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.
Dr. Sandra is the first and only woman in her family to earn a doctoral degree. She completed this degree while working full-time in her first career as an administrator, and rearing her family of three children. She is the proud mother of three college graduates, who are all on the path to becoming educators.
Professional Affiliations & Awards include: Founder of Latina Leadership Network Student Chapter at Los Angeles Harbor College, member of American Psychological Association, Association of Humanistic Psychology, California Psychological Association, Outstanding Achievement Award in Human Services-Undergraduate Departmental Honors, awarded Honorable Mention at the Dissertation with Distinction presentation at Saybrook University. Winner of the Suzanne Rosenblat Scholarship for graduate students pursuing careers in Psychology. Member of National Latina Business Women’s Association-LA, and winner of the Business Management Academy Business Plan Writing Scholarship. Member of Alliance of Multicultural Entrepreneurs, on the Board of Directors, for the Financially Fit Foundation, on the Board of Directors, for Latinas Public Service Academy and an Advisor to the Board for National Women’s Political Caucus, LA Metro.
Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa (also known as “Dr. Q”) is a neurosurgeon, author, and researcher. Currently, he is the “William J. and Charles H. Mayo Professor” and Chair of Neurologic Surgery and runs a basic science research lab at the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville in Florida. In recognition of his work, Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa has received many awards and honors, including being named as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the U.S. by Hispanic Business Journal in 2008; as 2014 Neurosurgeon of the Year by Voices Against Brain Cancer, where he was also recognized with the Gary Lichtenstein Humanitarian Award; and by the 2015 Forbes magazine as one of Mexico’s most brilliant minds in the world…
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We’re all familiar with prominent Latinos who have broken barriers to become national and international household names – from Rita Moreno and Gloria Estefan to JLo and Pitbull. Or think Sonia Sotomayor or Pulitzer prize-winner Junot Díaz.
Here’s a small list of Latinos who are breaking barriers in their professions and leaving their mark as they shake things up. They range from ranging from multi-millionaire techies to VJs and Vine stars. They’re in different stages of their trajectories, and they’re all fascinating…
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FULL NAME: Mario José Molina
OCCUPATION: Chemist, Scientist
BIRTH DATE: March 19, 1943 (age 72)
EDUCATION: University of California, Irvine, University of California, Berkeley
PLACE OF BIRTH: Mexico City, Mexico
ZODIAC SIGN: Pisces
Mexican-born chemist Mario Molina won a Nobel Prize in 1995 for his research on how man-made compounds affect the ozone layer.
Born in Mexico City in 1943, chemist Mario Molina studied in Mexico and Germany before coming to the United States to study the effects of man-made compounds on the ozone layer. He won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1995.
Physical chemist Mario Molina was born on March 19, 1943, in Mexico City, Mexico. Interested in science at an early age, he created his own chemistry lab in a bathroom at his home. After completing his studies in Mexico and Germany, he moved to the United States in 1968 to obtain an advanced degree in physical chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. While at Berkeley, he met Luisa Tan who later became his wife.
He graduated in 1972 and went to the University of California, Irvine in 1973 to continue his research. Molina later went work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the 1980s. In 1989, he joined the faculty at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He left MIT and returned to California in 2004 to teach at the University of California, San Diego.
Nobel Prize-Winning Work
Molina is best known for his study on the effect on Earth’s upper atmosphere of man-made compounds. He noted that some compounds, such as chlorofluorocarbons, were having an adverse effect on the ozone layer. Molina shared the 1995 Nobel Prize for Chemistry in recognition of this work.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz Wins 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
By Lisa Y. Garibay
UTEP News Service
Chairman of the Department of Creative Writing Benjamin Alire Sáenz has been selected as the winner of the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, America’s largest peer juried prize for fiction. He won the prize for his collection of short stories titled Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club, published by El Paso company Cinco Puntos Press, making it a double honor for the city of El Paso.
“The people of the border have given me my voice. All I have ever done is return those words back to the people who taught me to speak,” Sáenz said. “This award does not belong to me — it belongs to us. This border is my heart and I believe it is the heart of this nation. And I also believe that Juárez is the heart of Mexico,” Sáenz said.
Taking its title from a storied Juárez club just over the U.S.-Mexico border, Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club offers seven different stories examining the lives of people in the El Paso-Juárez border region. The press release about the award describes them as struggling “with the impossible ambiguities of borders, whether they be sexual, emotional, national or economic.
“Ben Sáenz’s work is well-deserving of this award,” said UTEP College of Liberal Arts Dean Patricia Witherspoon, Ph.D. “He is a consummate storyteller who writes with strength and yet tenderness, who shares his space and time with his reader and always brings us willingly on the journeys he takes. He is one of the few writers who can speak eloquently to adults, young adults and children. And what a wonderful person to have among us as a colleague.”
“He’s one of the most prolific writers I have ever met, sometimes producing two books in one year, like he did this year,” said Saenz’s colleague Associate Professor of Creative Writing Daniel Chacon. “Both of those books have gone on to win amazing prizes and to get positive critical attention.”
In speaking about his experience as co-host of KTEP-FM’s (88.5) “Words on a Wire” radio program with Sáenz, Chacon said, “We have the chance to talk to some of the greatest writers in the country, and together we are able to extract a lot of valuable information and advice from these writers, but the ironic thing is that Ben himself is one of the country’s most distinguished writers.”
Judge A.J. Verdelle praised Saenz’s mastery of language.
