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Eastern Washington University
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Cheney, WA 99004
phone: 509.359.6200 (campus operator)

Mikaila Leyva


Mikaila Leyva was born and raised in Everett, WA and graduated from Everett high School in 2010 with an interest in politics.

Throughout her academic career Mikaila has always been politically active within her community and educational system by organizing Bi-lingual Parent nights at her high school and consistently advocating for undocumented students. Being a first generation student as well as coming from a Latino background has prompted challenges when navigating within the world of academia however, she has used this knowledge to help promote higher education to others in her community.

Through her parents determination and hard work to give their child better opportunities Mikaila was able to become the first in her family to pursue a college degree. Seeing the adversities her parents had to endure only impelled her to go further in terms of her education. Being witness to many of the world's injustices against her family and other migrant workers encouraged her to gain a politically related degree to provide representation for her community.

Today, Mikaila is maintaining a considerable GPA while making strides to pursue a PhD in Political Science after gaining her undergraduate degree in International Affairs with a minor in Spanish. Her future goals include becoming a state representative and advocate for immigrant rights.


Dorothy Zeisler-Vralsted: Professor, Government, EWU

TRiO McNair Research Internship:__________________________________________________________

Globalization and the Guest Worker Phenomenon  (2015)

With the ever increasing ability to access different corners of the earth, the number of migrant workers leaving their homelands in search of transnational labor has grown as well. My research follows the effects of globalization on the group identified as "guest workers" specifically. Due to an extremely globalized society the ability to travel to any country is fairly easy and has prompted the normalization of guest and migrant workers. Therefore this has had varying effects on the communities of both the home and host countries. By isolating two of the most prominent guest worker populations, Latino migration to North America and the ethnically diverse migration to the Gulf region of the Middle East, I can better connect similarities and highlight differences that both join these communities as well as distinguish them from one another. Together these groups share a lifestyle that is becoming increasingly prominent in present times and has yet to be looked at internally. The first segment of my study examines various investigations and studies performed by scholars previously, this provides a solid background in the history of migration within the given areas and its relation to the current labor force. The second segment of my project required the gathering of first hand interviews from Latino agricultural workers within the Eastern Washington area and mirroring it to the available documentation of the experiences of guest workers within the Gulf region. This internally focused study looks to provide a greater insight into the life of guest workers across the globe as well as connect them to the larger theory of globalization. This will in turn create an alternative view of the populations at hand and the lifestyle that has been forced upon them.

Conference Presentations:________________________________________________________________

  • 29th Annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), Cheney, WA (2015)
  • Pacific Northwest Political Science Association Conference, Bend, OR (2014)
  • 23rd Annual MAEOPP National McNair Research Conference and Graduate School Fair, Delavan, WI (2014)
  • 3rd Annual Strategic Plan Conference: Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, Cheney WA (2014)
  • Eastern Washington University Students of Color Symposium, Cheney, WA (2014)

Environmental Racism's Effect on African American and Latino Communities,

  • 17th Annual Student Research and Creative Works Symposium, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA (2014)

Honors and Awards:_____________________________________________________________________

  • McNair Scholar Summer Internship, Awarded $2,800. The goal of the McNair Program is to increase the attainment of PhD degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society. (2014)

Graduate School Acceptances:_______________________________________________________________

  • University of Notre Dame - PhD program in Political Science
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