P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Cecilia Ballí, 2002

Writer-at-large, Texas Monthly

Cecilia Ballí is the child of immigrants from Mexico

Fellowship awarded to support work towards a PhD in Anthropology at Rice University

Cecilia is a longform magazine writer, cultural anthropologist, and a cultural and storytelling consultant. She has written for The New York Times MagazineHarper's Magazine and Texas Monthly. You can find her stories here.

Born in the United States to parents from Mexico, she grew up in Brownsville, Texas.

Cecilia received her PhD in anthropology at Rice University. Completing her undergraduate degree at Stanford University in American Studies and Spanish, her honors thesis received the Golden Medal for Excellence in the Humanities and Creative Arts.

After graduation, Cecilia served as a staff writer for the San Antonio Express-News. Her personal essays have been included in various anthologies, including Best American Crime Writing. She was a Ford Foundation and National Science Foundation fellow, and her research and writing has focused on culture and violence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Her "A Championship Season in Mariachi Country" appeared in The New York Times Magazine in November 2022, and is being adapted into two television shows.

  • PhD Anthropology | Rice University 2009
  • BA American Studies, Spanish | Stanford University 1998
Work History
  • Texas Monthly, Writer-at-large
  • Houston Chronicle, Senior features reporter | July 2017
  • Freelance, Writer
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