With a large number of local immigrants, it only seems fitting that Goshen College would be leading the way in research and studies on immigrants.
On Thursday, the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning's Lynda Nyce and Jerrell Richer's International Economics class presented their findings from research on local immigration trends.
Nyce, a visiting research fellow from Bluffton College, discussed her ongoing research through a grant from CITL in her presentation, "Transnational Migration in the Goshen Context: Implications for Higher Education."
A native of Goshen and professor of sociology at Bluffton, Nyce was interested in coming back to study her community. "Things have changed in Goshen quite a lot."
Nyce is researching the implications of transnationalism, or the idea of the interplay between immigrants identities in their home country and their identity in their new country, in the school system and ultimately in higher education. She has been doing a significant amount of research in the Goshen Community Schools.
"Education of children is very important to Latino parents and is a priority in their lives," said Nyce. "What I'm very convinced of is that migration and dislocation provide the context for decision making regarding educational outcomes."
This project is ongoing but will be completed at the completion of her one-year sabbatical.
Richer, associate professor of economics, also led his international economics class in a presentation of their study "The Economics of Immigration in Elkhart County."
The class, which is comprised of students from a variety of majors, includes: Abdiwali Ali, Matt Fyfe, Laura Gonzalez, Ben Hoover, Andrew Mark, Karla Maust, Lindsey Nofziger, Pamela Pauw, Bruck Shibru, Gina Stutzman and Brian Wyse. The students divided up tasks amongst themselves, which included conducting interviews, creating mathematical models and maps and researching current developments in the field.
Their study looked at how economic differences affected immigration from Mexico into the United States. In their study, they found that as economic difference between the countries rise immigration goes up. As the economic differences decrease so does the amount of immigration into the United States. They also found that migration helps the local economy and falling immigration hurts the local economy.
"Immigration is why our country is so prosperous. This might explain why the economy has fallen so hard," said Richer.
CITL will give another presentation, "New Direction in Intercultural Teaching and Learning," on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Newcomer Center room 17.