As Director of the Center for Mexican American Studies, I am pleased to share our Center’s accomplishments and highlight the work of our staff, faculty and students. It has been an exciting time at CMAS as our signature Academic Achievement Programs [AAP] continue to assist the University of Houston in student recruitment and retention, leadership training, academic advising, and community service. The AAP is recognized as one of the best student programs in the nation having been named a “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education” by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (2015), a finalist in the 2014 Examples of Excelencia in Education” and a recipient of the STAR award by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (2005). Our graduates are bicultural leaders who have successful careers in the public and private sectors who possess a multicultural approach to serving the Houston community.
As we enter our 45th year, CMAS has taken the opportunity to reflect on the changing landscape within which we serve the Houston Hispanic communities. We are working to expand the research component of the Center. To help achieve this we joined the national Latino research consortium, the Inter University Program on Latino Research [IUPLR]. As a member center, CMAS also took the lead to bring the IUPLR to the University of Houston where it will be housed for the next five years beginning in the fall of 2018. Dr. Nicolas Kanellos will serve as the IUPLR Executive Director. Our goal is to work with IUPLR to push the boundaries of scholarship on issues that impact Latino communities.
CMAS has also been instrumental in bringing the nation’s premier Latino art conference to Houston in April 2019 -- Latino Art Now! In partnership with the Smithsonian and the IUPLR, the Latino Art Now! Houston conference will feature local and regional Latino artists and bring artists, curators, collectors and scholars from across the country to Houston.
This could have not occurred without the work of our colleagues, students, and staff, and without the support of our administration. It is their leadership, passion for education, and commitment to providing opportunity and supporting social justice that makes CMAS possible. I am proud to be part of this Center and its tradition to enhance faculty and students’ abilities to examine their world critically, imagine it differently, and engage in efforts to create positive social change.
Pamela Quiroz Ph.D.
Director of the Center for Mexican American Studies
Professor of Sociology