Top Graduates Focus Studies on Migration Policies, Peace Building, Armenian Women's Rights

Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Photos of Lori Pirinjian and Maria Jose Lozano Sanabria
Maria Jose Lozano Sanabria (left) and Lori Pirinjian

Twelve outstanding graduates will be onstage at Oracle Park during San Francisco State University’s 118th Commencement ceremony on Tuesday, May 28, to represent their more than 8,700 peers in the class of 2019.

The honor is part of a longstanding tradition in which each of the University’s six academic colleges selects two students, one undergraduate and one graduate, for the honor of representing their classmates during the ceremony by wearing their college’s academic hood.

Undergraduate hood, College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Maria Jose Lozano Sanabria

International Relations major Maria Jose Lozano Sanabria moved to the United States from her native Colombia when she was 14. That experience as a child migrant informs the work and research she does today around migration policies. Sanabria served as managing director of the International Relations Journal as well as the project assistant for the College of Liberal & Creative Arts’ Social Science Alliance.

Her thesis on transformative justice in post-conflict settings explores methods of peace building and conflict resolution. Fluent in English, Spanish and French, she will attend the prestigious Sciences Po University in Paris for graduate school.

As the undergraduate speaker at Commencement, Sanabria will deliver comments during the ceremony to her classmates and an estimated 30,000 friends and family members.

Graduate hood, College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Lori Pirinjian

Anthropology Master of Arts candidate Lori Pirinjian uses critical feminist anthropology to look at contemporary Armenian women’s roles in an environment unreceptive to equal rights for women. Her work, which she has presented at several conferences, draws on overseas fieldwork, legal cases, social media and her personal experience as an Armenian American.

In 2016, Pirinjian wrote and taught curricula on gender equality and women’s empowerment in Armenia as a teaching intern for the organizations Peace Dialogue and Society Without Violence. She gathered research about the patriarchal framework in Armenia and how it creates distinct gender roles and gender-based violence. She has received the Armenian American Citizens’ League Scholarship, a Title VIII Fellowship from the State Department and a Jay Young Excellence in Anthropology Award. She was also a research assistant on the Richmond Environmental Risks Project and the San Francisco Day Labor Program.

Read about all 12 of SF State’s 2019 hood recipients on SF State News

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