Sociology PhD student Inna Mirzoyan receives a Fulbright Award to study in Armenia

April 13, 2020

Sociology doctoral student Inna Mirzoyan's research focuses on what happens to migrants after they leave their home countries. Thanks to her recent Fulbright Award, Inna will now be working both in Armenia and then in Los Angeles' Armenia-American communities. 

"The Fulbright Award to Armenia will allow me to begin my dissertation data collection. I plan to conduct qualitative research in the form of in-depth interviews and participant observation by working alongside diaspora organizations and their participants to better understand the impact these organizations have on creating a space for transnational behavior among migrants who are second-generation and beyond," Inna said.

"After my stay in Armenia, I hope to extend the research to a multi-sited ethnography by researching diaspora organizations in Los Angeles, the largest Armenian-American community and Washington, D.C. where several political advocacy and lobbying groups work on behalf of the Armenian-American community," she said.

Inna's dissertation research asks, what kind of migrants maintain transnational ties and how do they do so? Inna relies on migration and gender theory to answer these questions as she unpacks the role of fluidity in identities and borders using a transnational, queer perspective. Her most recent research for her master’s thesis involved qualitative research in the form of in-depth interviews with Armenian diasporans who are involved in diaspora organizations that promote volunteering and working in “the homeland.” She recognized that these organizations play a central role in creating immigrant social networks and fostering transnationalism among a younger generation of Armenians. Inna is also currently pursuing a Women’s and Gender Studies Specialization.

In addition to research, Inna has a passion for teaching. Inna was a 2018-2019 Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Teaching (IIT) Fellow. As a fellow, Inna attended biweekly meetings with other fellows to discuss pedagogy and completed a qualitative research project on student and professor perspectives on grades in the James Madison College. She is currently pursuing a Certification in College Teaching.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program currently awards approximately 2,000 grants annually in all fields of study and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide. Fulbright U.S. Student alumni populate a range of professions and include ambassadors, members of Congress, judges, heads of corporations, university presidents, journalists, artists, professors, and teachers. Bose Corporation founder Amar Bose, actor John Lithgow, composer Philip Glass, opera singer Renee Fleming and economist Joseph Stiglitz are among notable former grantees.