The College of Social Sciences offers a broad and exciting range of majors, minors and certificates that prepare students to take their place in a rapidly changing world.
This semester, the College welcomes seven new faculty members that contribute to the continued success of four of our departments: Criminology, Women’s Studies, Africana Studies and Chicano and Latin American Studies.
To better introduce these new faces to the rest of the College, we caught up with our new faculty members for Q&As, which we will be sharing with you in the coming weeks.
Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies
Teaching Areas: Multicultural and Global Education, Ethnic Studies, Latina/o Chicano Studies
Research Areas: Immigrant Education, Race and Ethnicity in the U.S., Latino Studies
Question: What are you most looking forward to here at Fresno State?
Answer: The opportunity to work alongside distinguished colleagues and to work with a student body population that won me over during my campus visit. The student body here has a reputation of being diverse, engaged and hard working. I wanted to be part of an institution that truly believes in excellence through inclusion and Fresno State is showing me just that.
Q: How did you become involved in your specialty area?
A: My family and I are immigrants; we lived in Mexico, then moved to the United States. I grew up on the U.S.-Mexico border (El Paso, Texas). Growing up, issues of immigration were everywhere for me (language, assimilation, integration, bilingualism) but I did not realize how much those issues shaped me until much later in life. As an undergraduate, I worked as an adult ESL teacher while pursuing a major in Spanish and translation studies. My love for language and cultures turned into an opportunity to teach overseas. That overseas experience humbled me greatly because I gained an appreciation of what it is like to immigrate as an adult. Upon returning to the U.S., I worked for a nonprofit organization supporting immigrant rights. When I began my graduate school, I focused on the issues that I was passionate about and here I am with you all today.
Q: What will your distinctive background do to elevate the Chicano and Latin American Studies Department offerings here at Fresno State?
A: I am well-versed in immigration policies, multicultural pedagogical approaches and Latino studies. That combination of specializations allows me to incorporate the legislative, social and historical elements of any issue in a way that is engaging and meaningful to students. In my classes, students do not memorize, they analyze. I end almost every class by asking them what is the “so what” of this topic, meaning how did it come to be and how does it relate to their life.
Q: When are your office hours?
A: Mondays and Wednesdays in Social Science 227.
Q: What’s a fun fact that people might not know about you?
A: Some people find it interesting that I speak Russian. My Russian neighbor seemed amused by it, at least.