Lauren Fritzsche

Ph.D. Student

I am a second year Ph.D. student in the School of Geography & Development and am pursuing a minor in Gender & Women's Studies and a certificate in College Teaching. My research draws on feminist political geography and focuses on refugee resettlement practices, experiences, and policies in the U.S. 

My dissertation research examines contested meanings of identity, belonging, race, and national security as they relate to refugee resettlement in the contemporary U.S. This project is situated in Missoula, Montana and Baton Rouge, Louisiana and is designed as a comparative case study of refugee resettlement communities' practices and experiences. Through this comparative analysis, I seek to understand how national shifts in refugee policies and politics impact local resettlement efforts, refugees, and the communities in which refugees are resettled. This study is designed in collaboration with community organizations and aims to holistically and comparatively assess the strategies, narratives, experiences, and negotiations of refugee resettlement in each community. 

Prior to starting my Ph.D. at the University of Arizona, I completed my Master's degree in the Department of Geography at Penn State University (2018). Before that, I lived in Berlin, Germany for two years working with the American Academy in Berlin.