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Giovanna (Odessa Gonzalez) Gonzalez Benson

Assistant Professor of Social Work

Giovanna Gonzalez (Odessa Gonzalez) Benson
Dr. Odessa Gonzalez Benson is Assistant Professor at the U-M School of Social Work and is with the U-M Detroit School of Urban Studies Faculty Cluster. Her areas of research are: refugee resettlement, refugee/migrant-led organizations, participatory approaches to urban governance and social services with refugees, state-civil society relations, critical policy studies. Dr. Gonzalez Benson pursues interdisciplinary work integrating social welfare and community perspectives with refugee studies and urban studies, particularly within the context of 'new refugee destinations' such as Michigan and the broader midwest. Currently, her work is place-based research on immigrant-run grassroots organizations in Grand Rapids and Detroit, examining institutional links, functions and use of resources and urban space. Past research examined policy-driven vis-a-vis refugee-driven resettlement, based on nationwide data on refugee-run organizations in 30 U.S. states. She draws upon years of engagement with refugee communities, diverse education and work experiences and her personal path as a 1.5-generation immigrant to inform and motivate her research. She has a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Washington in Seattle, MSW from Arizona State University, and BA in Communications from the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

Research Interests/Focus

refugee resettlement, refugee/migrant-led organizations, participatory approaches to urban governance and social services with refugees, state-civil society relations, critical policy studies

Contact Information

PhoneFaxEmailRoomAddress
odessagb@umich.edu

Education

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

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