DR. REBECCA HESTER
Rebecca J. Hester is an assistant professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society (STS) at Virginia Tech. She received her PhD in Politics with an emphasis in Latin American and Latino Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz. She was the Chancellor's postdoctoral fellow in Latino Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and faculty member at the Institute for Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch before joining STS at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on immigration, health, race, and security. Dr. Hester is the co-founder of the Virginia Consortium on Refugee, Migrant and Displacement Studies (VCRMDS). Her forthcoming book, Embodied Politics: Migrant Activism, Cultural Competence, and Health Promotion in Indigenous Communities in California examines the cultural politics of health programs for indigenous Mexican migrants.
DR. KATRINA POWELL
Dr. Katrina M. Powell is Professor of English and Director of the Center for Refugee, Migrant, and Displacement Studies at Virginia Tech. She teaches courses in rhetorics of social justice, autobiography, and research methodologies and her research focuses on displacement narratives and human rights rhetorics across transnational contexts. Her books include The Anguish of Displacement (UVA Press 2007), ‘Answer at Once’: Letters from Mountain Families in Shenandoah National Park (UVA Press 2009), Identity and Power in Narratives of Displacement (Routledge 2015), and Performing Autobiography (Palgrave 2021). Her current work focuses on the dissemination of displacement and refugee narratives and the ethical dimensions of archiving those narratives in alternative spaces.
DR. KATHERINE RANDALL
Dr. Katherine Randall earned her PhD in Rhetoric and Writing at Virginia Tech, and also volunteers as a medical coordinator for the Blacksburg Refugee Partnership. Before joining the PhD program at Virginia Tech, she worked for five years in publishing, where she wrote materials about end-of-life care and physician-patient communication. Her dissertation research explores the process of medical resettlement for refugees in Southwest Virginia, and specifically focuses on how community volunteers facilitate integration into the US healthcare system. Her broader interests include the rhetoric of medicine, health policy, and refugee resettlement in the US.
Deepa is a senior at Virginia Tech majoring in Human Development and double minoring in Strategic Communication and Political Science. She is part of various student organizations including: Hokie Ambassadors, tutoring for Blacksburg Refugee Partnership, Peer Mentoring for a First Year Experience class, interning at the Women’s Center, serving as a Summer Orientation Leader, and doing research for the Children’s Emotion Lab. Her favorite thing to do on campus is sing with her A Cappella group: TechNotes A Cappella! Her broader goal is to help educational equity in America become a reality rather than a dream. She plans to start this mission by serving for Teach for America after she graduates. She joined the podcast because of her passion of working with refugee students and to help accomplish the goal of having listeners learn about the complexity of migration issues.
Grace is an editor/producer for the In Place podcast, and is a senior at Virginia Tech studying creative writing and English with a focus in education. She plans to continue her schooling at Virginia Tech to get a masters degree in education, and then become a high school English teacher and published writer. She enjoys reading and crocheting in her spare time, as well as discussing Lord of the Rings, Marvel and Greek mythology.
IN PLACE ALUMNI: