New York NY – “I am an Associate Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York, where I received the Whiting Award for Excellence in Teaching. My research focuses on civil society and the cultural politics of education and health policy. I am also a co-founder of the Burmese Refugee Project. Using a participatory model of community development, the Project helps around 200 Shan refugees in northwest Thailand access education, health, and legal services. For the past decade or so, I have been conducting extensive fieldwork in the United States, Asia, and Latin America, mostly for research and development work. My creative writing reflects my attempts to transcribe the fragmented voices of those who have haunted me most.
I am the author of Streetwise for Book Smarts: Grassroots Organizing and Education Reform in the Bronx (Cornell University Press, 2009) and co-author of Our Schools Suck: Young People Talk Back to a Segregated Nation on the Failures of Urban Education (New York University Press, 2009). In addition to academic journals, my shorter pieces have appeared in Boston Review, XCP: Cross-Cultural Poetics, Aufgabe, and other publications. I received an English and economics B.A. Honors from Wesleyan University and an Urban Studies Ph.D. from MIT. I was born in São Paulo, Brazil and currently live on the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side.”