Archive: White Paper Proposal

Archive: White Paper Proposal


Dr. Irene Ponzo, Dr. Andrea Pogliano, and Dr. Qian Lu are the 2015 winners of the White Paper Proposal for their work on their paper “The Politics And Policy Of Migration In Europe And North America”.

Irene Ponzo is currently the Deputy Director of FIERI (Forum of International and European Research on Immigration). She completed her Ph.D. in Comparative Sociological Research at the University of Turin (Italy) in 2006. Her main research interests are migrant and refugee integration, and integration policies and multilevel governance of migration and asylum. More recently, she has started to work on the narrative-making processes concerning migration with specific regard to the interaction between the media and the policy communities. Since its foundation in 2004, she has been a member of the largest European network of migration scholars, i.e., IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion in Europe, where she is now the co-chair of the Research Cluster “Integration crises. Analysing integration process in an age of global instability” ( 

In the last few years she has been project manager and FIERIs principal investigator in several EU-funded projects aimed at actively engaging local communities, stakeholders and policy-makers, including Concordia Discors. Understanding Conflict and Integration Outcomes of Inter-group Interactions and Integration Policies in Selected Neighbourhoods in Five European Cities” (EIF, 2010-2012,, and EU-MIA – European Migrant Integration Academy. An integrated research and cooperative learning project to reinforce integration capacities in European cities”, EIF, 2012-2014, She is currently involved as senior researcher in two projects aimed at fostering knowledge-based EU reforms, and funded within the largest research program of the European Commission, i.e., Horizon2020: “CEAS-EVAL- Evaluation of the Common European Asylum System under Pressure and Recommendations for Further Development” (Horzon2020. 2017-2019), and MEDRESET. A comprehensive, integrated, and bottom-up approach to reset our understanding of the Mediterranean space, remap the region, and reconstruct inclusive, responsive, and flexible EU policies in it” (Horizon 2020, 2016-2019 She has given more than thirty talks and presentations in national and international events addressing both academics and policy-makers. She has published several monographs and edited collections, and more than twenty journal articles and book chapters.

Andrea Pogliano is a Lecturer in Sociology of culture and communication at the University of “Piemonte Orientale” and Research Affiliate for the Forum of International and European Research on Immigration (FIERI). He completed his Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Milan in 2008. He was a Marie Curie student at the CNRS – IRESCO in Paris and a visiting scholar at the EHESS (Paris). His main research interests are in journalism, photojournalism, communication and framing. He works on news media representations of migration and more broadly on the role of communication and culture in producing solidarity and conflict in multicultural societies.  He is currently involved as a senior researcher in a Horizon 2020 project named CEAS-EVAL- Evaluation of the Common European Asylum System under Pressure and Recommendations for Further Development”, specifically in a Work Package on the politicization of the asylum issue. He has published two books and several contributions in academic journals and collective products and co-authored photo exhibitions and short video documentaries on migration.

Qian Lu is the Director of Culture and Health Research Center and Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Psychology at the University of Houston. She completed a Ph.D. in Social and Health Psychology from the University of California Los Angeles. Dr. Lu’s goal is to understand and promote health and well-being through biopsychosocial and cultural lens. She works on several intertwined lines of research including cancer survivorship, psychosocial intervention, Asian cancer survivorship, expressive writing, emotion regulation, social support, cultural differences in cognitive and emotional processes, health disparity, community based participatory research, and a biopsychosoical model of pain. She received Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology Award (Early Career) by American Psychological Association Division 38 (Health Psychology). She is a principal investigator of a NCI funded study (R01) that investigates the effects and mechanisms of a peer mentor and educational intervention among Chinese breast cancer survivors. She is a co-investigator of a NCI funded study (R01) that investigates cultural differences in social support and quality of life between Caucasians and Asian American breast cancer survivors (Kagawa-Singer, PI). She is also a co-investigator of a NIH funded study (R01) to investigate the effects of expressive writing to reduce alcohol use (Neighbors, PI). Her research has also been funded by American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.


The 2013 White Paper Proposal was awarded to Dr. Lan Ni, Dr. Beverly J. Gor, and Dr. Zhiwen Xiao.

Lan Ni, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Valenti School of Communication at the University of Houston. Focusing on identification of publics, relationship management, and conflict management, her research examines how public relations in intercultural settings can both benefit organizations and empower publics, especially immigrants and minority groups.
She has been awarded multiple internal and external research grants including those from Urban Communication Foundation, Arthur Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication, and Public Relations Society of America Research Foundation. She has published in major journals in communication and public relations such as Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Communication Management, Journal of Public Affairs, International Journal of Strategic Communication, and Public Relations Journal.
She is the lead author of two forthcoming books by Routledge on intercultural public relations that examine the theoretical and practical aspects of communication, public relations, and community engagement, with a focus on intercultural issues both within and across borders.

Dr. Beverly J. Gor is a Staff Analyst with the Houston Health Department (HHD) working in the Director’s Office in the Office of Program Planning and Development. She and her colleagues design and evaluate public health programs coordinated by HHD. Beverly is a native Houstonian and a co-founder of the Asian American Health Coalition and its HOPE Clinic, a federally qualified health center. A registered dietitian, Dr. Gor has conducted several studies on minority health disparities focusing on improving nutrition and reducing chronic disease and cancer risk. Before coming to HHD, she was an instructor in the Department of Health Disparities Research at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Gor is an active volunteer with several community based groups, including CAN DO Houston, Houston Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Chinese American Citizens Alliance, Asian Cancer Council, and the IMPACT Maternal and Child Health Collaborative. She received her bachelor’s degree in dietetics and doctoral degree in allied health education from the University of Houston and her master’s degree in nutrition and food science from Texas Woman’s University.

Dr. Zhiwen Xiao is an associate professor in health communication and a faculty affiliate of women’s studies at University of Houston. Dr. Zhiwen Xiao’s research area focuses primarily on health behavior change and health literacy. She explores how individual- level variables and social-level factors determine health-related behaviors and how health communication programs influence such individual-level and social-level factors to promote desired health outcomes and behaviors. Her work has appeared in a number of peer-reviewed journals that include Journal of Health Communication, International Journal of Public Health, AIDS Patient Care and STDs, AIDS Care, AIDS Education and Prevention, Psychology, Health & Medicine and others.
Dr. Zhiwen Xiao has taught undergraduate courses, including Introduction to Communication Theory, Health Campaigns Principles, and Health Literacy, and graduate courses such as Research Methods, Health Communication Theory and Research, and Health Campaigns.


Laura Forlano & Anijo Punnen Mathew

Laura Forlano & Anijo Punnen Mathew

Dr. Laura Forlano and Prof. Anijo Punnen Mathew of the Illinois Institute of Technology are the 2012 recipients of the UCF White Paper Award on “Designing Digital Networks for Urban Public Space”. They began their work this Fall.

In this project, we will conduct workshops in three major metropolitan centers of the US – Chicago, New York, and Boston. The workshops will use open and participatory design methods to engage local policymakers, entrepreneurs, activists, academics, graduate students and citizens in discussions and hands-on activities, and will allow us to re-imagine the ways in which digital technologies can be embedded in public spaces. We believe such an engagement will play an important role in educating key stakeholders about the role of digital technology in emergent forms of citizen engagement. They will also help in transferring hands-on knowledge about co-design and design methods to new constituencies outside of the field of design specifically to help build multidisciplinary networks across government, business, activism and academia.

Future updates will be posted here.