Erin Biel

Deciding to pursue Ethnicity, Race, & Migration has been integral to my academic experience at Yale.I decided to pair the ER&M major with Global Affairs, a selective international studies major that admits approximately 50 students per year.I have greatly benefited from the multidisciplinary approach that such a curriculum has provided. While I focused on international security and diplomacy in the Global Affairs major, I chose to focus on the areas of cultural anthropology and ethnography in my ER&M classes,  providing a nice balance of the macro and micro approaches to understanding the world and its rich diversity. 

What I have most valued about the ER&M major are undoubtedly the students and faculty associated with the program. ER&M students have such varied areas of focus, but rather than making the major too disparate, this diversity adds additional flavor to the classes and naturally enhances the learning environment.  Meanwhile, the ER&M faculty are some of the most accessible, passionate, and personable individuals you can find at Yale. The ER&M program is modeled much like a family, and I am going to miss the program a great deal once I graduate!


Erin Biel, ES ’13, is an Ethnicity, Race & Migration and Global Affairs double major. Erin has primarily focused on forced migration and refugee issues, working with the Yale Law School’s Iraqi Refugee Assistance project both in New Haven and in Cairo, Egypt, where she studied abroad.  She wrote her senior thesis juxtaposing the Shan ethno-nationalist movement with the contemporaneous Burmese nationalist movement in Myanmar from the 1920s-1970s.  She will be working in Thailand with Burmese migrants after graduation in May 2013 through one of Yale’s Charles P. Howland Fellowships for public service.