The New American 2017-2018: Our Alumni Magazine
Professor of Sociology, Columbia University
Van C. Tran is an immigrant from Vietnam
Fellowship awarded to support work towards a PhD in Sociology at Harvard University
Van C. Tran is a sociologist whose primary research focuses on the incorporation of post-1965 immigrants and their children as well as its implications for the future of ethnic and racial inequality in the United States. His other interests include neighborhoods, urban inequality, and population health, with a focus on the Hispanic/Latino population and New York City neighborhoods. Some of his recent work also adopt a comparative approach to the study of migration in the United States, in Europe, and in China.
Tran’s research has been published in Social Forces, International Migration Review, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, City and Community, among other interdisciplinary journals. Tran's work has been recognized with awards from the American Sociological Association’s sections on International Migration, Latino/a Sociology and Community and Urban Sociology. In 2015, he was elected as a Council Member for the International Migration Section.
At Columbia, Tran is the faculty organizer of the Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Workshop which aims to provide an interdisciplinary, intellectual home for doctoral students of race, ethnicity and immigration at Columbia University. He is also a faculty affiliate of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars Program, the Columbia Population Research Center, and the Urban Studies Program at Barnard College. He teaches courses on immigration, urban poverty, and research methods, including the popular undergraduate seminar Immigrant New York. He recently served as a member of the academic advisory committee for the Future City Lab of New York at Its Core, a new landmark permanent exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York which opened in November 2016.
Tran was born in Vietnam and grew up in Thailand before his family was resettled in New York City in 1998. He first developed his interest in immigration and urban neighborhoods as an observer of the city’s diverse communities. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology & Social Policy at Harvard University. He completed his post-doctoral training as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania where he was also a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.
Tran is on academic leave till September 2017.