About

I am an assistant professor at the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College (CUNY). Prior to joining Baruch, I was a post-doctoral fellow at The University of Texas at Dallas, where I completed my PhD in Public Policy and Political Economy under the supervision of Dr. Brian J.L. Berry, and a visiting lecturer for the Program in Latino Studies at Princeton University.

My research seeks to produce scientific inquiries that measure and evaluate public policies and practices, with a focus on understanding social issues related to economic, political, and social development.

On its broadest level, my work applies advanced quantitative methods and socioeconomic theory to investigate the impact of policies on underrepresented and marginalized groups, providing empirical support for formulating policies addressing socioeconomic inequalities due to race, class, and gender in social, political, educational, and religious institutions. Furthermore, my research also evaluates the impact of public policies on the quality of life (a.k.a., well-being, happiness, life satisfaction) of urbanites, millennials, and minority groups (e.g. Latinos, immigrant workers, and women).

Born in São Paulo, Brazil, my family immigrated to the United States when I was in high school.

In my spare time I love cooking with my husband (see also: Q&A with Dr. Araujo), playing the violin and mandolin, photographing, and walking our dog.

Publications

Peer Reviewed Articles:

NEW! Okulicz-Kozaryn, A. and Valente, R.R. "No Urban Malaise for Millennials." Regional Studies 2018 (.pdf)

Abstract Urban malaise or unhappiness with city life is common in developed countries. City dwellers, particularly those in the largest metropolitan areas, are reported to be the least satisfied with their lives. Using the US General Social Survey (1972–2016), this paper explores the latest happiness trends. The results confirm earlier findings of urban malaise: Americans in general are happiest in smaller cities and rural areas. However, the advantage of rural living is declining – rural Americans are becoming less happy relative to urbanites. Most interestingly, the results show that the latest generation, termed ‘Millennials’ (1982–2004), as opposed to earlier generations, are the happiest in large cities (an estimated magnitude larger than earning an additional US$100,000 in family income annually). The possible reasons for this trend are explored and directions for future research are discussed.

NEW! Okulicz-Kozaryn, A. and Valente, R.R. "Livability and Subjective Well-Being Across European Cities." Applied Research in Quality of Life 2018 (.pdf)

Abstract This study documents for the first time the correlation between livability and subjective well-being (SWB) across European cities. Livability is measured with the popular Mercer Quality of Living Survey and correlates considerably with SWB, measured as place and life satisfactions. There are outliers, for instance: the “unlivable” but “happy” Belfast (fool’s paradise) and the “livable,” but “unhappy” Paris (fool’s hell). In addition, we find geographic patterns: while the Mercer index ranks higher Western cities, subjective well-being is higher in Northern cities. Smaller cities score higher on both livability and SWB, confirming thus the urban sociological theory of urban malaise while contradicting urban economic theory of city triumph.

• Okulicz-Kozaryn, A. and Valente, R.R. "Life Satisfaction of Career Women and Housewives." Applied Research in Quality of Life 2017 (.pdf)

Abstract Profound changes in gender roles have taken place over the past several decades in the United States. Women’s roles have changed most: women are marrying later in life and at lower rates, having fewer children, and working more outside of the household. “Career women” are the new normal and housewifery has gone out of fashion. At the same time, women have become less happy. We use the US General Social Surveys from 1972 to 2014 to explore these latest trends. We find that, until recently, women were happier to be housewives or to work part-time than fulltime, especially, women who are older, married, with children, in middle or upper class, and living in suburbs or smaller places. The effect size of housewifery on subjective wellbeing (SWB) is mild to moderate, at about a fourth to a third of the effect of being unemployed. Therefore, we argue that one possible reason for the decline in average happiness for women was increased labor force participation. Yet, the happiness advantage of housewifery is declining among younger cohorts and career women may become happier than housewives in the future

• Valente, R.R. and Holmes, J.S. "Vamos Para Rua! Taking to the Streets - Protest in Brazil." Brasiliana - Journal for Brazilian Studies 5(2): 2017 (.pdf)

