Fighting for Social Justice
By David Ogul
“I love working here because the mission of the university has social justice written all over it”
-- Marisol Clark-Ibáñez
Marisol Clark-Ibáñez was wrapping up the courses needed for a bachelor’s degree in literature when she took a sociology class during her junior year at UC San Diego. It changed her life.
“I had never taken a sociology class before, and I was hooked,” she said.
Good thing. Today, Clark-Ibáñez is a full professor in the Department of Sociology at Cal State San Marcos who is involving students and the community in her groundbreaking research. Among her works is "Undocumented Latino Youth: Navigating Their Worlds," a book detailing the obstacles and challenges facing undocumented immigrants while trying to get a public education. In addition, Clark-Ibáñez and the CSUSM-based National Latino Research Center – where she serves as faculty director – are in the midst of a three-year project dubbed Cultivando Liderazgo (Nurturing Leadership) that is aimed at building civic engagement in Hispanic communities.
Clark-Ibáñez earned her bachelor’s in Literature from UCSD and her Master of Arts Degree and Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Davis. She has been at CSUSM since 2003 and was recognized with the President’s Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching Innovation and Excellence in 2015. She’s also the faculty adviser for STAND, a student club dedicated to issues impacting undocumented immigrants.
“I love working here because the mission of the university has social justice written all over it,” Clark-Ibáñez said. “My department is staffed with scholars of color who are committed to excellence and equity. I came here because I knew my work would be supported by the college and by my colleagues, and I have not been disappointed.”