CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Announces 2010-2011 Fellows and Visiting Scholars

For Immediate Release
Thursday, 25 February 2010

NEW YORK -- The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute (CUNY DSI) at The City College of New York (CCNY) has announced 2010-2011 doctoral fellows and visiting scholars in Dominican Studies.  Representing diverse academic disciplines, the fellows and scholars will advance a wide range of scholarly research projects, from the colonial history of the Dominican Republic to housing patterns of people of Dominican ancestry in New York City.  They will work directly with CUNY DSI Director and Professor of Sociology Ramona Hernández.

“This is the largest, and most diverse group of scholars in residence at the Dominican Studies Institute since its founding, an important milestone in our history,” said Professor Hernández. “We are thrilled to be nurturing the academic careers of so many talented doctoral students and faculty who seek to make their mark not only in their own specialties, but also in Dominican Studies, one of the most exciting interdisciplinary fields in the humanities and social sciences today.”

The Dominican Studies Doctoral Fellows and their research projects are:

Kianny N. Antigua-Padilla, Ph.D. candidate in Spanish literature at the CUNY Graduate Center and adjunct instructor in foreign language and literature.  She will conduct an extensive paleographical reading of 16th Century archival documents in Spanish relating to the colonial history of the Dominican Republic to establish the types of data they contain, the nature of their overall contents and other information that she will include in a descriptive catalog of these documents.

Miguelina Rodriguez, Ph.D. candidate at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.  Her research project is an in-depth study of the housing patterns of Dominicans in New York City.

Utku Sezgin, Ph.D. candidate (ABD) in political science at the CUNY Graduate Center and adjunct instructor in politics and sociology at CUNY.  He will conduct research on issues pertaining to the cultural, political, and social identity of second-generation Dominicans living in New York City, particularly Northern Manhattan and the Bronx.  In addition, he will design the methodology for a subsequent study with second-generation Dominicans living in select European cities, among them Berlin.

CUNY DSI Visiting Scholars are Mirtha Crisóstomo, Ed.D., and Irmary Reyes-Santos, Ph.D.  Dr. Crisóstomo is Associate Professor of Management at Emmanuel College and a noted expert on educational and social issues facing immigrant college students.  During her residency at CUNY DSI, she will update the Institute’s landmark study “Against all Odds: Dominican Students in New York.”  In addition, she will continue her research on the predictive value of socio-demographic, language acquisition, college experience and placement test variables in the academic success of immigrant students.

 Dr. Reyes-Santos teaches courses in Latin American Studies, African Diaspora Studies, globalization, and Caribbean literature.  She focuses her research and publications on race and gender issues in the Spanish Caribbean, with a particular expertise in Dominican-Haitian and Dominican-Puerto Rican relations.  Her project at CUNY DSI is a study of U.S.-Dominican racial, ethnic, and national identity, drawing on census data, current literature, and a survey of Dominicans residing in Washington Heights and the Bronx. She will examine how variables such as level of political participation in the city of New York, relationship to the Dominican Republic, educational experiences, and economic status, inform processes of identity formation in Dominican communities.

 CUNY DSI is also hosting an undergraduate exchange student from the Free University of Berlin, Natalie Wagner, who is pursuing her interest in Dominican Studies under the auspices of the German National Academic Foundation.  In addition to her courses in Latin American Studies at City College, Wagner is engaged in an independent study project with Professor Hernández on Dominican migration to the United States from 1892 to 1924, as revealed by Ellis Island archives.

About the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute (CUNY DSI)

Housed at The City College of New York, the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute is the only university-based research unit in the United States exclusively devoted to the production of academic research and gathering and dissemination of sound information about the history, society and culture of the Dominican people.  Established in 1992, it encompasses three different units: the Research and Administration unit, the Dominican Library and the Dominican Archives.

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