Dr. Ieva Jusionyte is the principal investigator for the Border Rescue Project. She is assistant professor of Anthropology and Social Studies at Harvard University, specializing in Latin America and the U.S.-Mexico border region (faculty page). Her first book, Savage Frontier: Making News and Security on the Argentine Border (University of California Press, 2015) is based on ethnographic fieldwork with local news reporters in the border area between Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, known as the "triple frontera". In 2015, she began research on security infrastructures and emergency services along the Arizona-Sonora border for a project supported by a Senior Research Award from the National Science Foundation and a Post PhD research grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation. She is currently writing her second book, tentatively called "Threshold: Emergency and Rescue on the U.S.-Mexico Border," in which she explores the everyday practices and experiences of first responders under heightened security on both sides of the international boundary. Ieva has also volunteered as a paramedic and a wildland firefighter at the Micanopy Fire Rescue Department in Florida and at the Nogales Suburban Fire District in Arizona.
Victor Alberto Garay is a lieutenant at the Nogales Fire Department (Cuerpo de Bomberos Voluntarios “Gustavo L. Manriquez”) in Sonora, Mexico, and the administrator of Sonora State Fire Chiefs and Firefighters Association (La Asociación de Jefes y Bomberos del Estado de Sonora). He has been a firefighter in Nogales for over twenty-five years and has two brothers who are volunteer firefighters. Victor is also a member of the hazardous materials (HazMat) technicians team.
Tangye Beckham is a paramedic/firefighter who, when this project began, served as the Interim Chief of Arivaca Fire District. She has been in the fire service for over a decade, starting her career as an EMT with the Arivaca Volunteer Fire Department in 2005. She obtained her paramedic certification in 2008 and has primarily worked as a paramedic for the Rio Rico Fire District. Tangye also has experience as a flight medic based in Douglas and Tucson.
Michelle Borbon works with the Border Rescue Project as an undergraduate research assistant. She is a Social Studies concentrator at Harvard University, with a focus on Latin America, corruption, and policy-making. Though Michelle grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, her parents are from rural Sonora, so she has crossed the Nogales border hundreds of times. As a member of the Border Rescue Project, she contributes by researching the history of the Nogales border through images and maps. At Harvard, she is the Advocacy Chair of Latinas Unidas and an active member of the Harvard Debate Council.
Ed Haning works with the Border Rescue Project as a graduate research assistant, and is a Master’s student in the University of Florida’s cultural anthropology program. His research utilizes ethnographic field work within criminal justice agencies, as well as 16 years of experience as a police officer, to study issues related to police culture, policy, practices, and discretion.
Iliana Villegas works with the Border Rescue Project as a graduate research assistant. She is a doctoral student in the cultural anthropology program at the University of Florida. For her dissertation research, Iliana has been conducting ethnographic fieldwork with human rights organizations in Guatemala and in Mexico, examining policies and practices by state and non-governmental agencies that provide humanitarian aid to unaccompanied migrant minors.