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About Dr. Claudia Méndez Wright

Through my academic and applied career I have worked in multiple projects that inform my research interests in migration, motherhood, gender, education, and consumer culture. As a qualitative researcher I have worked with various rural, urban, and minority communities who have expanded my interest in understanding the ideologies and social constructions that permeate our beliefs and practices.
My dissertation discusses how highly educated immigrant Colombian women in the United States configure their identities as mothers using the framework of transnationalism and translocational positionalities. I explore the role of their transnational ties and intersectional social identities in this process. I also look at the transnational experiences of their mothers (or closest living relative) in Colombia. Using a multigenerational and multi-sited research approach, my findings dissect the classed and racialized discourses and meaning-making processes that Colombian women use to make sense of their beliefs and experiences with motherhood. My work contributes to the literature on U.S. - Latinx highly educated migrants while problematizing intra-ethnic divisions.

Curriculum Vitae


2021 - Present Graduate Research and Creative Opportunity Grant (GRCO).
Utah State University
2002 - 2002 CHaSS Student-Faculty Summer Grant
Utah State University
Colleague(s): Dr. Erin Hofmann
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Professional Service and Affiliations

2022 - Present American Dissertation Fellow, American Association of University Women
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Honors and Awards

  • Presidential Doctoral Research Fellowship (PDRF). Utah State University, Office of Research and Graduate Studies, Fall 2017-2021.
  • Outstanding International Graduate Student Award. University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Department of Communication, May 2009
  • Robert E. Simmons Memorial Scholarship. University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Department of Communication, May 2008. “Outstanding Graduate Student” distinction
  • S.A. Graduate Enhancement Award. Utah State University, Office of Student Affairs, Fall 2021- Spring 2022
  • Graduate Instructor of the Year. Utah State University, College of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Spring 2022.


  • Sociology of Gender
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Public Speaking
  • Spanish I and 2


Present PhD Candidate, PDRF Graduate Fellow Sociology, Utah State University ‐ Sociology and Anthropology
August 2007 - September 2009 M.Sc., University of Louisiana at Lafayette ‐ Communication
2001 - 2005 Anthropology, Universidad de Los Andes - Colombia ‐ Anthropology

Recent Works (2)

Articles (4)

Contributions to Books (1)

Conference Papers (8)