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The Third Annual Conference on International Migration: Navigating The International Migration Regime in the 21st Century

April 17, 2024
9 A.M. - 5 P.M.
St. Francis College
Room 6104

The Forum on Migration and the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice is hosting the Third Annual Conference on International Migration to highlight current trends and patterns of international migration by providing a platform for scholars and immigration rights activists to share their experiences and research findings. The event is free and open to the public.

Below is the itinerary for the conference:

8-8:30 a.m. – Breakfast is served.



Moderator: Tim Houlihan

  • Angela Murolo, "‘Dalla Puglia a Hoboken, Il Viaggio Della Mia Famiglia:’ From Puglia to Hoboken, My Family's Voyage"
  • RJ Maratea, " Donald Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric and the Manufacturing of Social Crisis"
  • Lavinia Ciungu, "Emigration from Romania: Impact and Legacy"
  • Sunghun Kim, "Blindsides of the US Immigration Law for Adults with Disabilities"
  • Ali Alper Alemdar, "War and Migration in North Africa and the Middle East since 2010"
  • Susie Ann Han, “Carnegie Council's Model International Mobility Convention (MIMC)”

10:40 a.m.– 12:40 p.m. - SUNSGLOW presents: Panel 2: IMMIGRATION LAW AND ITS IMPLICATIONS

Moderator: Halyna Lemekh

  • Judy D. Newton, "The Push and Pull Factors of Labor Migration”
  • Joseph Guirguis, " Egypt v. US: E-Visa, Visas on Arrival, Residency and Obtaining Citizenship Through Investment"
  • Mark Drucker, "The Differences and Requirements Between the Laws Regarding Refugees, Asylees & TPS"
  • Isa Camyar, "The Politics of Immigration Reform in the United States: Challenges and Prospects"
  • Sara Sousa, "The Evolution of Portugal as a Receiving Country for Immigrants"
  • Elizabeth Long, "A Case for Skilled Migration: How Canada’s Immigration Policies in the Last Decade Have Influenced Its Socio-Economic Landscape"

12:50-1:20 p.m. – Lunch is served.

1:30–2 p.m. – Keynote Speaker - Amy Fischer, Director of Refugee and Migrant Rights at Amnesty International USA

2:10– 2:50 p.m. – SFC Art Gallery tour "Home Is…" guided by Bianca Mona


Moderator: Nickie Phillips

  • Halyna Lemekh, “Maneuvering Through “Illegality” and Liminal Legality in Ecuadoran Mixed Status Immigrant Community in Queens, New York”
  • Edwin Mathieu, “The Other Side of Migration”
  • Kenneth Mayers, “The Political Geography of Detention Centers in Libya”
  • Melissa Kono, “Ensuring Water Quality in Employer-Provided Farmworker Housing”
  • Gabriela Munoz De Zubiria and Natalia Vallejo Ulloa (Fordham), “Identifying and Addressing the Mental Health Needs of NYC’s Migrant Children”
  • Derick Gomez, “Navigation Center: A Model of Meeting Asylum Seeker Needs”

Closing Remarks: Emily Horowitz, Chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice

Speaker Biographies


BROTHER GREGORY CELLINI, O.S.F., is the Director of the Office of Mission, Ministry, and Interfaith Dialogue and Co-Director of DEI. Brother Gregory graduated from St. Bonaventure University’s Advanced Certificate in Franciscan Studies program. He also earned degrees at Rutgers Graduate School of Management and Seton Hall University. He is a Franciscan Brother of Brooklyn who has committed himself to the Franciscan charism, which includes continuous conversion, sharing the good of God’s love, and inspiring others to live fearlessly in this love.

Opening and Closing Remarks

TIM CECERE is the Interim President of St. Francis College. Before this, he served as a member of the College’s Board of Trustees and then as Chief Operating Officer. Cecere brings decades of experience in business operations, strategic positioning, competitive analysis, mergers and acquisitions, human resources, and workforce development from his 30-plus-year career with WPP plc, the world’s largest advertising, media and public relations company. Tim holds degrees in psychology and business from St. John’s University and a master’s degree in organizational psychology and development from Columbia University. Throughout his career, Cecere has built strong relationships between the corporate world and academia, serving as a guest lecturer, trainer and curriculum designer at many regional institutions including Syracuse University, Hofstra University and The City College of New York.

