Ready to find out what MSU Denver can do for you? We’ve got you covered.
November 29, 2022
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Jordan Student Success Building
CAVEA – JSSB 420
890 Auraria Parkway
Denver, CO 80204
DeAnna Castaneda is a first-generation Colorado native with a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration and Leadership from Adams State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies from MSU Denver. She has worked in higher education for several years, with a background in scholarships and financial aid. DeAnna is passionate about student success and creating access and opportunity, for first-generation, low-income, underrepresented students, like herself to pursue their dreams and social mobility through post-secondary education. DeAnna currently manages the CAFSA Program at the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
Born and raised in East Germany, Gregor Mieder moved to the U.S. when he was 21 years old; over the past two decades, he has lived in Wisconsin, Georgia, and Colorado. He has worked with immigrant and refugee communities since 2007, when he began to volunteer and teach English in Madison, Wisconsin. He has since earned a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics, taught English language development courses, worked in grant and program development, and currently coordinates the Immigrant Services Program at Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Alexandre Padilla is a Professor, Chair of the Economics Department, and the Director of the Exploring Economic Freedom Project. He earned his Bachelor, Master, and Doctorate in Economics at University of Law, Economics, and Science of Aix-Marseille 3 in France. He has published several papers on the institutional impacts of immigrants in Public Choice, Journal of Private Enterprise, and Contemporary Economic Policy (forthcoming). He developed and teaches a course called The Political Economy of Immigration. He has been at MSU Denver since 2002.
Jennifer is a lecturer in history at Metropolitan State University of Denver where she teaches courses in U.S. history, Latin American history, and the history of “Multicultural America.” She also supports DREAMer and undocumented students at MSU-Denver as part of the DREAMer Network. Jennifer’s research interests lie in in the borderlands: the interaction between subaltern practices and institutional forms of power in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and the U.S. West, focusing especially on the ways in which race, gender, and spirituality inform this interaction. Jennifer’s first historical monograph, Borderlands Curanderos: The Worlds of Santa Teresa Urrea and Don Pedrito Jaramillo, was published by the University of Texas Press in 2021, and recently received the Américo Paredes Book Prize, awarded to a book that, inspired by the work of Texas borderlands and folklore scholar Paredes, integrates scholarship with the community one studies. Borderlands Curanderos examines the lives of two curanderos – Mexican faith healers –who, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, worked outside the realm of “professional medicine,” seemingly beyond the reach of the church, state, or certified health practitioners whose profession was still in its infancy. Borderlands Curanderos argues that it is not only state and professional institutions that build and maintain communities, nations, and national identities but also those less obviously powerful.
Melissa Burton is an Immigration Policy Analyst at the Denver Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (“DOIRA”) where she researches, writes, and presents on national, state, and local policies and legislation directly impacting Denver’s immigrant and refugee residents with the goal of fostering long-term integration and support of these residents through sustained and strategic advocacy. Prior to joining the City and County of Denver, Melissa worked in private practice as an immigration attorney, representing clients in immigration court and before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and specialized in family-based matters including adjustment of status, consular processing, extreme hardship waivers, nonimmigrant petitions, and naturalization.
Arturo Jimenez is a veteran Immigration and Naturalization Law attorney, author of a 2019 book on immigrant children “Dreamers Nightmare: The U.S. War on Immigrant Latinx Children,” a former member of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education and an Affiliate Professor at MSU Denver. He will discuss the need to educate the public about laws and policies that provide alternatives available to those who are DREAMers considering the recent “winding-down” of the DACA program.
Dr. Marie Mora is Deputy Provost and Professor of Economics at Metropolitan State University of Denver. A labor economist, she has been invited to share her research expertise on the socioeconomic outcomes of Hispanics/Latinos with institutions and agencies across the country, including the White House and the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors. Among her, numerous recognitions are the 2020 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring from the White House and the 2016 Outstanding Support of Hispanic Issues in Higher Education Award from the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE). Dr. Mora is a founding member and former President of the American Society of Hispanic Economists, and she currently serves on the AAHHE Board of Directors. She earned her Ph.D. in Economics from Texas A&M University and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Economics from the University of New Mexico.
Nayeli is a 4th year student at MSU Denver pursuing a major in business management . She was born in Guadalajara, Jal and came to Denver at the age of 2. As an undocumented student she didn’t plan on attending college but through her journey now, she’s learned that there is a space for her community and in need of support. This is why she is also a peer mentor at the immigrant services program and constantly advocating for her immigrant community.
9:00 – 9:15 a.m.
Michael Benitez, Ph.D., Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion and Associate Professor, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education
Chalane Lechuga, Ph.D., Director of Faculty Diversity Research & Development and Professor, Chicana/o Studies
Welcome and Introduction to DACA and Immigration Teach-in. During this portion, speakers will highlight the significance of addressing immigration, DACA, and DREAMERs and provide an overview of the topics presented during the Teach-In.
9:15 – 9:40 a.m.
Jennifer Seman, Ph.D., Professor in History
Overview of history, culture, and the role immigrants play in building and maintaining communities, nations, and national identities as well as the role immigrants have had historically on the viability and creation of the United States will be discussed.
9:45 – 10:25 a.m.
Arturo Jiménez, Esq., J.D., Immigration Law and Adjunct Professor, Chicano/a Studies
Melissa G. Burton, Esq., Immigration Policy Analyst, Denver Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs
This portion will focus on immigration law, tracking, monitoring, and reporting on national, state, and local immigration policies and legislation impacting Denver’s immigrant residents. Included in this discussion will be historical accounts of immigration laws, their impact, and looking at how we got to where we are today through a legal lens.
10:30 – 11:10 a.m.
Alexandre Padilla, Ph.D., Professor, Economics, MSU Denver;
Marie Mora, Ph.D., Deputy Provost and Professor, Economics
This discussion regarding the economic and business impact immigrants have in their communities and nationally will address the financial value immigrants have on the U.S. economy, including cost-benefit analysis.
11:15 – 11:55 a.m.
Gregor Mieder, Director, Immigration Services,
DeAnna Castaneda, Program Manager, Colorado Department of Higher Education
Nayeli Sanchez, MSU Denver Student
Annie Aviles-Zamora, MSU Denver Student
Finally, we will cover how education systems and MSU Denver support DACA recipients, DREAMERs, immigrant and refugee students, and the value and moral impetus of supporting these students, including what higher education is doing at the state level to create access to higher education for undocumented students.
11:55 – 12:00 p.m.