Silvia Rodriguez Vega is an Assistant Professor at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) in the Department of Chicana/o Studies. Previously, she was both a UC Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow and a New York University Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Applied Psychology at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She holds a Ph.D. in Chicana and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master’s from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Transboder Latina/o and Chicana/o Studies from Arizona State University.
Silvia is a community engaged artist and scholar. Her research explores the ways anti-immigration policy impacts the lives of immigrant children through new methodological tools centering art and creative expression. Specifically, her research highlights the understudied preadolescent children of immigrants—both U.S.-born citizens and undocumented immigrant children. Through creating and teaching a bilingual multidisciplinary theater class at a local elementary school in South Central, Los Angeles her data included family, child, and teacher interviews, class observations, artwork and performance videos, from recently arrived Mexican and Central American children ages 11 to 13. Before that, Silvia collected 150 drawings from immigrant children in Phoenix, Arizona during the tenure of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s deportation campaigns.
Silvia’s writing has been published in Latino Studies, Aztlán: The Journal of Chicano Studies, the Association of Mexican American Educators Journal, and theHarvard Journal of Hispanic Policy. At UCLA, Silvia’s research was funded by the Ford Foundation, as well as the Institute of American Culture and the UC MEXUS research grant.
More broadly, Silvia is also concerned with issues of structural inequality, service-learning, immigration policy, mixed-status families, transborder relations, undocumented youth and children, and arts and artivism through performance and digital media.