Refugio I. Rochin

Refugio I. Rochin

Ph.D., 1971. Michigan State University
MA., 1969. Michigan State University
MS., 1967. University of Arizona
BA., 1966. University of California, Berkeley

Former Professor and Director, Julian Samora Research Institute

Agriculture, Food, and Resource Economics
Michigan State University

AEC/AFRE Faculty, 1994 to 1998


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Dr. Refugio (Will) Rochin was a former Professor of Sociology, and Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University from July of 1994 through July 1998.  He was also the first Permanent Director of the Julian Samora Research Institute (JSRI) at MSU and was also a Principal Investigator and administrator for the Midwest Consortium for Latino Studies.  Professor Rochin is also Professor Emeritus of Chicana/o Studies and Agricultural Economics at the University of California, Davis, and retired Director of Research and Evaluation, Educational Partnership Center at U.C. Santa Cruz.

While at MSU he augmented JSRI’s publications from 8 in 1994 to over 120 in 1998; posting all publications online for free downloads before the advance of Google.  JSRI generated thousands of downloads each month, rating JSRI as the number one source of Latino scholarship. During his tenure JSRI produced 5 regional conferences, 4 books and led the way for MSU’s first program in Latino Studies.  Over Professor Rochin’s career he advanced to Full Professor in three disciplines: Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Chicano - Latino Studies at U.C. Davis, Michigan State University, and The University of Notre Dame.  In his career work he has co-developed new academic programs and curriculum, including the MS degree programs in Community Development and International Agricultural Development (at UC Davis), the BA degree program in Chicana/o Studies (at UC Davis); and drafted plans for Latino Studies at Michigan State University and the University of Notre Dame.

At the beginning of his professional career, he was a member of Dr. Norman Borlaug’s (Nobel Laureate) Green Revolution team in Asia, where he generated research on the diffusion and adoption of high-yielding varieties of wheat, rice, potatoes and corn, primarily among small farmers in Pakistan and Bangladesh.  His research was based on field studies and interviews with small farmers.  He published key reports on the primary and secondary impacts of new seed technology in Asia.

Professor Rochin is a native of Carlsbad California, born in a barrio and raised by hard—working, Spanish-speaking parents.  His professional aim has been to enhance the effectiveness of programs and policies that improve education, socio-economic conditions, health and environment, and community well-being.  To achieve these goals he has engaged in community service, research and evaluation, networking, and training through various government and charitable organizations.  He has worked closely with both public and private sectors to strengthen their effectiveness in multicultural settings.  He actively mentors to foster professional careers and academic leaders.  His publications number over a hundred articles in professional journals, government reports and monographs on topics ranging from the shifting demographics in the U.S. and economic contributions of undocumented workers to public programs and rural reform policies to education and employment opportunities for immigrants from Central America.

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