Lauren Heidbrink, MA/MS, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Co-Director, Master of Arts in Public Policy

Programs/Classes Taught:

Applied Behavioral Sciences
Public Policy
Social Sciences

LAS 309: Critical Thinking and Writing
LAS 331: Dynamics of Group Behavior
LAS 407: Applied Communication in Society
LAS 426: Multicultural Dimensions
LAS 453: Social Inequality
LAS 431: Senior Seminar in Behavioral Sciences
LAS 495: Cultural Geography
INT 430: Methods in Behavioral Sciences
INT 431: Independent Inquiry in Social Sciences
LAS 500: Foundations of Public Policy
LAS 530: Immigration Policy
LAS 565: Research Design and Methodology

Areas of Expertise:

Immigration and Migration
Childhood and youth
Human Rights
Law at the margins of the state
Central America
Lusophone Africa
Nonpofit administration
Torture and trauma
Transnational social movements
Juvenile justice
Qualitative Research Methods


Since the late 1990s, I have been working in the fields of human rights and international public health in Argentina Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Ecuador, Angola and Mozambique. As an anthropologist and a professor, I bring a pairing of these diverse professional and research experiences to the classroom. In addition to teaching and research, I consult with a number of nonprofit organizations both locally and nationally.


Ph.D., Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, 2010
MA, Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, 2007
MA/MS, International Public Service Management, DePaul University, 2003
BA, City Planning, Latin American Studies, Spanish Literature, University of Virginia, 1998

Research and Interests:

I recently completed a 3-year, multi-sited ethnography on the ways unauthorized migrant youth navigate legal institutions, government bureaucracies and non-profit organizations in the U.S. and abroad. My research explores the ways youth are caught at the intersection of competing interests of international, immigration, juvenile and family laws. I am currently engaged in several research initiatives, including explorations of performance and identity among the Filipino diaspora in Chicago; inter-generational activism among DREAMers and their unauthorized parents; and the social reintegration of youth deportees into their communities in Guatemala.


Heidbrink, L. 2014. Migrant Youth, Transnational Families and the State: Care and Contested Interests. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Human Rights Series.

Heidbrink, L. Spring 2013. Humanitarian Refugee or Criminal Alien?: The Social Agency of Migrant Youth. American Bar Association Children’s Legal Rights Journal.

Heidbrink, L. 2012. At a Crossroads: Youth at the Intersection of the Family and the State. In Transnational Migration, Gender and Rights. Ragnhild Sollund, editor. Great Britain: Emerald Press.

Heidbrink, L. 2010. Recasting the Agency of Unaccompanied Youth. In Emerging Perspectives on Children in Migratory Circumstances: Selected Proceedings of the Working Group on Childhood and Migration June 2008 Conference. R. Reynolds, et al., editors. Philadelphia: Drexel University College of Arts and Sciences and the Drexel iDea Repository.

Heidbrink, L. 1997. National Non-governmental Organization Report on the Situation of Argentine Women Since the Beijing Conference on Women. In The Committee Monitoring the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women of the United Nations.

Contact Information:

Lauren Heidbrink, MA/MS, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor, Social & Behavioral Sciences
Co-Director, Graduate program in Public Policy
College of Arts & Sciences


122 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60603
Tel/fax: 312.261.3409


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