JOHN CHRISTOPHER EDWARDS, Ph.D., is vice president for Academic Affairs. His research focuses on the New Testament, Early Christianity and the reception history of biblical texts. His books and articles can be found on his website. His most recent book is Crucified: The Christian Invention of the Jewish Executioners of Jesus (Fortress Press, 2023).

EMILY HOROWITZ, Ph.D., is a professor of sociology and criminal justice and founder and co-director of the Justice Initiative (a nationally recognized program that offers mentorship and scholarships to those directly impacted by the criminal-legal system during re-entry as well as those currently experiencing incarceration). Her scholarly research addresses the causes and consequences of mass incarceration, with a focus on the harms of conviction registries and banishment laws.

Keynote Speaker

AMY FISCHER is the director of refugee and migrant rights at Amnesty International USA. Before coming to Amnesty, Fischer worked as a legislative assistant for Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal where she staffed the Congresswoman for the House Judiciary Committee and worked on critical issues such as immigration, criminal justice, government oversight, and civil rights and civil liberties. Before that, she coordinated the Defund Hate Campaign at Detention Watch Network, worked at the Global Fund for Children, and was the policy director at RAICES. In her personal capacity, Fischer is a co-founder and core organizer with Migrant Solidarity Mutual Aid, which has been welcoming immigrants and asylum seekers arriving in Washington, DC, with care and dignity since Texas Governor Abbott began his busing program in April 2022.

Fischer received her MA in Public Policy from the University of Maryland and her BA in Sociology and International and Global Studies at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA.


ALI ALPER ALEMDAR was born and raised in Istanbul. He received his BA and MA degrees in Türkiye. Alper received another Master of Arts in Economics and a Ph.D. in the Department of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Alper has been a full-time tenure-track faculty member in the Department of Economics at St. Francis College since 2022. His research and teaching interests are political economy, digital economics, ecological economics, and the history of economic thought.

ISA CAMYAR, Ph.D., is an associate professor in political science at St. Francis College, Brooklyn. He teaches various courses like Comparative Government, International Relations, United Nations, Asian Politics, Latin American Politics, Middle East Politics, Political Science Research Methods, and Political Science Seminar. His research interests are political economy and political institutions. His original research papers are published in journal outlets like the Journal of Politics, International Studies Quarterly, and the European Journal of Political Economy

LAVINIA CIUNGU, Ph.D., is an immigrant from Romania. Her research fields are cryptography (in which she has a Ph.D. from SUNY at Buffalo) and Universal Algebra (a Ph.D. from the University of Bucharest). She also holds a Master’s degree in French and Francophone studies. Dr. Ciungu is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at St. Francis College. Her current research focuses on cryptography, namely, particular cryptosystems, Boolean functions, and sequences, and the analysis of patterns such as palindromes, which create weaknesses in a cryptosystem.

MARK DRUCKER is an attorney at law and an adjunct professor at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York (CUNY), where he taught numerous courses on Immigration and Nationality Law until Sept 2020. In 1979, Mark Drucker founded the Drucker Law Firm in Jackson Heights, New York, specializing in Immigration and Nationality Law. Mr. Drucker had previously worked as a Trial Attorney and General Attorney at the New York and Newark, New Jersey offices of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the Department of Justice. He has served as an arbitrator with the Civil Court of the City of New York, Queens County, and has lectured to various groups on Immigration Law. Mr. Drucker has been actively involved in the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1980 and is also an esteemed Queens County Bar Association member.

DERICK GOMEZ is a program manager on the policy team at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), overseeing a broad portfolio that includes strategic communications and collaboration with nonprofit organizations. He was the on-site lead at the Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center and built entry protocol at the Asylum Application Help Center. Before joining MOIA, he led the team conducting legal orientations and screenings with detained unaccompanied migrant youth at HIAS Pennsylvania, including Afghan youth who arrived in the United States after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. Before starting his policy career, Gomez was a trail crew leader in the AmeriCorps NCCC and a memoir ghostwriter. He graduated from the University of Florida with a BA in history in 2015.

