Professor McKanders joined the faculty as an Associate Professor in 2008. She came to Tennessee from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she served was a Reuschlein Clinical Teaching Fellow in the Clinic for Refugee Asylum and Emigrant Services ("CARES"), a law student clinical course where students handled asylum cases before immigration judges, asylum officers and the Board of Immigration Appeals. The students engaged in bi-weekly seminar on substantive and procedural asylum law geared towards improving their written and oral advocacy skills. Prior to joining Villanova, she clerked for the Honorable Damon J. Keith of the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2003, she also was an Associate with a law firm in Michigan specializing labor and employment law.
Her research focuses on civil rights, immigration and asylum law and policy. Among her writings she has explored the constitutionality of recent state and local laws targeting immigrants as well as the legal connections between past discriminatory laws and current anti-immigrant legislation. She has also co-authored with other immigration professors an extensive report on proposed reforms to the immigration system (link to SALT WEBSITE).
Professor McKanders is currently a Fellow at the University of Tennessee's Center for the Study of Social Justice in the Migration and Refugee Studies group.