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.
refugee resettlement, refugee/migrant-led organizations, participatory approaches to urban governance and social services with refugees, state-civil society relations, critical policy studies
|(734) firstname.lastname@example.org||3828 SSWB||University of Michigan|
School of Social Work
1080 S. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
|2017||PhD||Social Welfare||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|
|Just Futures, An action research collective on displacement, migration and urban studies|
Gonzalez Benson, O. (in press). Embeddedness with community: Reflections on participatory mapping with refugees. Collaborations: A Journal of Community-Based Research and Practice.
Gonzalez Benson, O. (in press). On becoming ‘essential’: Coronavirus lessons of ontology (from migrant farmworkers and us who consume the fruits of her labor). Qualitative Social Work.
Gonzalez Benson, O. & Pimentel Walker, A. (in press). In search of participation: Refugee-run organizations in multi-scalar governance in US resettlement policy. Urban Affairs.
Gonzalez Benson, O., Yoshihama, M., Ellis, J., Pimentel Walker, A., Usui, M. & Chang, S. (in press). Refugee education and hope: Participatory Action Research with Congolese refugee youth. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.
Gonzalez Benson, O. (in press). Refugee resettlement patterns in the United States: Examining labor market conditions and immigration policies in cities of primary placement and secondary internal migration. Journal of International Migration and Integration.
Wiley, C., Jen, S., Storer, H. & Gonzalez Benson, O. (in press). Discursive decisions: Signposts to guide the use of critical discourse analysis in social work. Qualitative Social Work.
Ibrahim, Q., Hreish, K., Hantoosh, K., Gonzalez-Benson, O., et al. (2020). Social work education in the Middle East and North Africa: Students’ perspectives at 13 universities in 10 countries. Egyptian Journal of Social Work, 9(1), 189-204.
Islam, E., Wahab, H. & Gonzalez Benson, O. (2020). Structural and operational factors as determinant of meaningful community participation in sustainable disaster recovery programs: The case of Bangladesh. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 50.
Gonzalez Benson, O.& Yoshihama, M. (2019). Post-resettlement refugee collectives in the United States: Processes of emergence and development. Sharing Society Project (Ed.), Sharing Society International Conference 2019 Proceedings. Bilbao, Basque Country, (Spain): Sharing Society Project-The Impact of Collaborative Collective Actions in the Transformation of Contemporary Societies, University of the Basque Country.
Gonzalez Benson, O., Pimentel Walker, A. P., Yoshihama, M., Burnett, C. & Asadi, L. (2019). A framework for ancillary health services provided by refugee and immigrant-run CBOs: Language assistance, systems navigation, and hands on support. Journal of Community Medicine and Health Education, 9(5), 665.
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.
Benson, O., Sun, F., Hodge, D. R. & Androff, D. (2012). Religious coping and acculturation stress among Hindu Bhutanese: A study of newly-resettled refugees in the United States. International Social Work, 55(4), 538-553.
University of Michigan
School of Social Work
1080 South University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106