Jessica Lavariega Monforti, PhD

Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

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Phone: (805) 493-3015


  • Latina/o Leadership: The Latino/a Political Identity
    What does it mean for Latino political identity when naturalized Latinos significantly out vote their U.S.-born counterparts? How nearly half of U.S.-born Latinos are younger than 18 and the effect they will have on the politics of the 21st century. How these change demographics might affect the political incorporation and representation of Latino and Latinas in the coming years.

  • Immigrants, Immigration and Politics
    In 2012, President Obama deferred the deportation of qualified undocumented youth with his policy of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals forever changing the lives of the approximately five million DREAMers currently in the United States. Formerly illegal, a generation of Latino youth have begun to build new lives based on their newfound legitimacy. In this book, the first to examine the lives of DREAMers in the wake of Obama s deferred action policy, the authors relay the real-life stories of more than 100 DREAMers from four states. They assess the life circumstances in which undocumented Latino youth find themselves, the racializing effects generated by current immigration public discourse, and the permanent impact of this policy environment on DREAMers in America."

  • Teaching, Mentoring, and Underrepresented Student Success in Higher Ed
    Inequality in higher education is a problem of institutional practices, structures, and policies for many student of color, which is often exacerbated by gender. She also discusses the importance of being intentional about equity and presenting strategies for advancing equity on college campuses.

Dr. Lavariega Monforti is Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at California Lutheran University. She received her PhD from The Ohio State University in 2001. Her research primarily focuses on the differential impact of public policy according to race, gender and ethnicity. She is specifically interested in the political incorporation and representation of Latino/as, immigrants and women. Her latest research examines how major forces such as technology, the military system and immigration policy impact and are impacted by Latina/o youth. She has worked with organizations such as Texas Rio Grande Legal Aide, La Union del Pueblo Entero, and the South Texas Adult Resource and Training Center.  Dr. Lavariega Monforti has co-authored two books and published over 50 articles and chapters. She has contributed to several news articles and broadcasts including the New York Times, La Opinión, and NPR’s All Things Considered.