CORVALLIS, Ore. - Sociologist and immigration scholar Ronald Mize has been named the new director of Oregon State University's Center for Latino/Latina Studies and Engagement (CL@SE).

Mize, formerly with Humboldt State University and Cornell University, conducts research focusing on the history of Mexican immigration to the United States, and how understanding immigration patterns are critical to often-contentious discussions on the subject.

Susana Rivera-Mills, associate dean in OSU's College of Liberal Arts, said that Mize is poised to carry on the dual mission of the center: to engage in research necessary to understand the social issues that Latinos in the region face, as well as work with community partners to create solutions.

"I'm thrilled to have Ron as the new CL@SE director," Rivera-Mills said. "Not only are his skills and experience as a researcher an asset for the center, but he shares the vision, passion, and commitment to serving Latino communities and advancing community engagement with OSU."

Mize will also serve as an associate professor in the School of Language, Culture and Society.

"My hope is that we solidify our connections with the Latino community in Oregon, and solidify Latino studies as an area of scholarly inquiry at Oregon State," Mize said. "It's mutually beneficial that we know our stakeholders better, and that the stakeholders look to us as a place where knowledge is created, validated, disseminated and relevant."

In the past year, CL@SE has created partnerships with Casa Latinos of Benton County; PCUN, Oregon's Farmworker Union in Woodburn; its sister organization, the CAPACES Leadership Institute; and Centro Latino Americano in Eugene.

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Susana Rivera-Mills, 541-737-4586