Department of Social Sciences Institute

The Department of Social Sciences offers a variety of research opportunities and research expertise. For example:

  • The CATI Lab (Computer Assisted Telephoning Interviewing) provides research support to the university and community partners who are engaged in electronic data collection and outreach efforts. The CATI Lab system of computers and software:

    • Assists in the creation of the survey questionnaire.
    • Places the questionnaire into computer memory.
    • Allows up to six interviewers working on a survey at the same time.
    • Can manage multiple survey projects simultaneously.
    • Automatically selects the proper route in conditional branching questions.
    • Randomly selects telephone numbers and facilitates the use of random digit dialing sampling.
    • Collects raw data from interviews ready for statistical analysis.
  • Faculty Expertise: Our faculty are well versed in a variety of research topics/issues. Please feel free to contact them if you need more information.
Dr. Frances P. Bernat
  • Border and Undocumented Immigrants
  • Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law
  • Cybercrime
  • Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery
  • ISIS and Recruitment of Female Juveniles
  • STEM and Bilingual Education
  • Truancy
  • Women and the Criminal Justice System
  • Youth Resilience

Ms. Flor Mayela Hernandez

  • Juvenile Delinquency

Dr. Kate Houston
Assistant Professor

  • Collection of Human Intelligence
  • Effects of Emotion on Memory in Forensic Contexts 
  • Eyewitness Memory
  • Role of Language / Interpreters in Intelligence Interviewing 
  • Social Influence Principles as Applied in an Interrogative Context
  • Suspect Recognition / Identification

Dr. Jack Byham
Visiting Instructor

  • American Political Thought
  • Ancient and Modern Political Philosophy
  • Religion and Politics

Dr. Claudia San Miguel
Associate Professor

  • Administration of Justice Policing
  • Border and Homeland Security
  • Death Penalty
  • Human Trafficking
  • Immigration
  • Justice Policy
  • Juvenile
  • Delinquency / Prevention / Violence
  • Law and Society
  • Victimology

Dr. John Kilburn
Interim Chair

  • Border issues
  • Community & Urban Sociology
  • Sociology of Education
  • Violence

Dr. Andrew Hilburn
Assistant Professor

  • GIS and cartography
  • Human and Cultural Geography
  • Land use and land tenure
  • Mexico and Central America
  • Participatory methods
  • Political - Cultural Ecology
  • Q-methodology
  • Waste Management

Dr. Simon Zschirnt
Assistant Professor

  • American Politics
  • American Legal History
  • Judicial Politics

Dr. James Norris
Associate Professor

  • Chile Politics, Political Behavior
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Latino/Hispanic Voting Behavior
  • Mexico Politics, Political Behavior
  • Texas Politics
  • Texas Voting Behavior

Dr. Lynne Manganaro
Associate Professor

  • General Public Administration
  • Gender and Racial / Ethnic Issues in Public Policy
  • Public Policy and Policy Analysis
  • Research Methods and Statistics

Dr. Mehnaaz Momen
Associate Professor

  • Citizenship
  • Immigration
  • Public Space
  • Urban Theory

Dr. Peter Haruna
Assistant Professor

  • Governance Structures
  • International and Comparative Public Administration
  • Public Administrative Education and Training
  • Public Budgeting Development and Analysis

Dr. Maria Reyes
Visiting Instructor

  • Local Government
  • Political Theory
  • Public Administration Theory

Dr. Marcus Antonius Ynalvez
Director of Sociology
Associate Professor

  • Doctoral Science Mentoring
  • Globalization and International Development
  • Quantitative Research Methods and Advanced Statistics
  • Science Policy/Science Education
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Social Networks
  • Sociology of Science


Department of Social Sciences
5201 University Boulevard, Academic Innovation Center 313, Laredo, TX 78041-1900
Phone: 956-326-2475 E-mail: norma.arenal@tamiu.edu