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Giovanna Gonzalez (Odessa Gonzalez) Benson

Curtis Center Postdoctoral Fellow

Giovanna (Odessa) Gonzalez Benson's research focuses on refugee resettlement. Her research expands current knowledge about policy and practice with refugees with an emphasis on labor equity, socioeconomic adjustment and organizations' participation as dimensions that prioritize refugee well-being. Through her dissertation, she examines policy-driven/refugee-driven resettlement and collected nationwide data about refugee placement and organizations, in collaboration with five refugee groups. She draws upon years of engagement with refugee communities, diverse work experiences and her personal path as a 1.5-generation immigrant, to inform and motivate her research. Gonzalez Benson also pursues theoretical work to integrate social work practice perspectives with refugee and migration studies and citizenship theory.

Research Interests/Focus

Refugee studies & social work with refugees; resettlement policy; community engaged research; policy analyses; citizenship theory; multiple methods; discourse analysis

Contact Information



Year Degree   School
2017 PhD University of Washington
2010 MSW Community Organization Arizona State University, Phoenix
2009 AS Mental Health Services Community College of the US Air Force
1999 BA University of the Philippines

Brown, M., Gonzalez Benson, O., Thompson, J., Keel, R., J. Porter & Mahoney, E. (2017). Seeking Northlake: Place, technology, and public as enabling constraints for urban transdisciplinary research. Cities, 60.

Gonzalez Benson, O. (2017). Refugee community organizations as actors upon resettlement. Forced Migration Review, University of Oxford Press, 54.

Gonzalez Benson, O. (2016). Refugee resettlement policy in an era of neoliberalization: A policy discourse analysis of the Refugee Act of 1980. Social Service Review, 90(3), 515-549.

Gonzalez Benson, O. (2016). Refugee resettlement and the non-profit sector. University of Minnesota Hubert Project.

Benson, O., Sun, F., Hodge, D. R. & Androff, D. (2012). Religious coping and acculturation stress among Bhutanese: A study of resettled refugees in the US. International Social Work, 55(4), 538-553.

Hodge, D. R., Lacasse, J. R., & Benson, O. (2011). Influential publications in social work discourse: 100 most highly cited articles: 2000-2009. British Journal of Social Work, 42(4).

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