Dr. Vilna Bashi Treitler, Faculty Mentor

Dr. Vilna Bashi Treitler is a Professor at two institutions of the City University Of New York (CUNY): Baruch College, renown for business degrees and for hosting the most diverse student body in the USA; and the Graduate Center, CUNY’s doctoral degree awarding institution. Her work is focused on creating and teaches scholarship that analyzes how group membership affects the life chances of its members, particularly as groups are incorporated into local and global socioeconomic structures like labor markets or racial hierarchies. She has earned distinctions for expertise in qualitative research methods. Dr. Treitler holds graduate degrees in Sociology (with specializations in Sociology of Economic Change, and Demography), Economics, and International Affairs, and she had been awarded Fellowships from the Mellon and Ford Foundations for her research. Her book Survival of the Knitted: Immigrant Social Networks in a Stratified World (Stanford, 2007) provides a model of immigrant networks and shows how networks shaped the socioeconomic adaptation of black Caribbean migrants to New York and London and Canada. Her book The Ethnic Project: How Racial Fictions Buttress Ethnic Factions (forthcoming, 2013) argues that beliefs in racial distinctions persist – despite 100 years of evidence proving them false – because ethnic groups are and since the founding of the United States as a nation have been forced to compete in arenas of racial incorporation. She is now conducting a study funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation on the racialization of immigrant children in families racially blended through international and transracial adoption; and she is organizing an edited volume on the same topic but bringing together works by scholars from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. She is also active in international and domestic professional organizations, having contributed service to the International Sociological Association, American SociologicalAssociation, Association of Black Sociologists, among others.

Professor Treitler has mentored two CUNY BA students thus far, and says “The CUNY Baccalaureate students I’ve worked with are brilliant, and I’m glad for the opportunity to get to know them.”