Richard Perry University Professor
Roberto Gonzales, a world-renowned scholar of the lives of immigrants in the United States, will be the Richard Perry University Professor, with joint appointments in the Department of Sociology of the School of Arts and Sciences and in the Graduate School of Education, as of July 1, 2021.
Gonzales is currently Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Director of the Immigration Initiative at Harvard University. His award-winning scholarship assesses how immigration policy shapes the ways in which immigrant youth adapt, come of age, and experience life in their receiving countries. His landmark book, Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America (University of California Press, 2016), followed the trajectories of 150 undocumented young adults in Los Angeles across 12 years. It has won eight major book awards and been adopted as a common reading text by universities and school districts across the country. Most recently, he led a national longitudinal study of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and a collaborative study of educators’ responses to immigration issues in their schools and communities.
Gonzales’ work has been featured across leading scholarly journals, including the American Sociological Review and Current Anthropology, and such media as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. His research has been widely supported by the MacArthur Foundation, Gates Foundation, and Russell Sage Foundation, among many others. In addition to “Lives in Limbo,” he is co-author of “Undocumented Migration” (Polity Press, 2019), “Within and Beyond Citizenship” (Routledge, 2017), and the forthcoming “The Growing Significance of Place: Assessing the Diverging Trajectories of DACA-Eligible Young Adults” (University of California Press).
He has taught at Harvard since 2013, following earlier positions at the University of Chicago and the University of Washington. He earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology from the University of California at Irvine, an A.M. from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, and a B.A. in sociology from Colorado College.
About the Donor
Richard Perry, W'77, gave the inaugural gift in support of the Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) initiative, a cornerstone of former Penn President Amy Gutmann’s vision for propelling Penn from excellence to eminence.