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Stephanie L. Canizales

Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of California, Merced

Stephanie Canizales received her PhD from the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in Spring 2018. She specializes in Central American migration, immigrant integration, unaccompanied minors, and the 1.5 and second generations. Her on-going work examines the unaccompanied migration and adaptation experiences of unauthorized Central American young-adults in Los Angeles.

Stephanie's research findings have been published by Ethnic and Racial Studies, the Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies, the Center for Migration Studies, Youth Circulations and the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research. Her dissertation has been supported by Stanford University Center on Poverty and Inequality, National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, American Sociological Association, and the John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation, among others. Her work has been featured by LA Times, Al Jazeera America, NPR and Pacific Standard, who named her one of the top 30 Thinkers Under 30.

Stephanie is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at UC Merced.


  • 2020–present
    Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of California at Merced
  • 2019–2020
    Chancellor's Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California at Merced
  • 2018–2019
    Assistant Professor of Sociology, Texas A&M University
  • 2011–2018
    Doctoral Student, University of Southern California


  • 2018
    Support and setback: The Role of Religion in the Incorporation of Unaccompanied Indigenous Youth in Los Angeles, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
  • 2016
    Latino/a professionals as entrepreneurs: how race, class, and gender shape entrepreneurial incorporation, Ethnic and Racial Studies
  • 2016
    Support and Setback: Catholic Churches and the Adaptation of Unaccompanied Guatemalan Maya Youth in Los Angeles, Center for Migration Studies
  • 2015
    American individualism and the social incorporation of Guatemalan Maya young adults in Los Angeles, Ethnic and Racial Studies
  • 2015
    Fast Fashion, Slow Integration: Guatemalan youth navigate life and labor in Los Angeles, Youth Circulations
  • 2015
    Removing Insecurity: Who American Children Will Benefit from President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration, Tomas Rivera Policy Institute at USC and the Institute for Immigration, Globalization, and Education at UCLA
  • 2015
    Unaccompanied Migrant Children: A Humanitarian Crisis at the Border and Beyond, UC Davis Center for Poverty Research
  • 2014
    Exploitation, Poverty, and Marginality Among Unaccompanied Migrant Youth, UC Davis Center for Poverty Research

Professional Memberships

  • American Sociological Association
  • Sociologists for Women in Society
  • Society for the Study of Social Problems
  • Latin American Studies Association
  • Latina/o Studies Association


Ford Foundation; National Science Foundation Fellow; Haynes Foundation Dissertation Grant; American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship Program; Stanford University Center on Poverty and Inequality Research Fellowship; UC Davis Center for Poverty Research, Visiting Scholar