Theresa-Alfaro-Velcamp, Ph.D.About Dr. Alfaro-Velcamp

Dr. Alfaro-Velcamp is Professor of History at Sonoma State University (SSU), and a Research Associate in the Centre of Criminology, Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. She also volunteered at the UCT Refugee Rights Clinic in 2014.

Previously, she was an International Trade Consultant for Motorola in Washington, D.C., and also worked in Government Affairs for Texas Instruments and for National Semiconductor.

Through her work in the private sector, Dr. Alfaro-Velcamp began writing about social history as it relates to business investment, politics, and the acquisition of power across cultures. She has, for example, studied the emerging influence of the world’s wealthiest man, Carlos Slim Helú (Forbes 2013), in Mexican and U.S. societies. Through interviews and archival research in Mexico, the United States, Lebanon, and Syria, she authored
So Far from Allah, So Close to Mexico: Middle Eastern immigrants in Modern Mexico
She has also conducted pioneering research on Muslim communities in Latin America, and written about the Arab and Jewish populations in the region. Her other works, more than 15 scholarly publications, have been featured in journals such as Law and History Review, Hispanic American Historical Review, and The Americas. She has co-authored articles in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention (2010, 2010) regarding cancer incidence among Latinos/Hispanics with epidemiologists from the Cancer Prevention Institute of California.

•Dr. Alfaro-Velcamp volunteers at the International Rescue Committee. She was a Legislative Ambassador for the American Cancer Society (ACS) from 2010-2013, and has advocated for cancer research.  In 2011, she was invited to join the ACS Access To Care Team to help educate and advocate for affordable healthcare.

•Dr. Alfaro-Velcamp holds a Ph.D. in History and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University. She earned a M.Sc. in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a B.A. at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Dr. Alfaro-Velcamp has lived in Mexico City, Santiago (Chile), Bradford (U.K.), and taught world history at Lincoln University College in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

•Dr. Alfaro-Velcamp was chosen “Faculty Member of the Year” by the Mexican Student Association (MEChA) in 2004.


Dr. Alfaro-Velcamp’s Current Work

Building on her first book and recent comparative study of migration and citizenship in Mexico and the United States, Dr. Alfaro-Velcamp has begun new research on refugees and marginalized populations, such as those displaced by war and famine, in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. She is interested in the intersection between disease and displaced populations, and how public health issues get mapped onto immigrants and refugees.


Photo & Website by Irene Young