MC alumna to share research about migrant children on April 25

MC alumna to share research about migrant children on April 25

April 12, 2018

Betsabé Román ’07 wants people to better understand the issues along the United States-Mexico border.

Román, currently a MEXUS-CONACYT Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California-San Diego’s Center for US-Mexican Studies, will share the findings of her research on migrant children and encourage people to be a force for good when she presents “Building Bridges in a World that Builds Walls: Using Your Passion and Potential to Make a Difference” on April 25 in Maryville College’s Proffitt Dining Room (PDR).

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will begin at noon. Lunch for diners is $8.49 and payable at the door of the Margaret Ware Dining Room in Pearsons Hall. Guests should come early, go through the meal lines and take their seats in the PDR, which is located at the back of Pearsons Hall. Persons wishing only to hear the presentation can enter through the east entrance of the PDR.

Since graduating from Maryville College more than a decade ago, Román, who majored in child development and learning with teacher licensure, has earned a master’s degree in educational psychology from Universidad Veracruzana and a doctorate in sociology from Tecnologico de Monterrey with a specialty in social anthropology.

As a postdoctoral fellow at UC, Román is researching the understudied educational and migratory trajectories of Mexican-American child migrants who travel between the two countries, and her work has been part of different bi-national projects to help transnational children transition between homes, schools and communities on both sides of the border.

Román was invited to speak at Maryville College by Dr. Kathie Shiba, professor of psychology and chair of the College’s Behavioral Sciences division.

Shiba said she is pleased to learn about her former student’s scholarship and activism, but not surprised. As a student, Román was one of the co-founders of the Global Citizenship Organization, which won best organization on campus the year she was president of it.  She was on the Dean’s List for several semesters and won the 2007 Sojourner Truth Award for her leadership and promotion of diversity, community and unity in the Maryville College campus.

“Betsabé is a shining example of a student who used the skills and knowledge she acquired through her liberal arts education and applied them to a need that she saw in the world,” Shiba said. “I am proud of the research she is continuing to do that is bringing to light possible ways that institutions in Mexico and the U.S. can work together to make a real impact on the lives of children.

“As a Maryville College graduate, Betsabé Román followed the Rev. Isaac Anderson’s advice to ‘Do good on the largest possible scale,’” Shiba continued. “We can each learn from her example.”

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the Fall 2018 semester is 1,154.