and ethnic relations, Latina/o studies and ethnographic research methods. Rodriguez’ main research centers around the lives of immigrant youth during contested political times. She focuses on adolescent arrivals who migrated to the Unites States in the months leading up to the presidential election of 2016.


She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Texas at Austin and her doctoral degree from University of California, Santa Barbara.


About the Institute for Citizens and Scholars

Formerly the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Institute for Citizens and Scholars ( is a 75-year-old organization that has played a significant role in shaping American higher education. Now, with an expanded mission, Citizens and Scholars prepares leaders and engages networks of people and organizations to meet urgent education challenges. The overarching goal is to shape an informed, productively engaged, and hopeful citizenry. 


Administered at Citizens and Scholars since 2001, the Career Enhancement Fellowship has supported more than 400 junior faculty members, creating a robust network of scholars committed to eradicating racial disparities in core fields in the arts and humanities. Fellows have gone on to serve in administrative and leadership roles, receive high honors like MacArthur Fellowships, and teach new generations of students.

For more information about the Career Enhancement Fellowship, eligibility requirements, and the next application cycle, visit


Category: Arts/Sciences , General Univ

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