‘Immigrants and Refugees’ are focus of student res...

‘Immigrants and Refugees’ are focus of student research events

MTSU student, faculty and visiting scholars will delve into the experiences of immigrants and refugees at the 25th annual Tennessee Undergraduate Social Science Symposium, set this Thursday and Friday, Oct. 20-21.

Click on the graphic for more information.

Click on the graphic for more information.

The two-day research symposium, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the MTSU Student Union.

A searchable campus map with parking notes is available at Off-campus visitors attending the event can obtain a special one-day permit at

This year’s symposium, titled “Immigrants and Refugees,” is headlined by a Thursday keynote address from Dr. Ruth Gomberg Muñoz, an assistant professor of anthropology at Loyola University Chicago and author of the book “Becoming Legal,” beginning at 2:40 p.m. in the Student Union’s second-floor ballroom.

Muñoz’s topic is “Becoming Legal: Immigration Law and Mixed-Status Families.”

Dr. Ruth Gomberg Muñoz

Dr. Ruth Gomberg Muñoz

Munoz book cover webThe event also will feature discussion panels with community organizations and students who work closely with refugee and immigrant groups in Middle Tennessee.

Student research presentations are scheduled throughout both days of the symposium, and their topics range from social and historical movements and bodies and tattoos in different cultures to improving lives and communities and the impact of culture, heritage and economies.

The top three undergrad papers will be announced and prizes awarded at 8:30 Thursday morning.

Conducted at MTSU since 1993, the Undergraduate Social Science Symposium is modeled after a typical professional conference and was designed to prompt students’ scientific study of human interaction and encourage their professional growth as well as provide opportunities for scholars to exchange ideas.

TELS logo webThis year’s symposium also is a joint meeting with the Tennessee Experiential Learning Symposium, created last year at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to allow undergraduates across the state to present their experiences in research, creative activity, experiential and service learning and study-abroad programs.

TELS students, faculty and guests have scheduled their presentations and discussions for Friday.

More details are available at, and a complete schedule for each symposium is available at

— Gina E. Fann (