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Field Education Office Professional Development Workshop

BSW Cording & MSW Hooding

Benjamin J. Roth, PhD, MSW

Making Change Happen

From his practice experience, Dr. Benjamin Roth has learned about the challenges faced by immigrants in the United States. Now, as an Assistant Professor at the College of Social Work, his research is broadly focused on poverty and inequality among immigrants. More specifically, he studies Latino immigrant youth and how the places where they grow up influence their identify formation and key outcomes, such as high school graduation and getting a job.

Dr. Roth looks at how local organizations such as schools, youth programs, and social service providers shape the day-to-day lives of immigrant youth, and how these organizations are themselves influenced by larger laws and policies. He provides fresh insights into questions of immigrant integration by focusing on suburbs and the American Southeast—places that have come to represent the changing geography of poverty and immigrant settlement in the United States.

Research Background

Dr. Roth’s current research examines Latino immigrant integration in the United States. He uses qualitative methods and spatial analysis to examine the structural factors that facilitate and constrain processes of integration. His current projects include evaluating the effects of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on the lived experiences of immigrant youth in South Carolina, and a survey of nonprofit social service agencies in Chicago suburbs with rapidly growing immigrant populations. Roth received his master’s in social work from Hunter College in New York and his PhD in social welfare policy from the University of Chicago. He has practice experience with immigrant youth and their families, and has spent several years living and working in Latin America. His dissertation on Mexican immigrant youth in the suburbs was supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Fahs-Beck Fund for Experimentation and Research, and the National Association of Social Workers.

Prof. Benjamin Roth
Contact Information
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  • Office: 803.777.9352
  • Curriculum Vita
Major Classes Taught
  • SOWK 732 - Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations
  • SOWK 742 - Social Welfare Policy Analysis
  • SOWK 791 - Research Methods
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