Fanni Farago

Fanni Farago

Fanni Farago

Graduate Research Assistant

Sociology: sociology of education, immigration, life course transitions, emotions, health, applied sociology, and mixed-methods research

I am a third-year PhD student in Sociology at George Mason University and a Graduate Research Assistant for the Institute for Immigration Research. I came to Mason after obtaining my M.A. in Sociology from the University of Houston. I have both academic and applied research interests. 

One of my academic interests is to understand how immigrant students' school-related experiences shape their future aspirations and their transition to adulthood. I began exploring this research topic in my M.A. thesis, which quantitatively examined the academic effects of different types of discrimination on 2nd-generation immigrant high schoolers. In the coming years, I will continue exploring this line of research through mixed-methods and with a focus on college students' experiences.

Some of my applied interests center on various topics within program evaluation such as participatory evaluation, assessment in higher education, mixed-methods evaluation, and social impact measurement. 

Before graduate school, I considered a career in immigration law and pursued related work opportunities. For instance, I served as a DACA and TPS Legal Clinics Volunteer at American Gateways, as an employment-based immigration paralegal at Foster LLP, and as a Workforce Development Intern for refugees at the International Rescue Committee. Through these different roles, I gained experience providing direct services to immigrants from all around the world. However, I wanted to understand the broader impact and quality of these services; how do they affect immigrant integration and how effectively do they serve vulnerable immigrants? Such persistent wonderings eventually prompted me to shift my career goal from becoming a lawyer to becoming a researcher. As a result, in 2016, I decided to pursue a graduate degree in Sociology so I could follow through on my new plan. 

On a personal note, I'm a 1.5 generation Hungarian-American immigrant and a corgi lover. 

Current Research

Since Fall 2019, I have worked on the MAT Utilization Survey, a national survey project that centers on how problem-solving courts use Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for participants with opioid use disorder (OUD). I work in collaboration with Drs. James Witte and Faye Taxman. As of Spring 2021, I am also working on a community-engaged project with Fairfax county to conduct a scoping review that will inform the development of improved support services for 65+ adult residents. Dr. Amy Best is the lead investigator for this effort. 

I am also collaborating with Dr. Blake Silver and his Social Science Research Lab to conduct qualitative research on how 2nd generation immigrant students navigate their senior-year transition out of college and how they plan for their futures. 

Selected Publications

Silver, Blake, Freddy Lopez, Fanni Farago, and Tharuna Kalaivanan. 2021. "Focused, Exploratory, or Vigilant: Reproduction, Mobility, and the Self-Narratives of Second-Generation Immigrant Youth." Qualitative Sociology.

Flores Morales, Josefina, and Fanni Farago. 2021. ""Of course we need to help the undocumented immigrants!": Twitter discourse on the (un)deservingness of undocumented immigrants in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic." Sociological Perspectives' special issue on The Coronavirus (COVID-19) & Society.


Expanded Publication List

Farago, Fanni, and Michele Waslin. 2020. "Leading Through Creativity and Innovation: The 2020 Nobel Laureates, MacArthur and Schmidt Science Fellows, and Immigrant Scientists in Search of a COVID-19 Vaccine." Research report for the Institute for Immigration Research. 

Farago, Fanni, and Michele Waslin. 2021. "Continuing to Lead Through Creativity and Innovation During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond: Immigrant Scientists and Information Technology Workers." Research report for the Institute for Immigration Research. 


Ph.D. in Sociology, George Mason University (in progress) (2019-2023, expected)

M.A. in Sociology, University of Houston (2018)

B.A. in European & Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin (2013)


Recent Presentations

Spring 2021

"Democratizing Northern Virginia (DemNOVA)." Wilkerson, Kellie and Fanni Farago. Project co-presented at the 2021 Mason Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference. 

Fall 2020

"Inequality in the Senior Year: Second-Generation Immigrants’ Narratives of the Transition Out of College." Silver, Blake, Fanni Farago, and Tharuna Kalaivanan. Paper presented at the 46th Mid-South Sociological Association's conference.

"Helping to Heal: Current Trends in Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) Utilization Across Problem-Solving Courts." Paper presented at the 46th Mid-South Sociological Association's conference.

"Variants of Discrimination: How do they Impact Immigrant Students' Academic Performance?." Paper accepted to the American Sociological Association's Refereed Roundtable on Immigration and Educational Inequality. Meeting canceled due to COVID-19. 

"Perceptions & Attitudes of Problem-Solving Court Coordinators on the Utilization of Medications for Opioid Use Disorders." Presenters: Lindsay Smith and Fanni Farago. Paper accepted for presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology. Meeting canceled due to COVID-19.

Spring 2020

"Shaping Student Outcomes: The Relevance of Perceived Peer and Institutional Discrimination for 2nd Generation Minority Adolescents.” Paper presented at the Eastern Sociological Society's Annual Meeting. 

In the Media

2020 New Professional Scholarship Recipient from the Washington Evaluators 

2018 Graduate Student Paper Award Recipient from the University of Houston's Sociology Department