UA research center awards $50,000 to graduate students as part of the university-wide Border Lab Initiative

Feb. 11, 2022
Border Labs Fellows Collage


TUCSON (Feb. 11, 2022) – The University of Arizona’s Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry has launched and selected five awardees for the Border Lab Graduate Fellowship program, made possible with funding from the Office of the Provost and UArizona HSI Initiatives. This program aims to advance the mission of the Border Lab initiative, an effort to develop the university’s U.S. and Mexico borderland studies and research.

As part of the Border Lab’s effort to make UArizona a top destination for U.S. – Mexico borderlands research, the fellowship program  supports students working to elevate marginalized communities within the borderlands and challenge existing interpretations and narratives about the border.

“We need to continue to support diverse and underrepresented graduate students on campus, many of whom reflect the diverse borderlands communities of our region,” said Confluencenter Director, Dr. Javier Duran. “Accomplishing this goal through our program launch is significant because these institutional investments are an essential part of the University’s strategic priorities to become a national leader in the field of border studies,”

A total of five graduate students have been awarded with $10,000 each for participation and completion of their research projects which aim to address the grand challenges in our society that straddle our geopolitical borders and elevate UArizona’s identity as the global epicenter of border studies.

“With the support granted by this fellowship I will be able to activate a series of science fiction workshops at Tijuana in the neighborhood where I grew up and lived in since 1993,” Mariel Miranda, graduate student and recipient of the program said. “ I am very grateful for this opportunity and look forward to being a part of the overall effort to bring many border stories to a broader audience.”

The Border Lab Graduate Fellowship emerged from the shared goals and efforts of several units across campus to advance border studies, support graduate students, and create student cohorts with opportunities that facilitate the blending of perspectives and ideas.

In addition to providing financial support, the students will receive guidance, professional mentorship, and they will attend academic development workshops from an interdisciplinary group of UArizona faculty like the Department of Spanish and Portuguese’s, the Binational Migration Institute, the School of Art, and the Center for Latin American Studies.

“I see this grant-funded project as one of several efforts that brings to life the University of Arizona's commitment as a Hispanic-Serving Institution," said Dr. Marla Franco, assistant vice provost for HSI initiatives and faculty affiliate in the UArizona Center for the Study of Higher Education. “Ultimately, this fellowship program highlights the unique and innovative work of UArizona graduate students, and it elevates and strengthens the University’s distinction as the top destination for border studies.”