Every semester the Undergraduate Research Program likes to recognize MSU Denver faculty and staff, who dedicate their time and guidance to students conducting research inside or outside of the classroom. Without our faculty mentors, the Undergraduate Research Program would not be what it is today and we humbly thank them for their commitment to our students.
Congratulations to Dr. Anahi Russo Garrido for being Fall 2017's Featured Mentor.
Dr. Anahi Russo Garrido, Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies
Photo courteous of Anahi Russo Garrido
Anahi Russo Garrido is an assistant professor in Gender, women's and sexuality studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her research and teaching has focused on transnational sexualities, gender and sexuality in Latin America, queer and feminist theory and social justice organizing. More particularly, her main research project explores the transformation of intimacy in the lives of three generations of women participating in queer spaces in contemporary Mexico City at a moment in which important changes on sexual citizenship (e.g. same-sex marriage, anti-discrimination laws) occur after the mid-1990s. How are individuals reconfiguring and negotiating new views and practices on intimacy such as love, friendship and sexuality in this context? The project illustrates how queer women negotiate emerging relationship modalities such as friendship, same-sex marriage and polyamory; reinventing love, eroticism, friendship and ultimately the social organization of Latin American societies. The project is based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Mexico City since 2009, which includes interviews, participant observation and the review of newspapers of records. Russo Garrido is the co-editor of "Building Feminist Movements and Organizations" and has published articles on queer Mexico City in Women Studies Quarterly, NWSA Journal, the Journal of Postcolonial Cultures and Societies, and book chapters in diverse anthologies.
Throughout the years, many undergraduate students have participated in my research as we have worked together on transcribing, translating, coding and analyzing some of the collected data. This provides a direct opportunity to clarify the process of knowledge production. As an undergraduate student, I myself had the opportunity to participate in an archeology (my major at the time) field site research program. Such experience was life transforming and formed the backbone of my desire to further my studies and pursue a graduate degree. Similarly, I hope that direct involvement with research can inspire students, provide skills that only practice can teach, prepare students for their future careers, and to participate in the peaceful and poetic transformation of ourselves/societies.
I have also had the opportunity to mentor many students on the research project of their choice. Undergraduate students in Gender, women’s and sexuality studies have the opportunity to develop their own research project, to complete an undergraduate thesis. This one-year long life-changing experience guides students through various research steps, which culminates in the presentation of their research project. My mentees have presented their work at the Undergraduate Research Conference at MSU Denver, on projects that focused on themes such as: social media’s influence on body image, gender in classic Mayan mythology, the effectiveness of domestic violence shelter in the Midwest region, undocumented women in the US and sexual harassment policies at work, midwifery and the medicalization of childbirth in the US.
I have encouraged my senior students to participate at the Undergraduate Research Conference, to study and learn how to deliver a scholarly presentation on their thesis to an interdisciplinary audience. It is at that moment, when speakers have the opportunity to explain their project and be asked new questions, that the notion that knowledge is built through a collective, collaborative and interdisciplinary process becomes vivid. Many students have reported that although, the thought of presenting their work in public was daunting, taking the challenge has been one of the most rewarding experiences in their undergraduate careers. I look forward to continue supporting students in the research projects they are truly passionate about. I always learn a lot from my students, and I will always be grateful to them.