The American Political Science Association (APSA) has award Narayani Lasala-Blanco, an assistant professor in Arizona State University’s School of Politics and Global Studies, with the 2019 Adaljiza Sosa-Riddell Mentor Award.
Lasala-Blanco was chosen for this award thanks to her work in mentoring graduate students. According to the APSA website, the Adaljiza Sosa-Riddell Mentor Award is named in honor of the first Latina to earn a PhD in political science. The recipient is recognized for their exceptional mentoring of Latina/o students and junior faculty.
Shannon Schumacher, a graduate student with UC Santa Barbara where Lasala-Blanco was an assistant professor prior to joining ASU, was a field supervisor and teaching assistant to Lasala-Blanco.
Schumacher shared that through years of taking her classes and assisting with research projects, she received a unique perspective on the passion for and commitment to supporting students that Lasala-Blanco has.
For one of those projects, Lasala-Blanco and a team of undergraduate students spent a summer in Cuyama, California, to better understand the public perceptions of water and its use. She worked to recruit students bilingual in English and Spanish to conduct interviews in every household in the population. The bilingual students who participated in these types of research projects with Lasala-Blanco would ultimately go on to top 10 PhD programs in political science.
“While all professors interact with students in some capacity, I think what makes Professor Lasala-Blanco unique is her commitment to working with and providing opportunities for students to learn the ins and outs of academic research,” said Schumacher.
Lasala-Blanco joined ASU in the summer of 2018 as an assistant professor and an affiliate faculty member of the Center for Latina/os and American Politics Research. Her research specializes in the study of immigrant political integration, Latino and minority politics in the U.S., public opinion and political behavior. Her current work focuses on the development of civic skills among first-generation Latino immigrants in the U.S.
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