School of Education
March 1, 2013
Professor of Sociology and Education Elected to National Academy of Education
Rubén G. Rumbaut, UC Irvine professor of Sociology and Education, has been elected to the National Academy of Education.
Professor Rumbaut is internationally known and widely cited for his research on children and young adults raised in immigrant families of diverse nationalities and socioeconomic classes. He has authored, co-authored, or edited numerous publications on the topic, including 14 books – with two more forthcoming. He earned two best book awards from the American Sociological Association and, as a National Academy of Sciences panel member, contributed to two authoritative volumes on the U.S. Hispanic population.
UC Irvine facutly members were quick to offer praise for Professor Rumbaut’s scholarly contributions.
Professor Rumbaut’s insightful work on the critical role of education in creating an accomplished and diverse populace has key lessons for educators and policymakers. We are delighted to see his work recognized by this important honor. (Barbara Dosher, Dean of UC Irvine’s School of Social Sciences and Professor of Cognitive Sciences)
In his groundbreaking research, Professor Rumbaut identified two essential themes: The first is the important roles of families and schools in supporting the successful transition of the children of immigrants, and the second is the wide variations in adaptation across different national groups. His findings are highly relevant for our efforts in schools and communities to improve educational achievement in this large group of young people. (Deborah Vandell, Dean of UC Irvine’s School of Education)
Professor Rumbaut mines data from large projects he has directed since the 1980s, including two studies of refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos and how their children fared in San Diego public schools. Subsequent efforts looked at the educational achievement of immigrant students and language minorities throughout California.
Since 1991, he has co-led the landmark Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study, following subjects from dozens of nationalities in South Florida and Southern California as they become adults. From 2002-08, he co-directed the Immigration & Intergenerational Mobility in Metropolitan Los Angeles study, which focused on 1.5 and second-generation young adults of Mexican, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Filipino, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and additional ethnic origins, compared with third-generation peers. Numerous follow-ups by Rumbaut and others have been based on this research.
Professor Rumbaut currently is studying youth populations from Ameca, Mexico, to see how they differ in educational status and transition to adulthood. Coming of age between 2008 and 2012, some stayed in their hometown and some either immigrated to California or were born here to immigrant parents. The study also factors in whether the young people are undocumented or documented immigrants or U.S. citizens.
Rumbaut’s analyses underscore the importance of not only parents’ educational background and legal status but also community characteristics, early school achievement and acculturation, along with adverse events such as incarceration and teenage childbearing. His studies have transformed our understanding of the immigrant experience. (David Frank, Professor and Chair of Sociology at UC Irvine)
Professor Rumbaut’s research has been supported by the Russell Sage Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, National Science Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement, and National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. He is a frequent keynote speaker at international conferences and is consulted regularly on immigration by national media. He has been a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation and a fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.
A native of Havana, Professor Rumbaut earned a bachelor’s in sociology-anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s and doctorate in sociology at Brandeis University. He taught at UC San Diego, San Diego State University, and Michigan State University before coming to UC Irvine in 2002.
Professor Rumbaut is the second UC Irvine faculty member to be elected to the National Academy of Education, joining Greg Duncan, Distinguished Professor of Education. Another academy member, Jacquelynne Eccles, will join UC Irvine’s School of Education this fall as a Distinguished Professor.