Abstract The unprecedented protests that unfolded in June 2013 in Brazil, surprised even the most observant Brazilian scholars. A local conflict over the increase of public transportation fare took an unexpected turn and ignited a massive nationwide mobilization. These protests have perplexed many because Brazil was not experiencing the context of economic or political instabilities that are common to other countries around the world, where massive protests have emerged. Using data from the World Values Survey, we developed a general analysis highlighting individual factors that were significant in explaining protest participation among Brazilians to shed light on possible indicators that could have predicted the recent mobilizations. In particular, this work seeks to understand the extent to which a change from materialist to post-materialist values, as theorized by Inglehart (1971), could contribute towards explaining the recent protests in Brazil. Our findings demonstrate that post-materialist values are a significant explanatory force in determining political participation in Brazil.

• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Performance of Students Admitted through Affirmative Action in Brazil." Latin American Research Review, 52(1): 18-34, 2017 (.pdf)

Abstract Following the implementation of Lei das Cotas (Affirmative Action Law) in Brazil, there has been debate on whether or not students who were admitted through affirmative action perform at the same level as students who were admitted through traditional methods. This paper examines the results of the ENADE (Exame Nacional de Desempenho dos Estudantes) examination in 2009-2012 to determine whether or not there is a relationship between students' performance at the university level and the manner of their admittance. We find that students who were admitted to public universities under affirmative action perform at similar levels to students who were not, while quota students in private universities perform slightly better than students admitted through traditional methods.

• Valente, R.R. "The Vicious Circle: Effects of Race and Class on University Entrance in Brazil." Race Ethnicity and Education. 20(6): 851-864, 2017 (.pdf)

Abstract Brazil has high levels of socio-economic inequality and an inequitable distribution of access to higher education. How much of this inequality is associated with race or class is an important question in light of current debate over affirmative action and the suitability of race and social targeted policies. There are those who claim that racial disparities in the educational system are a result of students' social status and not a result of racism, while others believe race is an important factor that superposes the effect of class. This study uses national data from Brazil's Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio (National Secondary Education Exam - ENEM) to examine the relationship between race and access to higher education of high school students between 2004 and 2008. The results document a vicious circle which connects the schooling of the young with their race, socio-economic status, and university attendance.

• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Effects of Perceived Discrimination on the School Satisfaction of Brazilian High School Graduates." Brasiliana - Journal for Brazilian Studies, 5(1): 405-440, 2016 (.pdf)

Abstract This paper analyzes the consequences of peer victimization for the satisfaction with schooling ("happiness") of college-bound high school graduates in Brazil. Several types of victimization are explored including discrimination due to race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, and disability. We compare the satisfaction with their schooling of students planning to head to college straight from high school and older students applying for college later in life ("nontraditional students"). We conclude that students who perceived that they had been discriminated against were more dissatisfied with their school experience than those who did not, ceteris paribus, and we relate level of dissatisfaction to type of discrimination. The older student evidence reveals that this dissatisfaction wanes with time and age, however. Our conclusions are based upon ordered logistic analyses of data for 2.4 million current high school seniors and 78.7 thousand older students drawn from the Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio questionnaire (ENEM).

• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Acculturation of Immigrant Latinos into the U.S. Workplace: Evidence from the Working Hours-Life Satisfaction Relationship." Applied Research in Quality of Life, 12(2): 451-479, 2016 (.pdf)

Abstract This paper explores the working hours-happiness relationship of Latinos living in the United States and compares it with that of the host society. We find that immigrant Latinos have adopted American work-happiness relationships while having lower levels of subjective well-being. Acculturation plays an important role not only with respect to work attitudes, but also to social status, and it is the latter that affects the well-being of Latinos of color. Future quality-of-life research needs to analyze whether the dichotomy between work attitude and social status will persist or whether this vibrant and increasing group of immigrants who are so vital to the U.S. economy will both adapt to host society values and begin to introduce positive change in those values in a society where multiculturalism is on the rise.

