The Institute on Immigrant Integration Research and Policy Announces the Appointment of Five Fellows to Its Inaugural Fellowship on Immigrant Integration

The Fellowship is an intensive three-month program that brings together SUNY and CUNY graduate students to research the economic, social, and civic integration of immigrants

The fellows were selected from a competitive pool of applicants from across SUNY and CUNY campuses

Albany, NY — The Institute on Immigrant Integration Research and Policy today announced the appointment of five graduate students to its inaugural Fellowship on Immigrant Integration. Each fellow will focus their work on advancing the knowledge of programs and practices that fully harness the labor-force participation of foreign-born residents of New York State.

Their work will assist the Institute in its mission to accelerate the adoption of promising practices, stimulate responsive policies, reduce the cost of integration efforts, and improve the quality of outcomes for foreign-born New Yorkers. The 2023 Fellowship on Immigrant Integration is a summer program that connects SUNY and CUNY graduate students with policy experts to research the economic, social, and civic integration of immigrants.

“The Institute on Immigrant Integration is pleased to welcome five emerging scholars and offer them an opportunity to immerse themselves in the study of integration issues,” said Dina Refki, executive director of the Institute on Immigrant Integration Research and Policy. “The theme of the 2023 Fellowship is ‘Harnessing the Power of Immigrants’ Economic Contributions.’ Fellows will examine a number of existing mechanisms for strengthening immigrants’ labor-market participation, including workforce development, credentialing and certification, access to capital and banking systems, and access to higher education. They will synthesize the state of practice and policy implications in each of these areas. The Fellowship is designed to build the pipeline of future scholars, practitioners, policy implementers, and policymakers who are passionate about immigrant integration.”

“SUNY students are part of a vibrant and dynamic community that embraces and celebrates individuals from all over the world,” said SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. “The appointment of three SUNY students to the Fellowship on Immigrant Integration demonstrates SUNY’s ongoing commitment to cultivating an inclusive environment in our communities. Their research through this Fellowship will inform critical policy decisions and ultimately benefit all New Yorkers no matter their background. Congratulations to Tsveta, Sohee, and Asha for this important appointment.”

SUNY Board Vice Chairman César Perales, who is also a board advisor for the Institute, said, “The application process for the Fellowship on Immigration Integration is extremely competitive. These students earned their spots through a combination of outstanding academic performance and a passion to contribute to our society. Our fellows will be instrumental in shaping policies and conducting research to enhance the lives of foreign-born New Yorkers. I am thrilled for them and eagerly anticipate the impactful work they will accomplish.”

“We are a country of immigrants, but the successful integration of those recently arrived requires a good deal of planning and work. These Fellowships will enable students to deepen their understanding of policies and practices that can support immigrants as they acclimate to the particularities and challenges of day-to-day life in this country,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “It’s fitting that two students from CUNY, which has a long and successful history of educating first-generation families, are among the inaugural recipients of the Fellowship on Immigration Integration. We congratulate Joaquín and Ken for their selection as 2023 Fellows by the Rockefeller Institute of Government and we look forward to hearing about their experiences.”

“The CUNY Graduate Center congratulates PhD student Ken Silverman on being named an inaugural Rockefeller Institute of Government Immigrant Integration Fellow,” said CUNY Graduate Center President Robin L. Garrell. “Ken has distinguished himself as a scholar of international migration politics and is deeply deserving of this new and important Fellowship. We are proud that he is carrying forward the mission of the Graduate Center to conduct research that advances the public good.”

“We are proud to live in a country whose rich history and diverse culture is rooted in generations of immigrants, and as a state whose vibrance is so closely linked to immigration, New York has a special obligation to ensure immigrants have the best possible chance to succeed,” said University at Albany President Havidán Rodríguez. “Tsveta Dobreva’s research on immigrants’ educational experiences is a prime example of how public universities should be using their expertise to advance social, health, and educational equity. As one of the most diverse public research institutions in the nation, we could not be prouder to have Tsveta representing UAlbany among the Institute’s inaugural Fellows.”

“Asha and Sohee are excellent scholars and researchers who are highly motivated to advance civic integration and inclusivity for immigrant families in communities across New York and beyond,” says Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis. “Through this program, their work will focus on progress and policies that support students and families from all backgrounds, like many at Stony Brook University who are the first in their families to attend college. We congratulate Asha and Sohee for their selection as inaugural Fellows and we are proud of their commitment to ensuring immigrants have a welcoming and supportive path to success.”

“Beyond educating generations of immigrants, CCNY and all CUNY schools are also repositories of expertise on the immigrant experience. It is gratifying that our students are given the opportunity both to exercise that expertise and to deepen it as fellows in the inaugural Fellowship on Immigrant Integration Program,” said City College of New York (CCNY) President Vincent Boudreau on the selection of CCNY graduate student Joaquín Sánchez Gómez.

The fellows selected for the 2023 Inaugural Fellowship on Immigrant Integration are:

  • Tsveta Dobreva, third-year PhD student in sociology, The University at Albany, SUNY
  • Joaquín Sánchez Gómez, master’s student in economics, City College, CUNY
  • Sohee Shin, second-year PhD student in sociology, Stony Brook University, SUNY
  • Ken Silverman, third-year PhD student in political science, The Graduate Center, CUNY
  • Asha Venugopalan, second-year PhD student in political science, Stony Brook University, SUNY

More information and photos of each fellow can be found here.

About the Institute on Immigrant Integration Research and Policy

The Institute, which received initial funding in the FY 2023 State Budget, is housed at the Rockefeller Institute of Government, SUNY’s public policy think tank. It provides research and policy proposals to help immigrants better integrate into their receiving communities by helping policymakers and practitioners accelerate adoption of promising practices, stimulate responsive policies, reduce cost of integration efforts, and improve quality of outcomes for foreign-born New Yorkers.

About the Rockefeller Institute of Government

The Rockefeller Institute of Government is the public policy research arm of the State University of New York. The Institute conducts cutting-edge research and analysis to inform lasting solutions to the problems facing New York State and the nation.