Apr 19, 2023

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to share that Leo Chavez, Distinguished Professor, Department of Anthropology, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. New members are nominated and elected to the academy by current members.

Professor Chavez’s research on international migration, particularly among Latin American immigrants, is the focus of four books, including The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation, which earned the American Anthropological Association’s 2009 Latina and Latino Book Prize. He has authored more than 100 academic articles, produced two films, and written several op-eds on the challenges that undocumented immigrants face in American society with status affecting everything from physical and mental health to access to education and housing.

Professor Chavez joined UCI in 1987. He helped build many of the institutional structures that are central to UCI’s identity as a minority-thriving institution, including UCI’s Department of Chicano/Latino studies, which he helped found as a program and then chaired. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received a distinguished career award from the Association of Latina/o and Latinx Anthropologists and currently serves as the association’s president. He was honored by the Society for Applied Anthropology with the Bronislaw Malinowski Award in recognition of his work using social science concepts and tools to solve human problems.

This is yet another illustration of the remarkable achievements of UCI’s faculty, which now includes 39 members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Please join us in congratulating Professor Chavez on this exceptional accomplishment.


Hal Stern
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Chancellor’s Professor, Department of Statistics

Bill Maurer
Dean, School of Social Sciences
Professor, Anthropology and Law