Marcela García-Castañon is an Associate Professor in the Department Political Science. She specialized in American politics, Latino politics, immigrant/immigration policy and politics, political communication and methodology. She teaches courses that examine Latino political behavior, attitudes and socialization, as well as courses in research design and methodology.
Her research agenda analyzes notions of membership and citizenship development within immigrant communities and their connection to political and civic engagement. Her current research examines the political membership process of Mexican immigrant in the United States through familial, educational and pre-migration experiences. She engages theories of civic engagement, identity, and political socialization to establish and formulate a theory of multi-tiered membership to better examine and explain the experiences of immigrants in new nations. Dr. Garcia-Castanon completed her Ph.D. at the University of Washington, focusing her dissertation on new theories of immigrant political socialization. She was a Jacob K. Javits fellow, WISER graduate fellow and Simpson Center Borderlands Fellow during her graduate studies.
Dr. García-Castañon grew up primarily in Arizona, though she was born in Mexico and lived in California for the early part of her childhood. She is the oldest child in her family, and the first to graduate from college in the U.S. She has worked in radio and public relations and held positions as a teaching program coordinator and researcher.