Cassaundra Rodriguez, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology



Cassaundra Rodriguez joined the Sociology Department at UNLV after earning her doctorate degree in Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2017. She specializes in the areas of Latinx sociology, immigration and citizenship, family, race, and gender. Her research primarily tackles questions on (1) how belonging is negotiated and claimed by immigrant and Latinx communities and (2) how citizenship and race are constructed in media and public discourse. Her first book Contested Americans: Mixed-Status Families in Anti-Immigrant Times engages these questions by centering on how members of mixed-status families – that is families that include U.S. citizens and undocumented immigrants – experience belonging and manage illegality in their lives.

Professor Rodriguez’s research articles are published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Latino Studies, The Sociological Quarterly, Sociology Compass, and Currents. Her public sociology contributions appear in Medium and Latinx Talk. Dr. Rodriguez has been recognized with awards from the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), the Eastern Sociological Society (ESS), and grant funding from the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) where she is also an NCID Diversity Scholar. Professor Rodriguez was also awarded a Career Enhancement Fellowship for the 2020-2021 academic year from the Institute for Citizens & Scholars.

Dr. Rodriguez’s current research aims to understand why young people participate in student mariachi programs in Las Vegas and what this participation may mean for their educational and career pathways, community belonging, and families.

As a former first-generation college student, Dr. Rodriguez appreciates the knowledge and experience that students bring to the classroom. She regularly teaches a number of courses, including classes on family, gender, and Latinx communities in the United States. In 2020, Dr. Rodriguez was awarded the UNLV College of Liberal Arts William Morris Award for Excellence in Teaching.