• Valente, R.R. "The Impact of Race and Social Economic Status on University Admission at the University of São Paulo." Latin American & Caribbean Ethnic Studies, 11(2): 95-118, 2016 (.pdf)

Abstract This paper explores the relationship between race, class, and access to higher education by analyzing the characteristics of students admitted to the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil from 2004 to 2008. Employing novel data, the logistic regression results indicate that those accepted at USP are more likely to be white, from affluent families, to have studied in private high schools, to have enrolled in prep courses, and to have a mother who attained higher education. The findings posit that the lack of accessibility for nonwhites and lower income status students to higher education in Brazil, as exemplified by this case study, is an impediment to social mobility. The implications of these findings for future research and policy are discussed.

• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Dissatisfaction with city life? Latin America revisited." Cities 50, 62-67, 2016. (.pdf)

Abstract Data from the World Values Survey and AmericasBarometer are used in ordinal logistic models to evaluate life satisfaction in rural and urban areas in Latin America. Our findings indicate that, unlike the United States, in Latin America there is no evidence of rural-urban happiness differences. In Latin America familism is the key driving force, aspacial and transcending location.

• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Working Hours and Life Satisfaction: A cross-cultural comparison of Latin America and the United States." Journal of Happiness Studies, 17(3): 1173-1204, 2016 (.pdf)

Abstract This paper compares the life satisfaction and working hours of Latin Americans and U.S. Americans using the AmericasBarometer and General Social Survey. Differences in cultural values, especially individualism versus familism, may be why Latin Americans are less happy than U.S. Americans when working longer hours.

• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Countering Inequality: Brazil's Movimento Sem-Terra." Geographical Review 105(3): 1-20, July 2015 (.pdf)

Abstract Data from the Pesquisa Nacional de Educação na Reforma Agr&aaculte;ria (PNERA), the national survey of formerly-landless peasants residing in federal land reform settlements in Brazil, confirm that the Movimento Sem-Terra (MST) has been far more successful than other settlement movements in assuring a better quality of life for its members. This superior performance is attributed to an organizational structure that demands and assures membership involvement, and a commitment to participatory education in an environment that fosters and supports MST's goals and objectives. MST's members have higher self-perceived social status than members of non-MST movements, have better residential environments and more material possessions, and experience an education that emphasizes the movement's principles of social justice, radical democracy and humanist and socialist values.

• Valente, R.R. "Institutional Explanations for the Decline of the Congregação Cristã no Brasil." PentecoStudies 14(1), 2015 (.pdf)

Abstract For the first time since its inception, the Congregação Cristã no Brasil (CCB) has lost members—two hundred thousand members in the last decade—while other traditional Pentecostal churches' membership continue to grow. Based on survey research data, this study explores the diverse views of church members and how institutional factors affect the growth of the church.

• Valente, R.R. "From Inception to Present: The Diminishing Role of Women in the Congregação Cristã no Brasil." PNEUMA 37(1), 2015 (.pdf)

Abstract This article provides the first historical analysis of the role of women in the Congregação Cristã no Brasil, the oldest Pentecostal church in Brazil and the largest in the state of São Paulo. Drawing on qualitative data, this study also explores the diverse views of church members and their attitudes in regards to the current status of women in the church. In addition to providing empirical data on this denominational group, the article engages the wider debate about the role of women in the Pentecostal religious context.

"Effects of Racial Discrimination on High School Performance and College Admission in Brazil." (diss) UMI ProQuest (.pdf)

Abstract Racial discrimination against African-descendants in Brazil is an under analyzed and vastly pervasive problem in different levels of the educational system but most visible specifically in high schools students interactions. Racial discrimination in the school environment can be detrimental to the learning experience and associated with a negative quality of education. In this dissertation I explore the impact of racial discrimination in high school students using the socio-economic questionnaire of the Exame Nacional do Ensino Medio (National Secondary Education Exam - ENEM) between 2004 and 2008. The analysis indicates that students who were not victims of racial discrimination had a more positive quality of education than those who suffered racial discrimination and being a victim of racism can reduce a student's ENEM scores.

Book Chapters:

• Okulicz-Kozaryn, A. and Valente, R.R., "City Life: Glorification, Desire, and the Unconscious Size Fetish," In Ilan Kappor (Ed.) Psychoanalysis and the Global (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, forthcoming 2018)

Encyclopedia Entries:

Congregação Cristã no Brasil, Pentecostalism in Latin America,Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions, New York: Springer, 2018

The Twelve Articles of Faith, Pentecostalism in Latin America, Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions, New York: Springer, 2018

Editorial Work:

• Section Editor, "Pentecostalism in Latin America," Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions, edited by Henri Gooren (New York: Springer References, forthcoming 2019)


Media Coverage

• ``Symposium offers insight to human rights in Latin America,'' at Daily Toreador - Texas Tech, April 11, 2013.

