Sandra Calles, PhD

Dr. Sandra Calles is a psychologist, educator, life coach, mentor and activist. Her passion is to advocate for causes she believes in, teach about mental health topics, and guide others, so they may achieve success in their personal and career endeavors.

She has over 11 years of experience as a mental health professional having worked at various mental health facilities. Most recently she was a therapist at Los Angeles Harbor College at the Life Skills Center. While at Harbor College, she helped many students overcome emotional obstacles so they could transfer to universities and meet their career goals. She devotes her personal and professional life to political causes, and activities that promote mental health, women’s issues, the empowerment of Latinas through education, business ownership, financial literacy and political engagement. Dr. Sandra is a graduate of California State University, Dominguez Hills, earning both a BA in Human Services and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She earned her doctorate from Saybrook University in Psychology, where she developed a treatment modality from her research on survivors of sudden cardiac death. The treatment plan known as PROSPER, is an acronym detailing a healing plan that can be applied to survivors of various traumas and is the underpinning for the work she does with her clients..... Continue Reading

New Mexico: Outstanding Multicultural State – Four Out Of Five Stars

Mural at a popular New Mexico restaurant

Mural at a popular New Mexico restaurant

When I travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico, I marvel at how the Native American, Spanish, and Mexican cultures exist within one state. At least on the surface, there seems to be a great deal of respect for each other’s customs and inclusion of all culture in art and architecture.

The photo below is a good example of the blending and inclusion represented in the Zimmerman Library at the University of New Mexico campus. It shows Pueblo Revival architecture at its finest, with its heavy wood lintels to its striking viga-and-corbel ceilings.

New Mexico - Zimmerman Library at UNM

The photo below is another good example from the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park near Albuquerque. Here we see the entrance to the center showing a corrugated culvert that was probably salvaged from a nearby acequia.

New Mexico - Rio Grande Nature Center State Park

Many years before Spanish settlements, ancestral Puebloan peoples had developed an organized manipulation of water resources as early as 800 A.D.

This skill continued to be developed and by 1400 they had managed to create a gravity-fed irrigation system on the major rivers in New Mexico.

The very word acequia is from early Spanish settlements that inherited an amalgam of irrigation systems from the Roman Empire and the Moors. With the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, this amalgam of Spanish and Indian laws and customs was mixed with existing American law and custom.

Beyond New Mexico’s cultural inclusiveness and diversity, there are still several areas that the state has failed at achieving.

New Mexico’s population is 47.7% Hispanic and 38.9% white (not Hispanic or Latino), but only 23.6% of firms are owned by Hispanics, and 5.3% are owned by American Indians—a very poor showing. According to the National Center for Higher Education, “New Mexico’s personal income has fallen from 83% of the U.S.average in 1960 to 74% in 2000.”

Speaker on Student Quad at UNM

Speaker on the Student Quad at the University of New Mexico

The National Center for Higher Education also concluded: “The education system in New Mexico (from high school to college completion) fails to retain Hispanics and Native Americans at nearly the rate of whites and Asians. These racial/ethnic disparities are also evident in the graduation rates of baccalaureate students…”

In summary, New Mexico is an outstanding example of a multicultural state but has some work to be done in addressing the disparities of their majority and minority ethnic groups.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Photo Collections

Selected photos England and Belgium, 2016


Selected photos Filoli Gardens, Spring 2017, Spain, England, and Belgium

You may purchase any photo from the Photos Collections for $.99 each. Please email with your order request.

“…And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while…”

T.S. Eliot
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Press Release

2015 Annual Report on Mexican American Professionals Now Available

The 2015 Annual Report on Mexican American Professionals is now available on

News from the 2015 American Community Service shows good increases in the numbers of Mexican Americans attending college, achieving educational attainment, and holding jobs in industries including science, management, and business.

• Mexican American college enrollment increased from 18.7% to 18.9% between 2014 and 2015
• Graduate or professional degree attainment among Mexican Americans rose from 2.9% to 3.0%
• The number of Mexican Americans achieving bachelor’s degrees rose from 7.6% to 7.8% in 2015

Despite these numbers, Mexican Americans are still near the bottom of college enrollment and educational attainment by race and ethnicity.

The University of California is proactive in pushing for a greater number of underrepresented minorities. The number Chicano/Latino students attending UOC increased by 2.7% since 2014; this group now makes up 32.3% of admitted university freshmen.

In terms of occupations, the number of Mexican Americans making up part of the management, business, science, and art occupations continues to rise, from 16.6% to 17.5% from 2012 to 2015. Mexican Americans have also seen consistent numbers in the professional, scientific, management, administrative, and waste management services occupations, keeping steady at 10.2% of all jobs in these fields held by Mexican Americans.

These numbers represent continuing gains in higher education and professional jobs for Mexican Americans. For more, visit