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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Sociology & Criminology


Faculty & Staff

María Islas-López

Maria Islas-Lopez photo

María Islas-López

Visiting Teaching Assistant Professor
Office: Sturm Hall 428
Phone: 303-871-2948
Email: [email protected]
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areas of expertise/research interests

Cultural Sociology; Cognition; Transnational Migration and Immigrant Families; Qualitative Methodology; Community Health and Wellbeing; Community-Engaged Research; Interdisciplinarity; Diversity and Equity 

professional biography

María Islas-López is a cultural sociologist with experience in field-based methodologies and community-engaged research in ethnically diverse and low-income communities. Her research primarily concerns well-being and opportunity among immigrant families. She is particularly interested in understanding the factors impacting their aspirational processes and their capacity for shaping the conditions of their lives. She has examined these processes in her study of future-oriented thinking in a Mexican transnational community, and is currently extending this analysis to examinations of social inequality and the ways communities build futures together.

She holds a PhD in Sociology from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Prior to joining the Sociology Department, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow for DU's Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the Study of Inequality (IRISE) at the Services for At-Risk Youth and Families (SAYF) Research lab at the DU Psychology Department. In her capacity as an IRISE fellow, she was also involved in a number of initiatives aiming to address issues of inequality, social justice, and inclusivity on campus and beyond. She continues to collaborate with other DU faculty in community-engaged projects that address disparities in mental health care for immigrant youth and their families, as well as the impact of urban development in community wellbeing.


PhD    Sociology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
MA     Sociology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
BA     Sociology, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)