Julio Fernando Salas-Vargas
Julio Salas, short for Julio Fernando Salas-Vargas, is a Chancellor’s Fellow and first-year PhD student in the department. Centering immigrant families, his research interests lie at the nexus of immigration, race & ethnicity, social stratification, and health. Before coming to Berkeley, Julio was a researcher at the Income and Benefits Policy Center housed at the Urban Institute. At Urban, his research—highlighted in popular media outlets like NPR, Associated Press, The Hill, and The Counter—focused on the social safety net, immigration, and food insecurity. Prior to Urban, Julio was a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Fellow at the House of Representatives and a research aide and assistant for the Figueroa Interdisciplinary Group and the Affect and Cognition Lab at Cornell University. He currently has an academic article under review at the Journal of Nutrition and Education Behavior that qualitatively evaluated an online meal kit and grocery platform for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. Julio received an associate’s degree in health sciences from Queensborough Community College and a bachelor’s degree in human development from Cornell University.
Personally, Julio is a second-generation Colombian and Mexican immigrant born and raised in Corona, Queens, NY, who could have never imagined entering the spaces and accomplishing the feats he has. Because of his profoundly non-traditional path and the unlikelihood of being where he is, Julio implores other first-generation students, immigrants, and any other person encompassing an identity that society marginalizes to reach out if he could be of help with applying to graduate school and talking about Berkeley Sociology.