Institute for Immigration Research

Conference Presenter Bios

Keynote Speaker

Michelle Marks, Ph.D.

Dr. Michelle Marks is the Vice President for Academic Innovation & New Ventures at George Mason University. In this capacity she is responsible for identifying, launching and sustaining educational initiatives that fulfill George Mason’s strategic plan and generate financial resources to support students, faculty and the educational mission. Charged with creating accessible student pathways and bringing learning science innovations to campus, Dr. Marks is leading strategic partnerships designed to deliver online programming at scale, create pathway programming for international students and support adult degree completion at Mason. She is also forging critical relationships with businesses, government and education institutions to support the university’s mission. Dr. Marks oversees Mason Learning Solutions, the Office of Digital Learning, the Academic Ventures project management group as well as academic initiatives, accreditation and registration.

Dr. Marks previously served as the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Associate Provost for Graduate Education at Mason. As a Professor of Management in Mason’s School of Business, Dr. Marks has spent her career researching organizational leadership development and teamwork. She has published studies illustrating the dynamic nature of the collaborative processes used by organizational teams and the critical roles of team leaders. In 2006, Dr. Marks was honored with the George Mason University Teaching Excellence Award and was the recipient of the Executive MBA Professor of the Year award in 2008 and 2011.




James Witte, Ph.D.

James Witte is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Director of the Center for Social Science Research (CSSR) and Director of the Institute for Immigration Research (IIR). Witte, who earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1991, has been a professor at Clemson University and Northwestern University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Carolina Population Center and a lecturer in sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Witte has written numerous articles that have appeared in journals such as The European Sociological Review, Population and Development Review and Sociological Methods and Research. He has also published three books, Labor Force Integration and Marital Choice, the Internet and Social Inequality and The Normal Bar. The Normal Bar, co-authored with Chrisanna Northrup and Pepper Schwartz, was released in 2013 and made the New York Times bestseller list. Dr. Witte came to Mason in the fall of 2009 to take over leadership of CSSR. Since then CSSR has grown in the amount and range of funded research it conducts. Major projects should be have included the privately funded Institute for Immigration Research and the University Partnership with the University of Karachi funded by the U.S. State Department.


Michele Waslin, Ph.D.

Michele Waslin is Project Coordinator at the Institute for Immigration Research. In her role, Waslin tracks and analyzes immigration research and policy, writes on related topics, coordinates the work of the IIR, and builds relationships with academics and other experts. Waslin has written extensively on immigration policy, has authored multiple book chapters and publications, and has appeared in English- and Spanish-language media. Prior to joining the IIR, she was a senior policy analyst at the American Immigration Council. Before that, Michele was the Manager of the Immigration and the States project at the Pew Charitable Trusts and was director of immigration policy research at UnidosUS (previously the National Council of La Raza). Ms. Waslin holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Creighton University, a Master's Degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in Government and International Studies from the University of Notre Dame.


Angela Hattery, Ph.D.

Professor Angela J. Hattery, George Mason University (BA Carleton College, PHD University of Wisconsin-Madison) is a sociologist and serves as the Director of the Women & Gender Studies Program at George Mason University. Her research focuses on social stratification, gender, family, and race. She is the author of numerous articles, book chapters, and books, including her latest book Policing Black Bodies (October 2017), African American Families: Myths and Realities (2012/2016) The Social Dynamics of Family Violence (2012/2016), Prisoner Reentry and Social Capital (2010), Interracial Intimacies (2009); Interracial Relationships (2009); Intimate Partner Violence (2008); African American Families (2007) and Women, Work, and Family (2001). She teaches classes in gender and sexuality, intersections of race, class and gender, gender based violence and feminist methods.


Bianca Kwan

Bianca Kwan is a Research Assistant through the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research. She is an undergraduate student in the Honors College pursuing a dual degree in Social Work and Criminology. Her primary research interests include human trafficking, child maltreatment or abuse, domestic violence, and the legal system.

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