• ``Family of Scholars Finds an Academic Home at UT Dallas,'' at UTD News Center, May 22, 2013.

• Interview to discuss ``Working Hours and Life Satisfaction: A cross-cultural comparison of Latin America and the United States'' at Brian Lehrer TV - Public Intellectual segment aired on CUNY TV, May 7th, 2015:




• ``Not all Pentecostals are growing in Latin America'' at Religion Watch Archives, March 1, 2015

• ``The Valente family has made a family tradition of collecting degrees from UT Dallas'' at UTD Alumni, UT Dallas Commencement 2016.

• ``EPPS students honors top teachers with award'' at UTD News Center, June 13, 2016.

• ``Millennials are happiest in cities'' at CITYLAB, June 29, 2018.

• ``C”mon Get Happy: Study Tracks Generational Joy by Region'' at Professional Builder, June 29, 2018.

• ``Millennials are happiest in big cities, but they’re being priced out'' at Inman News, July 9, 2018.

• ``Millennials viven mas felices en ciudades que en pequenos poblados'' at El Tiempo, July 12, 2018.

• ``Welcome to suburbia: the millennials done with city life- and city prices'' at The Guardian, July 26, 2018.

Teaching

So far, I have had 500 students, and counting!

From the Spring of 2012 to the Spring of 2016, I taught undergraduate courses at the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences at UTDallas, being awarded three Outstanding Teaching Awards.

In the Spring of 2017, I taught for the Program in Latino Studies at Princeton University.

Since the Fall of 2017, I've been teaching Regression and Analysis II, Quantitative Methods for Policy and Practice, and Principles of Survey Research at Baruch College (CUNY).

• PAF 3401 Section PTRA - Quantitative Methods for Policy and Practice (Fall 2018) (NEW! Course Evaluation)

See more This course introduces students to the use of quantitative research methods and tools that are used in the analysis of social science data. A fundamental understanding of these tools is a critical foundation for social science research in many fields. Students will learn how and why professionals use different research methods and data analytic techniques. Where appropriate real world data will be examined to familiarize students with the issues that professionals and researchers address and to explore how research and empirical evidence are used to drive decision-making. Students are introduced to the concepts and skills underlying a systematic approach to conducting research, including basic research terminology, the scientific method, use of theory and models, research ethics, measurement, sampling, hypothesis testing, and the basics of regression analysis.

• PAF 3401 Section FTRA - Quantitative Methods for Policy and Practice (Fall 2018) (NEW! Course Evaluation)

See more This course introduces students to the use of quantitative research methods and tools that are used in the analysis of social science data. A fundamental understanding of these tools is a critical foundation for social science research in many fields. Students will learn how and why professionals use different research methods and data analytic techniques. Where appropriate real world data will be examined to familiarize students with the issues that professionals and researchers address and to explore how research and empirical evidence are used to drive decision-making. Students are introduced to the concepts and skills underlying a systematic approach to conducting research, including basic research terminology, the scientific method, use of theory and models, research ethics, measurement, sampling, hypothesis testing, and the basics of regression analysis.

• PAF 3401 Section URA - Quantitative Methods for Policy and Practice (Spring 2018) (Course Evaluation)

See more This course introduces students to the use of quantitative research methods and tools that are used in the analysis of social science data. A fundamental understanding of these tools is a critical foundation for social science research in many fields. Students will learn how and why professionals use different research methods and data analytic techniques. Where appropriate real world data will be examined to familiarize students with the issues that professionals and researchers address and to explore how research and empirical evidence are used to drive decision-making. Students are introduced to the concepts and skills underlying a systematic approach to conducting research, including basic research terminology, the scientific method, use of theory and models, research ethics, measurement, sampling, hypothesis testing, and the basics of regression analysis.

