Current Team Members 

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John Hultgren is a political scientist who teaches courses in environmental politics, political theory, and the politics of immigration. He is the author of Border Walls Gone Green: Nature and Anti-immigrant Politics in America (University of Minnesota Press, 2015). The book explains and critiques the strange intersections that exist between the environmental movement and the immigration restriction movement. He is currently working on a book exploring the relationship between the environment and class in the United States. Hultgren co-directs Bennington’s involvement in the Consortium on Forced Migration, Displacement, and Education. 

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Özge Savaş is a professor of psychology whose work examines refugee belonging and deservingness of displaced persons. Her research identifies how demographic, symbolic, and institutional factors foster vulnerability and resilience among refugees as they build new selves, identities and communities after displacement. With the aim of contributing to a better understanding of the relationship between multi-layered citizenship and belonging, she adopts a social justice lens, utilizes feminist theories and methods, sociocultural and developmental frameworks, a range of epistemologies from postpositivist to interpretivist, and brings macro, meso and micro levels of analyses together. Savaş co-directs Bennington's involvement with the Consortium on Forced Migration, Displacement, and Education.


Bruna Guedes is a freshman at Bennington College, pursuing Social Sciences and Media Studies. She has many passions, for example, writing as much as her heart beats. Essays, articles, scripts… You name it. Since 2020, she has produced TikTok videos that create educational awareness among underprivileged students in Brazil. She also fights against gender inequality and the refugee crisis – efforts that featured her in some of the continent’s most prominent media outlets: El País, Folha de São Paulo and the G1 Portal, included. Her motivation? Inspiring a new generation of young leaders.


Iva Sopta is a student of politics and immigration studies at Bennington College. As an international student from Serbia, Iva focuses her work on Eastern European politics, the questions of identity and diaspora, critical theory studies, and languages. In her research, she writes about the problems of political development, post-communist transitions, and ethnic conflict. 


Julia Henck is a current sophomore studying art history and anthropology at Bennington College. She joined the consortium to study the sociological impacts of forced migration, to learn about people, and to help the people of her community. She is interested in the intersections of anthropology and migration, and the different ways people express the reality of their experiences through art.


Malvika Dang is a sophomore at Bennington College from New Delhi, India. She is interested in the intersections between Political Anthropology, Writing and Video in her studies. Within the CFMDE, she explores contemporary and historic migration narratives in the media. 


Sofia Pacheco is currently a last-term senior at Bennington College studying Political Science and Latin American Studies. Her work focuses on the impact of the US's neo-imperialist tendencies on mass migration throughout the northern Central American triangle.


Giuli Speranza is a senior in Politics and Literature at Bennington. She took several anthropology, migration, and politics courses that made her want to join the Consortium of Forced Migration, Displacement, and Education. Her interest in migration comes from working with GANAS, and undocumented immigrants in Vermont. She is studying how diverse Young Adult literature impacts the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ identity and is hoping to incorporate the perspective of immigrants to her work.

Previous Team Members 

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Roua Atamaz Sibai graduated from Bennington College in 2021 with a degree in Urban Studies and Visual Arts. Her interests in forced migration and displacement are concentrated on refugee camps and site planning. She is also passionate about urban planning and understanding the interaction between people and buildings. She is trying to use the combination of her interests to find a shared discipline which will allow her to combine both areas of study: migration and urban planning.

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Sitashma Parajuli studied Psychology, Anthropology, and Economics at Bennington, where she graduated in 2021. She uses the combination of these disciplines to understand forced migration and displacement and what human life looks like in post-conflict zones. She is passionate about refugee rights, global mental health, sustainability, and regenerative economy. 

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Soumya Rachel Shailendra graduated with a degree in literature and politics at Bennington College in 2021. Her academic interests include postcolonial literature of migration, poetry of resistance, translation studies and resistance literature. Born and raised in India, Soumya is interested in (re)defining migration across scales, planes, geographies, and languages. 


Valeria Sibrian graduated Bennington College in 2021, where they studied Forced Migration and Painting. Their work is focused on the role historic memory has in archiving the migrant experience at the U.S/Mexico border. Their painting practices look into the ways memory and emotion can be represented through color and by creating an iconography of their childhood toys and animated characters. 


Jailynne Estevez is from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She just graduated from Bennington College, where she worked closely with the migrant/undocumented of Vermont and New York state through GANAS. She studied Public Policy and Literature. In her studies, she explored the way policies and laws can aid individuals and serve communities.

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Ioanna Katsara just graduated from Bennington College, where she studied Social Psychology and Conflict Resolution with a focus on Forced Migration. She has worked with refugees on the Greek islands, and more recently on organized refugee resettlement in Idaho. Much of her academic work has focused on the rise of nationalism and restrictive immigration policies in Europe as a response to the current refugee crisis. Having completed her Bennington education, she wishes to continue working on refugee resettlement and integration projects in Europe. 

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Doménica Montaño-Moncayo just graduated from Bennington College. She studied literature and public action. She was a member of GANAS, a student-run organization that supports the Latino migrant community around Bennington. Her work focused on the intersection of migration, feminism, and politics.