JOSEPH GUIRGUIS (JFG Law offices in Egypt and USA), an Egyptian legal consultant accredited by NY court and SUNSGLOW advisor, is the first Egyptian attorney to be licensed and accredited by the Courts of New York as a legal consultant on Egyptian laws and is licensed to practice law as an Egyptian lawyer through his US-based office. He plays a pivotal role in communicating between the United States and Egypt through his law offices in both countries. Joseph specializes in international commercial legal relations, immigration law, real estate, and employment. He received his LLM in International Law. In addition, Joseph F. Guirguis completed a postgraduate study in International Negotiations in Egypt. In the US, he earned an Advanced Certificate in Immigration Law from the City University of New York.

SUNGHUN KIM, Ph.D., is a South Korean national who studied Culture, Development, and Education through psychological approaches and earned his doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests focus on cultural specificities and their influences on psychological outcomes of prosocial behaviors (morality), acculturation, and various human diversity-related issues.

MELISSA KONO is an associate professor in the Community Resource Development with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension and is passionate about rural development, particularly downtown development and revitalization in small towns. Her work includes local government education, election administration training, downtown and community development, and natural resources programming on water quality and recycling. Her work with elections was featured in The New Yorker ahead of the 2020 Presidential Election.

HALYNA LEMEKH, Ph.D., earned an MA in philology in Ukraine in 1995 and a Ph.D. in sociology from The New School University in 2007. Her research and writing focus on the social construction of the identity of newly arrived immigrants in New York City, the impact of immigration on children, and the relationships between different waves of immigrants. Her book Ukrainian Immigrants in New York: Collision of Two Worlds focuses on the politics of identity and the collision of diverse identities of newly arrived immigrants in their adaptation to American society. Dr. Lemekh is an Associate Professor of Sociology at St. Francis College and researches newly arrived Korean and Central American immigrants and Ukrainian refugees

ELIZABETH LONG is a leading immigration lawyer in Canada. She is an active advocate of immigrant and refugee rights in Canada and frequently presents and advises on immigration issues to organizations, universities, Members of Parliament, unions, and the media. She has also testified several times before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on various immigration policies. Elizabeth holds a Juris Doctor law degree from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in Psychology from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She also holds a Master of Law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University where she focused on the intersection between Immigration and Labour & Employment Law for foreign workers. Elizabeth has been certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a Specialist in Citizenship and Immigration Law, a prestigious list of which only approximately 65 lawyers in Canada belong.

EDWIN MATHIEU, Ph.D., holds a doctorate in leadership and administration in Higher Education from St. John’s University. His research focuses on the impact of implicit racial bias on students of African descent in higher education. Dr. Mathieu received a bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies and Communications Arts from New York University and a Master's in History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies from the City University of New York. Currently, he is an administrator at New York University and has taught various courses ranging from world civilizations to African American history at St. Francis College and Medgar Evers College.

KENNETH MAYERS is the advisor for the Human Rights program at St. Francis College and teaches courses in the History and Political Science Department and in the Literature, Writing, and Publishing Department. A longstanding volunteer leader within Amnesty International, he has served as the Chair of the North Africa Coordination Group for Amnesty International since 2014 and served as Vice Chair of the AIUSA Board of Directors from 2011 to 2013.

RJ MARATEA, Ph.D., is a researcher who focuses on (1) mass communication and the production of culture, criminal and deviant identities, and social control, and (2) capital punishment. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Delaware and has published numerous books and peer-reviewed articles in journals, such as Social Problems, Symbolic Interaction, and Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. His most recent book, Killing with Prejudice: Institutionalized Racism in American Capital Punishment (NYU Press, 2019) is a history of the Supreme Court ruling in McCleskey v. Kemp (1987) that chronicles the history of racialized punishment in the United States and the litigation process that culminated in what has been called “the Dred Scott decision of our time.”

