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Scholar Jonathan Rosa Awarded Public Service Grant to Engage Local High School Students in Participatory Research

Jonathan Rosa (Family Research Scholar 2013-14) has been awarded a Public Service Endowment Grant from the Office of Research and Engagement to teach students at a Holyoke high school to document and analyze language practices in their communities. His groundbreaking research will generate new ways of understanding the Western Massachusetts city’s rich Latina/o heritage, and using that knowledge to promote student achievement and community resilience.

Rosa and his UMass students will teach the Holyoke teenagers a variety of anthropological research methods to identify how language is used in their community. They will venture into their local barbershops and churches, take pictures of graffiti, interview family members, and come up with their own slang dictionary. The students will present their work publically at their school and library, as well as on the project’s online research blog.

As a Family Research Scholar, Rosa developed a grant proposal to the National Science Foundation to study how language shapes identity across Latina/o communities in the United States. He has appeared in many media outlets, including MSNBC and Slate, to contribute to the nationwide debate on immigration policy.