Irina Chukhray is a PhD candidate in sociology at University of California, Davis. Her mixed-method research examines immigrant youth’s structural adaptation. Specifically, she studies supports and constraints in access to higher education as well as wellbeing among 1.5 immigrant generation (foreign-born students who arrived in the US prior to age 18).
Prior to graduate school, Chukhray was the Program Manager for an international collaborative study with OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) on students’ socioemotional skills and a Research Analyst for the Houston Education Research Consortium at Rice University (directed by Dr. Ruth N. López Turley).
Program Manager for OECD study. Chukhray led a team composed of Rice University researchers and Houston Independent School District (HISD) stakeholders in surveying students' social and emotional skills, information that was previously unavailable to HISD, one of the largest school districts in the US. Houston was the only city representing the US in the international study of 10 countries. Chukhray led the team in surveying about 1,500 students in 32 schools (obtained an 87% student response rate). Chukhray also collaborated and negotiated with school district partners, such as with the Assistant Superintendent of Research and Accountability for HISD and with international partners such as the OECD in France and the Australian Council for Education Research in Australia.
Research Analyst at HERC. Chukhray conducted research examining high school students' challenges in navigating their post-secondary educational path, tested a stereotype threat intervention designed to boost students' academic performance, and examined the nuances of students sharing the race/ethnicity of their teacher.
Chukhray’s work led to meaningful change: findings from her HERC research aided the Houston school district in applying for and receiving state funding to hire additional college advisors in order to make advising more equitable. Additionally, the OECD study provided the Houston school district with its first tools to measure students’ socioemotional well-being.