Sociology alumnus receives the Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship

June 03, 2016

By Mizuki Hisaka 

Marcos Lopez, a UC Santa Cruz alumnus (Ph.D., Sociology, 2011) won a prestigious Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship to support his ethnographic research. Currently an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Bowdoin College, Lopez's research focuses on farmworkers in Baja California.

Lopez has traveled to Baja to study the farmworkers who successfully went on strike to basic workers’ rights. He has been writing articles and books on findings based on his research. Many of the workers migrated from Oaxaca in search of a better life and work opportunities. However, the workers found themselves living in squatter settlements. In addition, they were paid low wages and were denied government benefits. In response to the poor working conditions, thousands of workers went on strike during March 2015. Three months later, their employers agreed to meet some of the workers' demands, including access to healthcare and increased wages. Lopez plans to revisit the farmworkers to continue his research, this time on the effects of the strike.

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