Jennifer N. Fish has been named an Eminent Scholar at Old Dominion University, a designation that recognizes the excellence of her scholarship and her service to the university.

Fish is a distinguished social scientist with a research focus on migration, women’s labor, and human rights. As a professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, photographer, and Fulbright Scholar, her ethnographic research has laid the groundwork for five books, four documentary films, and numerous publications.

For 24 years, Fish has been a dedicated advocate for migrant domestic workers’ rights globally, with extensive contributions to social justice initiatives at the grassroots, national, and global levels. She led policy change research at the United Nations International Labor Organization in Geneva to support the development of the first set of protections for domestic workers worldwide.

Her award-winning book, “Domestic Workers of the World Unite!: A Global Movement for Dignity and Human Rights,” shows her commitment to advancing human rights and dignity for all. Her research has been used by international organizations, national governments, labor unions, and universities throughout the world. 

Fish learned of her Eminent Scholar appointment through a March 13 letter from Augustine Agho, ODU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“Please accept my sincere congratulations and thanks for the many valuable contributions that you have made so far to Old Dominion University,” Agho wrote. “On behalf of the ODU faculty, and especially the College of Arts and Letters and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, I can attest that we are all proud to have you as a colleague. We are confident that your contributions will continue to benefit the university community for many years to come.”

Fish said the award reminded her of the value of scholarship that pushes for “a better collective existence.”

“I’m deeply grateful to so many mentors and human rights leaders around the world, who taught me the meaning of scholarship for social change,” she wrote in an email. “My hope is to expand my capacity to give back, in communities and classrooms across the world.”