Alissa Ruth

Director of Strategic Initiatives
Academic Professional
TEMPE Campus
Mailcode
2402

Biography

Alissa Ruth is an educational anthropologist and serves as the director of strategic initiatives within the School of Human Evolution and Social Change. Ruth received her doctorate degree in sociocultural anthropology with a focus on immigration to the U.S. and undocumented immigrant youth. Broadly stated, her research focuses on structural inequalities faced by students of color, including immigrants, within the United States and how those individuals overcome obstacles for upward social mobility. For example, a past project investigated how undocumented immigrant youth, called DREAMers, utilized their knowledge of U.S. cultural and society in order to form community and claim rights. Her current research interests include innovative teaching pedagogies that improve students’ structural awareness, cultural understandings of public education, resistance and conformity within educational institutions, and the success of first-generation college students. 

Before joining ASU in 2007, Ruth taught English as a Second Language at the University of Guanajuato in Guanajuato, Mexico for two years and is certified in student-centered teaching pedagogies. She has over 15 years of higher education experience including research, teaching, advising, study abroad, curriculum design, and online program/course development. Additionally, Dr. Ruth is highly engaged in mentoring students and community members on various college and career pathways. 

Education

  • Ph.D. Anthropology, Arizona State University 2014
  • M.S. Justice Studies, Arizona State University 2007
  • B.A. Anthropology, University of Florida 1999

Research Interests

Diversity Issues in Higher Education, First-Generation Students, Critical Pedagogy, Structural Awareness, Migration to the U.S., Undocumented Immigrants/immigrant youth, 1.5 Generation Immigrants, Immigrant Health, Human Rights, Citizenship, with a regional focus in US Southwest, Mexico/Latin America

Publications

Ruth, A., C. SturtzSreetharan, A. Brewis & A. Wutich (2020). Structural Competency of Pre-Health Students: Can a Single Course Lead to Meaningful Change? Medical Science Educator.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40670-019-00909-9

Cadenas, G., N. Lynn*, E. Cantú, T. Spence* & A. Ruth. (2020). A Programmatic Intervention to Promote Entrepreneurial Self-efficacy, Critical Behavior, and Technology Readiness among Underrepresented College Students. Journal of Vocational Behavior February 116 (Part A):103350. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2019.103350

Ruth, A. & E. Estrada. (2019). DACAmented Homecomings: A Brief Return to Mexico and the Reshaping of Bounded Solidarity among Mixed-Status Latinx Families. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences. May 43(2): 145-165

Ruth, A., E. Estrada, S. Martinez-Fuentes & A. Vazquez-Ramos. (2019). Soy de aqui, Soy de alla: DACAmented Homecomings and Implications for Identity and Belonging. Latino Studies. Fall 17(3): 304-322

Ruth, A., A. Wutich & A. Brewis. (2019). A Model for Scaling Undergraduate Research Experiences: The Global Ethnohydrology Study. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters. March 37(1): 25-34

Ruth, A., J. Hackman, A. Brewis, T. Spence, R. Luchmun, J. Velez, & T.G. Ganesh. (2019). Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) in High Schools: Subtle but Potentially Important Student Gains Detected from Human-Centered Design Curriculum. Education Sciences. February: 9(35):1-17

Ruth, A. (2018). Attaining the College Dream: The Effects of Politics on the Social Capital of First-Generation Undocumented Immigrant Students. Human Organization. March: 77(1)

Ruth, A., A. Brewis, D. Blasco & A. Wutich. (2018). Long-term Benefits of Short Term Research-Integrated Study Abroad. Journal of Studies in International Education. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315318786448

Cadenas, G., E. Cantú, T. Spence & A. Ruth. (2018). Critical Consciousness and Entrepreneurship Career Development in Underserved Communities. Journal of Career Development. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894845318793968

Ruth, A., A. Wutich & A. Brewis. (2016). The Global Ethnohydrology Study: Integrating Global Health Undergraduates in Collaborative Research. Practicing Anthropology. October: 34(4)

Wutich, A., A. Ruth, A. Brewis & C. Boone. (2014). Stigmatized Neighborhoods, Social Bonding and Health. Medical Anthropology Quarterly. December: 28(4)

Vins, H., A. Wutich, A. Brewis, M. Beresford, A. Ruth & C. Roberts. (2014). Gender and Children’s Perceived Water Futures in the U.S. Desert Southwest. Human Organization. Fall: 73(3)

Research Activity

Ruth is currently working on the following three research projects:

  • Access, Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education  This project seeks to understand what various interventions and mechanisms can promote pathways for successful higher education and skill development, specifically for historically underrepresented students.
  • Social Entrepreneurship and Career Pathways Study  This multi-year project, supported by the Cisco Fund, an advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, is focused on studying the educational and career development of underserved high school and community college youth, in relation to their exposure to social entrepreneurship curriculum. 
  • Intergenerational Family Dynamics in a New Era of Immigration  This multi-year, multi-faceted research project is examining various legal, economic, political, social and familial dimensions of today’s Mexican immigrants who have lived a majority of their lives in the United States.

Courses

Summer 2020
Course Number Course Title
ASB 590 Reading and Conference
ASB 792 Research
ASB 799 Dissertation
Spring 2020
Course Number Course Title
ASB 102 Intro to Cultural Anthropology
ASB 322 Peoples of Latin America
ASB 484 Internship
ASB 492 Honors Directed Study
ASB 493 Honors Thesis
ASB 499 Individualized Instruction
ASB 584 Internship
ASB 590 Reading and Conference
ASB 592 Research
ASB 790 Reading and Conference
ASB 792 Research
ASB 799 Dissertation
Fall 2019
Course Number Course Title
ASB 102 Intro to Cultural Anthropology
ASB 484 Internship
ASB 492 Honors Directed Study
ASB 499 Individualized Instruction
Summer 2019
Course Number Course Title
SSH 403 Cross-Culturl Stds Global Hlth
ASB 443 Cross-Culturl Stds Global Hlth
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Title
ASB 102 Intro to Cultural Anthropology
ASB 484 Internship
ASB 499 Individualized Instruction
Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
ASB 102 Intro to Cultural Anthropology
ASB 484 Internship
Summer 2018
Course Number Course Title
SSH 403 Cross-Culturl Stds Global Hlth
ASM 414 Urban and Environmental Health
ASB 443 Cross-Culturl Stds Global Hlth
Spring 2018
Course Number Course Title
ASB 102 Intro to Cultural Anthropology
ASB 484 Internship
ASB 499 Individualized Instruction
Fall 2017
Course Number Course Title
ASB 102 Culture in a Globalizing World
ASB 484 Internship
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
ASB 484 Internship
ASB 494 Special Topics
ASB 499 Individualized Instruction
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Title
ASB 484 Internship
Summer 2016
Course Number Course Title
SSH 403 Cross-Culturl Stds Global Hlth
ASM 414 Urban and Environmental Health
ASB 443 Cross-Culturl Stds Global Hlth
Spring 2016
Course Number Course Title
SSH 403 Cross-Culturl Stds Global Hlth
ASB 484 Internship
ASB 494 Special Topics
Fall 2015
Course Number Course Title
SSH 484 Internship
ASB 484 Internship

Presentations

Ruth has overseen cutting-edge curricular projects including online programs, undergraduate research, and study abroad programs. An example of a project she managed was ASM 246 Human Origins--an open, digitally enabled course for ASUs Global Freshman Academy