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Experts available to discuss refugees and forced migration

Scholars from DePaul University in international studies, law and more offer insights

Statue of St. Vincent DePaul speaking to two students.
DePaul University faculty experts are available to provide context and insight on forced migration, resettlement and immigration policy. (DePaul University/Randall Spriggs)
CHICAGO — As hundreds of Afghan families prepare to resettle in the Chicago region, DePaul University faculty experts are available to provide context and insight on forced migration, resettlement and immigration policy. Their expertise is wide-ranging, including international relations, law and psychology.

Contact experts directly via email or, for assistance arranging interviews, email newsroom@depaul.edu or call 312-241-9856.

Kathleen Arnold, Director of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies Program, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Kathleen Arnold researches and teaches courses on the public health impact of forced migration, immigration law and human rights. She appeared on WTTW’s "Chicago Tonight" in late July to discuss how climate change impacts U.S. and global migration.

  • U.S. refugee program
  • Statuses Afghan refugees will file for
  • What community organizations in Chicago are doing to help resettle the refugees
Shailja Sharma, Professor and Chair, Department of International Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Shailja Sharma works on migration, refugee flows and diaspora. She also teaches courses on citizenship and South Asia, including Afghanistan. She discussed the many benefits refugees can bring to a community in this TEDxDePaulUniversity talk.

  • Historical background of Afghanistan conflict
  • Why Afghans have been fleeing their country since 1979
  • The U.S.'s moral responsibility to Afghans seeking refuge
Sioban Albiol, Senior Professional Lecturer and Director, Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic, College of Law
Through partnerships with more than two dozen community groups, Sioban Albiol and the law clinic advocate on behalf of immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers throughout Illinois, focusing specifically on increasing access to justice for low-income immigrants and refugees.

  • U.S. asylum law
  • Family-based immigration
  • Challenges low-income immigrant and refugee face in access to information and legal representation
  • Partnerships with refugee resettlement organization
Allison Brownell Tirres, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Strategic Initiatives, Associate Professor of Law, College of Law
Allison Brownell Tirres studies and teaches immigration law and policy, and constitutional law. Her research focuses on immigration, citizenship and civil rights in both historical and contemporary perspectives.

  • History of the system of immigrant and refugee admissions
  • Legal process for immigrant and refugee admissions
  • The challenges the current immigration system faces in meeting the needs of migrants
Thomas Mockaitis, Professor of History, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Thomas Mockaitis is a nationally renowned expert on terrorism and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and he teaches in the Refugee and Forced Migration Studies program. “We desperately need a comprehensive, long-term immigration strategy that considers our ability to accommodate immigrants and addresses the root causes of forced migration. Instead, we have seen a series of ad hoc responses to each ensuing crisis,” Mockaitis wrote recently in The Hill.

  • History of terrorism, insurgency and counter-insurgency
  • International security and United Nations peacekeeping activities
Shana Wills, Part-Time Faculty, Refugee and Forced Migration Studies Program, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Shana Wills is the founder and board president of Refugee Education & Adventure Challenge (REACH), an organization that works with refugee youth ages 10-18 and provides academic, leadership and social-emotional learning support and outdoor education opportunities.

  • Effect of migration on families, adolescents and children
  • Needs refugees will have upon arriving in Chicago
  • How the U.S. refugee program works and trouble spots within the program
  • Why it’s a moral imperative to give Afghans refuge in the U.S.
  • Groups doing refugee work in Chicago
Nezih Altay, Professor and Director, MS in Supply Chain Management Program, Driehaus College of Business
Nezih Altay teaches operations management and his research focuses on disruption management and humanitarian supply chains. He co-edited the book "Advances in Managing Humanitarian Operations" (2016), and he currently serves as the co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics & Supply Chain Management.

  • Logistics of humanitarian assistance operations
Anne Saw, Associate Professor, Clinical-Community Psychology, College of Science and Health
Anne Saw studies health and mental health disparities, sociocultural and structural influences on health behaviors and access to care, and culturally responsive community-based interventions.

  • The psychological impacts of pre-migration, migration and resettlement on refugee mental health and well-being
  • How resettling communities can promote well-being and resilience for refugees
Craig Mousin, Ombudsperson, Faculty, Refugee and Forced Migration Studies Program, Grace School of Applied Diplomacy
Craig Mousin teaches refugee and immigration law at the College of Law. He is a member of the Leadership Council of the National Immigrant Justice Center and a former president and board member of the Immigration Project of downstate Illinois.

  • Asylum law and international refugee law with a particular emphasis on the consequences of religious persecution and remedies available to persons seeking asylum and safe haven
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Media contacts:

Russell Dorn
312-362-7128 (Desk)

Mary Hansen
312-362-8592 (Desk)

312-262-9856 (Media line)