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Degree Programs

Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the Study of (In)Equality

Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Renew DU Post-Terminal Degree Fellowship Pilot Program is a 2 year program that identifies promising scholars who have completed a terminal degree in their field of study and who are engaged in research, scholarship, and/or creative work grounded in understandings of equality; and / or a consideration for the many ways in which the academy or particular fields promote or extinguish the advancement of historically underrepresented communities.

IRISE Postdoctoral Fellows

Maria Islas-Lopez Maria Islas-Lopez, Ph.D. 

Frontier Hall 347 
2155 S. Race St.  
Denver, CO 80208 


María Islas-López is the IRISE Postdoctoral fellow for the Immigrant Latino Youth Adaptation in the Context of Inequality: An Interdisciplinary Research Training Program. Having been raised and educated in Mexico (B.A., Sociology, National Autonomous University of Mexico), and then completing her graduate studies in the United States (Ph.D., Sociology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), María has a long record of interdisciplinary collaborations, advocacy, and field research experience in southern Mexico, New Jersey, Colorado and Rhode Island. She has worked with Mexican migrants, Latino immigrant families and low-income communities, particularly in the areas of child development, nutrition, education and community well-being.

In her research, María is examining how the thought processes of immigrant families inform and draw on the contexts of their everyday living. In particular, her current work explores future-oriented cognition. Drawing on fieldwork completed in Mexico and the United States, her recently completed dissertation examines the relationship between the specific socio-cultural contexts of immigrant families and their future thinking. It discovers several surprising and hitherto under-appreciated ways that future thinking shapes how immigrant families make choices and understand their well-being.

In her role as Postdoctoral fellow at IRISE, María is collaborating with faculty from the Department of Psychology and Morgridge College of Education in constructing an interdisciplinary approach for understanding the adjustment of Latino immigrant families. She is interested in exploring how the future outlooks of Latino immigrant parents are shaped by socio-cultural environmental factors, and how they impact trajectories of well-being in their children.

Jennifer Ewa Jennifer-Grace Ewa, J.D. and M.U.P.

Boettcher West, 237
2320 South Race St.
Denver, CO 80210
(303) 871-4431 


Jennifer-Grace Chinenye Ewa’s research focuses on watersheds, watershed institutions, adaptive governance, environmental law and ecosystem services. Her particular interests lie in urban storm water and flood mitigation, urban landscape architecture. Jennifer received her bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages and Sociology from Knox College in 2008. She completed a dual degree program at the University of Louisville in Law and Urban Planning in 2014. As an intern at the Center for Sustainable Neighborhoods, Jennifer co-authored “Rent Strikes.” As an intern for Louisville Metro government she studied vacant properties and their effect on low income communities. While acting as a graduate research assistant for the Center for Land Use and Environmental Responsibility, she studied diverse populations and barriers to water governance and participation. During her Postdoctoral Fellowship in Inequality and the Provision of Open Space at DU, Jennifer hopes that her previous research will inform her study of land conservation law, GIS, and access to open space by diverse populations.