GABRIELA MUNOS DE ZUBIRIA is a doctoral candidate in counseling psychology at Fordham University. Her clinical and research interests focus on supporting Latinx mental health through understanding help-seeking behaviors, the complexities of disclosure decision-making and identity negotiation among undocumented immigrants, as well as dynamics within mixed-status families. Additionally, she is interested in counseling resources that help combat the adverse psychological impacts associated with an unauthorized immigration status. Through her work, she aims to contribute to the field by recognizing resilience, fostering a deeper understanding of challenges, and advocating for culturally sensitive and effective mental health care.

ANGELA S. MUROLO, Ph.D., is a criminologist and sociologist who studies the intersection of aging and the criminal justice system. Dr. Murolo is an assistant professor at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY. Her research focuses on older people’s experiences on parole and parole officer’s views on working with them. She has written several articles on correctional responses to geriatric inmates, the increasingly older prison population, geriatric parole, and correctional responses to COVID in Virginia. Her current research focuses on the challenges of reentry among the aging correctional population.

JUDY D. NEWTON, Ed.D., distinguished by her tenure as an NYPD Detective and subsequent role as a criminal justice educator and community ambassador, serves through the Newton Foundation and SUNSGLOW director of operations. This foundation is committed to providing philanthropic support to families and individuals in Brooklyn, NY, and on a global scale. Her contributions extend to international education, where she mentors school-aged children in global studies across locations such as South Africa and Barbados. Additionally, Dr. Newton engages with the public as a correspondent for a weekly radio show on immigration issues, further disseminating her expertise in criminal justice. Holding advanced degrees in public administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, philosophy from Cardiff University in the UK, and a Doctorate in Education from American International College, her research notably explores the integration of developmental and life course criminology into middle school curriculums.

NATALIA VALLEJO ULLOA is a second-year student in the Master’s program in mental health counseling at Fordham University and has a Master’s degree in bioethics from Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. She has clinical experience with children, families, and young adults and has worked with recent migrant families in New York City in various capacities. She is motivated by providing accessible and culturally informed mental health care to underserved communities, particularly Latinx and immigrant populations.

SARA SOUSA is one of the founders of Prime Legal. She has been practicing for over ten years in the areas of Immigration, Real Estate, Foreign Investment, Labor, and Corporate Law. She frequently participates as a speaker at international conferences. She is certified in investment migration by the Investment Migration Council (IMC) and is a co-founder of PAIIR – Portuguese Association of Immigration, Investment and Relocation, and has been recognized as one of the top 25 lawyers by Uglobal Immigration Magazine in different editions.


TIMOTHY HOULIHAN, Ph.D., is a professor of history. He received his AB degree from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, and his Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Binghamton University. His dissertation focused on the transformation of the building trades in New York City from 1890 through the First World War. Dr. Houlihan’s primary research interests are in labor history, and in media representations of working people during the Progressive Era. He is also interested in collaborative teaching initiatives. Dr. Houlihan also served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

NICKIE PHILLIPS, Ph.D., is a professor of sociology and criminal justice at St. Francis College. Her research focuses on the intersection between crime, popular culture, and popular media. She is the author of Beyond Blurred Lines: Rape Culture in Popular Media (2017, Rowman & Littlefield) and co-authored Comic Book Crime: Truth, Justice, and the American Way (2013, NYU Press), with Staci Strobl (Shenandoah University). Professor Phillips is the director of the Center for Crime and Popular Culture, a center designed to foster critical thinking about how representations of crime and justice in popular media permeate our daily lives.

Exhibition Organizer

BIANCA MONA is a lover of the arts. As an artist, curator, educator, and advocate, she has initiated projects at institutions such as the Studio Museum in Harlem (New York, NY), The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC), and Market Photo Workshop (Johannesburg, SA). All of her artistic endeavors center on a greater understanding of contemporary Africa and her Diaspora. Ms. Mońa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Arts Administration from Dillard University and two Master’s degrees (Art Education and Interdisciplinary Studies) from San Jose State University and Teachers College, Columbia University, respectively. She is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados.

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