• PAF 3501 - Principles of Survey Research (Spring 2018)
(Course Evaluation)

See more This course introduces students to the theory and application of survey research methods in data collection. Course material will cover both theoretical and practical issues in survey methods, with a particular focus on primary sources of error in survey research: measurement, sampling, coverage, and response. The course will include hands-on development of a survey instrument and discussion of how to minimize and account for error when conducting a survey. No prior experience in survey methods is expected and the course is designed primarily for those who intend to use surveys in their own research – whether designing original surveys or performing secondary analysis on survey data collected by others. Whenever possible, we will use examples and data from real surveys employed by academic researchers, professional survey firms, and Federal statistical agencies. Course assignments will require students to actively participate in every stage of the survey process, from initial design to final analysis.

• PAF 9172 - Regression and Analysis II (Spring 2018)
(Course Evaluation)

See more This is a graduate level course which builds on the skills of data analysis and statistical inference learned in PAF 9170. This course exposes students to issues central to understanding and applying modern research to public management and policy making. These issues include the use of theory and models, identifying causes, experiments and quasi-experiments, the logic of control variables and the interpretation of multiple regression, measurement concepts and methods, qualitative methods, and sampling. The emphasis is on learning these ideas through practice with many different examples of real-world research and empirical evidence. Ethical, political and other contextual factors will be integrated.

• PAF 9172 - Regression and Analysis II (Fall 2017)
(Syllabus and Course Evaluation)

See more This is a graduate level course which builds on the skills of data analysis and statistical inference learned in PAF 9170. This course exposes students to issues central to understanding and applying modern research to public management and policy making. These issues include the use of theory and models, identifying causes, experiments and quasi-experiments, the logic of control variables and the interpretation of multiple regression, measurement concepts and methods, qualitative methods, and sampling. The emphasis is on learning these ideas through practice with many different examples of real-world research and empirical evidence. Ethical, political and other contextual factors will be integrated.

• PAF 3501 - Principles of Survey Research (Fall 2017)
(Syllabus and Course Evaluation)

See more This course introduces students to the theory and application of survey research methods in data collection. Course material will cover both theoretical and practical issues in survey methods, with a particular focus on primary sources of error in survey research: measurement, sampling, coverage, and response. The course will include hands-on development of a survey instrument and discussion of how to minimize and account for error when conducting a survey. No prior experience in survey methods is expected and the course is designed primarily for those who intend to use surveys in their own research – whether designing original surveys or performing secondary analysis on survey data collected by others. Whenever possible, we will use examples and data from real surveys employed by academic researchers, professional survey firms, and Federal statistical agencies. Course assignments will require students to actively participate in every stage of the survey process, from initial design to final analysis.

• PAF 3401 - Quantitative Methods for Policy and Practice (Fall 2017)
(Syllabus and Course Evaluation)

See more This course introduces students to the use of quantitative research methods and tools that are used in the analysis of social science data. A fundamental understanding of these tools is a critical foundation for social science research in many fields. Students will learn how and why professionals use different research methods and data analytic techniques. Where appropriate real world data will be examined to familiarize students with the issues that professionals and researchers address and to explore how research and empirical evidence are used to drive decision-making. Students are introduced to the concepts and skills underlying a systematic approach to conducting research, including basic research terminology, the scientific method, use of theory and models, research ethics, measurement, sampling, hypothesis testing, and the basics of regression analysis.

• LAO 200 - Latinos in American Life and Culture (Spring 2017)
(Syllabus and Course Evaluation)

See more This course examines how Latinos are transforming the United States socially, culturally and economically even as they evolve as a people. We will discuss Hispanicity as a hybrid ethno-racial identity, debate the issue of and ethical dilemmas posed by undocumented immigration, evaluate the implications of Latinos' unprecedented geographic dispersal, explore what the growing second generation portends for future socio-economic inequality and political influence, and consider cultural imprints through music, literature and theater.

• EPPS 3405 - Introduction to Social Statistics with Lab (Spring 2016)
(Syllabus and Course Evaluation)

See more This course introduces students to the basic tools of statistics and shows how they are used in the analysis of social science data. A fundamental understanding of these tools is a critical foundation for social science research in many fields. The course covers descriptive statistics, inference from samples, hypothesis testing, and the basics of regression analysis. NOTE: This course is required of all social science majors and is a prerequisite for a required course in social science research methods within each discipline.

