Alumni Profile: Christina Diaz

Dr. Christina Diaz is an assistant professor of sociology at Rice University. Her research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of social demography, immigration, and family formation. Many of these projects shed light on the health and well-being of Latin American immigrants who reside in the U.S. or have returned to their country of origin.

Who did you work closely with at CDE? Do you still collaborate with anyone at the Center?

Jenna Nobles was my advisor and we are currently collaborating with other CDE faculty/affiliates on a manuscript examining educational outcomes among Mexican and non-Mexican youth.

Were there any special projects, experiences, etc. that you participated in during your graduate training at CDE?

This isn’t special among CDE graduates, but I have vivid memories of working in the cold room (restricted data room) at all hours of the day/night. Much of this work was for my RA-ship with Jenna, but she was kind enough to share these data for my own research. I was lucky that my master’s thesis was ultimately published in Social Science Research a couple of years later. I forged many lasting friendships (and collaborations) with cohort-mates who were also frantically negotiating space to analyze restricted data.

Did your training at CDE shape your career/research path?

Absolutely! CDE graduates receive rigorous and thorough training in demographic and quantitative methods, but I also benefited from being surrounded by theoretically-orientated scholars in the Department of Sociology. In combination, I found that this type of environment bolstered creativity and allowed me to approach demographic issues using a non-traditional lens.

What current research project you’re most excited about?

Right now, I’m really excited to return to the topic of U.S.-Mexico migration! I am working with a large research team across borders to assess changes in immigrant characteristics over time and across place.

Recent publications by Dr. Diaz:

Diaz, Christina J. and Jeremy E. Fiel. 2021. “When Size Matters: IV Estimates of Sibship Size on Educational Attainment in the U.S.” Population Research and Policy Review 40:1195:1220.

Diaz, Christina J. and Peter D. Ore. In press. “Landscapes of Appropriation and Assimilation: The Impact of Immigration on U.S. Cuisine.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.