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Announcing the inaugural co-directors of the DePaul Migration Collaborative (DMC)

DePaul’s College of Law and College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (LAS) are pleased to announce the appointment of Sioban Albiol, JD, and Shailja Sharma, PhD, as the inaugural co-directors of the DePaul Migration Collaborative (DMC). 

A joint initiative of Law, LAS, and the Division of Mission and Ministry, the DMC engages scholars, practitioners, students and alumni from Chicago, throughout the state and beyond to find solutions to society’s most pressing problems in the areas of migration, mobility and human rights. By leveraging the power of interdisciplinary scholarly collaboration to pursue dynamic, community-engaged projects, advocacy and research, the DMC sponsors innovative learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students who will form the next generation of leaders and problem-solvers in the field. These efforts will allow the DMC to advocate for and contribute to better public policy, stronger communities and a more just society. 

Albiol and Sharma have worked together for several years to creatively and effectively extend and amplify the good work being done by DePaul faculty, staff and alumni working in the field, and their collaboration culminated in the creation of the DMC. The co-directorship formalizes their roles and provides the DMC with steady leadership as it launches and sustains a number of innovative projects in the coming years, including: 

  • The Redefining Refugee Protection Project seeks to influence international and domestic policies by developing new models for migrant support and advocacy that align asylum representation in the U.S. with international standards of human rights and legal protection. 
  • The Solutions Lab provides cross-disciplinary experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students as they help to design new frameworks, policies, regulations and legislation that will improve the processes that govern asylum and immigration. 
  • A Practitioner Residency in the DMC provides the opportunity for a professional working in the field of migration, immigration and/or human rights to work on a project of major impact while also working with DePaul students through an interdisciplinary course and collaborating with other university scholars. 
  • The DePaul Migration Advocates Project features a multidisciplinary team of students who research and document through video interviews the scope of DePaul’s alumni impact in the field of migration and immigration. 

Sioban Albiol, JD, has served as the College of Law’s Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic instructor and coordinator since 2001, where she has overseen the expansion of the Clinic’s Legal Resources Project from seven to 25 partner agencies. She previously served as associate director of the former Midwest Immigrant and Human Rights Center of Chicago’s Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights (now known as the National Immigrant Justice Center). Albiol has represented low-income immigrants for more than 15 years and has served as managing attorney for one of the largest low-income immigration legal services providers in the Midwest. She has developed and conducted trainings for attorneys, accredited representatives and other legal service providers in various areas of immigration law. 

Shailja Sharma, PhD, is a professor of international studies and the founding director of the Refugee and Forced Migration Studies Program at DePaul. Currently, she is chair of the Department of International Studies. Sharma is the author of Postcolonial Minorities in Britain and France: In the Hyphen of the Nation-State (Manchester 2016) and editor of New Cosmopolitanisms: South Asians in the United States (Stanford 2006). A former Fulbright Fellow in India, she currently is working on a project around violence, displacement and citizenship. She also writes for public outlets including newspapers and journals. You can hear her TedX talk here.