• IPEC 3349 - World Resources and Development (Fall 2015)
(Syllabus and Course Evaluation)

See more This course provides an introduction to issues in developing countries from an interdisciplinary point of view using the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which form the major current international development agenda, as a steppingstone. Contemporary issues such as disease, hunger, education, and environmental sustainability will be discussed from a development perspective. Concepts such as poverty, famine, trade, justice, debt and gender are introduced and used as critical tools to assess major challenges to development in general, and the MDG agenda in particular. See syllabus for more details.

• EPPS 3405 - Introduction to Social Statistics with Lab (Spring 2015)
(Syllabus and Course Evaluation)

See more This course introduces students to the basic tools of statistics and shows how they are used in the analysis of social science data. A fundamental understanding of these tools is a critical foundation for social science research in many fields. The course covers descriptive statistics, inference from samples, hypothesis testing, and the basics of regression analysis. NOTE: This course is required of all social science majors and is a prerequisite for a required course in social science research methods within each discipline.

• IPEC 3349 - World Resources and Development (Fall 2014)
(Syllabus and Course Evaluation)

See more This course provides an introduction to issues in developing countries from an interdisciplinary point of view using the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which form the major current international development agenda, as a steppingstone. Contemporary issues such as disease, hunger, education, and environmental sustainability will be discussed from a development perspective. Concepts such as poverty, famine, trade, justice, debt and gender are introduced and used as critical tools to assess major challenges to development in general, and the MDG agenda in particular. See syllabus for more details.

• EPPS 3405 - Introduction to Social Statistics with Lab (Spring 2014)
(Syllabus and Course Evaluation)

See more This course introduces students to the basic tools of statistics and shows how they are used in the analysis of social science data. A fundamental understanding of these tools is a critical foundation for social science research in many fields. The course covers descriptive statistics, inference from samples, hypothesis testing, and the basics of regression analysis. NOTE: This course is required of all social science majors and is a prerequisite for a required course in social science research methods within each discipline.

• ISSS 3349 - World Resources and Development (Fall 2013)
(Syllabus and Course Evaluation)

See more This course provides an introduction to issues in developing countries from an interdisciplinary point of view using the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which form the major current international development agenda, as a steppingstone. Contemporary issues such as disease, hunger, education, and environmental sustainability will be discussed from a development perspective. Concepts such as poverty, famine, trade, justice, debt and gender are introduced and used as critical tools to assess major challenges to development in general, and the MDG agenda in particular. See syllabus for more details.

• EPPS 3405 - Introduction to Social Statistics with Lab (Spring 2013)
(Syllabus and Course Evaluation)

See more This course introduces students to the basic tools of statistics and shows how they are used in the analysis of social science data. A fundamental understanding of these tools is a critical foundation for social science research in many fields. The course covers descriptive statistics, inference from samples, hypothesis testing, and the basics of regression analysis. NOTE: This course is required of all social science majors and is a prerequisite for a required course in social science research methods within each discipline.

• ISSS3349 - World Resources and Development (Fall 2012)
(Syllabus and Course Evaluation)

See more This course provides an introduction to issues in developing countries from an interdisciplinary point of view using the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which form the major current international development agenda, as a steppingstone. Contemporary issues such as disease, hunger, education, and environmental sustainability will be discussed from a development perspective. Concepts such as poverty, famine, trade, justice, debt and gender are introduced and used as critical tools to assess major challenges to development in general, and the MDG agenda in particular. See syllabus for more details.

• SOC3336 - Culture Regions Brazil (Spring 2012)
(Syllabus and Course Evaluation)

See more This course is an introduction to Brazilian culture and society. Attention is given to history, geography, cinema, literature, art and issues of race, gender, social inequality, and behavior as they lead toward a fuller understanding of Brazil. This course covers major aspects of Brazilian society. The main texts review significant events and forces that have helped shape Brazil today. A variety of films and videos will be used.




Copyright © 2013-2019 Rubia R. Valente. Last updated on March 8, 2019.