Alumni Ambassadors

María Verónica Elías

Maria Veronica Elias headshot
Job title
Assistant Professor
Academic year
Public Policy
"Border management in times of COVID 19: A comparative study of Canada and the United States"

Dr. Maria Elías is a Professor of Public Administration at the University of Texas at San Antonio who studies migration and border governance. She explores U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada border policy and management through the lens of those who patrol the border and those who cross it.  During her Fulbright in 2022, she researched Canada’s border management during the COVID-19 pandemic at the University of Ottawa’s Center on Governance, through the study of policy stakeholders’ narratives. Her research shed light on how the COVID-19 pandemic fostered swift policy changes and how different publics acted. This project is aligned with the Center’s research focus and promotes collaboration between Canada and the United States on vital public governance issues. The experience was life and career-changing: Dr. Elías decided to further explore the treatment of first responders and essential workers by government and their integration in society. 

 After visiting Argentina as part of the Fulbright Western Hemisphere Research Regional Travel Program, Maria became affiliated with the GEFRE (Study Group on Borders) at the University of Buenos Aires, and she has gone on to conduct further study of border issues in Latin America since returning to the United States. She has presented her research at four international professional conferences and published three journal articles on border policy. In San Antonio, she collaborates with local nonprofit organizations assisting refugees, and shares her Fulbright experience at university-wide events. 


Ask Me About:  

  • Relating to the local U.S. Embassy while on Fulbright 
  • Preparing in case of health problems 
  • Housing and transportation while on Fulbright 
  • Living in Ottawa, Canada 
  • Forming lasting research collaborations with host country scholars 
  • Attending conferences while in the host country 
  • Applying to and participating in the Western Hemisphere Program 
  • Connecting with international scholars and students in the host country 
  • Conducting archival research