“In Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club, his 20th published book, Benjamin Alire Sáenz shows how decades working at your craft gives birth to might and mastery … He presents a rendering of reality that is lush, tender, expansive, inclusive and profound. The author takes stunning care with language — English, Spanish, and the languages of sunlight, daylight, dimlight, night light — twisting and tumbling with the whispered language of the human heart. Sáenz also devotes impressive attention to rendering communities on the borders of the United States and Mexico, on the boundaries of sensual and sexual expression, on the edge of despair, and on the cusp of redemption.”
In addition to teaching at UTEP, Sáenz is a poet, fiction writer and essayist who has been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and PEN Center’s award for young adult fiction. He was recently awarded the American Library Association’s Pura Belpré Award and the Stonewall Book Award for his young adult novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. The book also was recognized as a 2013 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature Honor Book.
As winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, Sáenz receives $15,000. He will be honored during the 33rd annual PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., on May 4. Previous winners include E.L. Doctorow, Ann Patchett, Philip Roth, John Updike, Sherman Alexie, and Annie Proulx.
“He’s, quite frankly, a brilliant writer, and as a friend and as a colleague he has been incredibly supportive,” Chacon recalled. “When I started off here as a new writer, he was very encouraging, and I learned a lot. His passion for El Paso is unsurpassed by any other writer.
“In many ways, my latest book was improved because of his advice,” Chacon continued. “He once told me, ‘If it doesn’t hurt, it’s not worth much.’ He writes with unapologetic passion, and when he writes it hurts, but he produces some of the most beautiful prose in the country, which is obvious in winning this incredibly prestigious fiction prize.”
Pat Mora was born in El Paso, Texas, on January 19, 1942. A descendant of four grandparents who came to Texas from Mexico during the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and the early twentieth century, Mora’s bilingual and bicultural experiences inform her literary contributions.
Pat is a writer and cultural preservationist who seeks to document the lives of Mexican Americans and U.S. Latinas and Latinos through varying genres such as children’s books, poetry, and nonfiction. In her writing, Mora adopts the terrain and life of the Chihuahua desert and recognizes the human and cultural diversity of the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Mora is a popular national speaker shaped by the US/Mexico border where she was born and spent much of her life.
Please visit her website at: http://www.patmora.com/
David M. Ramirez, since 2010, is of Counsel with the Sacramento bankruptcy law firm of Anthony Hughes, LLC. He earned his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Jurisprudence degrees at Stanford University. He has had two successful careers. His current work builds on his first career as a dedicated legal professional with more than twenty years of legal experience, including more than 30 jury trials, over 100 bench trials, as well as significant appellate experience and administrative law experience [Published opinion in De La Cuesta vs. Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Assoc, (1981) 121 Cal. App. 3d 328 (175 Cal.Rptr. 467)]. He has litigated more than 20 administrative proceedings, including professional licensee hearings, one of which lasted more than 40 court days. He is highly skilled at dealing with diverse client and witness populations. As a team member, he is willing to go the extra mile to accomplish the mission set for the team. When in a leadership role, his leadership style is to take care of the team while the team takes care of the mission.
Prior to joining the Hughes firm, David M. Ramirez also had an encore career in educational management. He recently retired from the California educational system after having served as a teacher and administrator in some of the nations toughest inner city schools, Oakland Military Institute, and Calvin Simmons Middle School. He has contributed to the Mexican American Community by his work on the admissions committee for Oakland Military Institute where he promoted the admission of many Mexican American cadets and by his service as Vice Principal at Calvin Simmons Middle School, which was the only Oakland Middle school in 2005 which had a majority Mexican American student population. He earned the Association of California School Administrators [ACSA] El Dorado Charter ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR for 2008-2009 ACSA and the El Dorado Charter DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD for 2008-2009.
He also served in California State Military Reserve of the California National Guard, Major, as a Staff Judge Advocate, assigned to 100 the Combat Command Support Group, in 2006-2008, and as infantry officer, California Cadet Corp 2002-04.
David M. Ramirez is the author of “Guerrilla Speech Tactics” available on Amazon.com and has dedicated half of all book proceeds to the Wounded Warriors Project.
… The diversity issue is often addressed during faculty development lectures to educate and sensitize
campus professionals. … Brooks/Mexican American Mountaineer 43 to engender a broader sense
of multiculturalism when teaching or researching topics for their classes. …
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Mexican Americans professionals come from every place in the spectrum of what we may consider “new arrivals to our country” to professionals who are descendants from many generations of Mexican Americans living in the United States.
I want to introduce you to two professionals who meet these criteria. Flor, on the one hand is a first generation Mexican American professional who has lived her early life in Mexico and has decided to move to the United States. On the other side we have Dan whose’ family has lived in the United States for many generations.
Here are their stories.
Name: Flor Elena Garcia-Urias
I live in El Paso, TX. and currently working full time at an adult learning center for 8 years. I teach English as a Second Language, conversation, reading, and transition to college classes. I also work part time at El Paso Community College. I’ve worked here for 6 years and teach a Curriculum Development class to rural Central American and Caribbean teachers. Working as an educator is my passion and I cannot see myself doing something different. I believe that one person can make a difference to change the world, and I chose teaching adults.
What motivated you to follow your particular career path? Family, friends, vocational tests, other?
A cousin inspired me to become a Special Education teacher, therefore I got my degree in elementary education specialized in Special Ed. There, I met Dr. Elva Durand, a professor, whom I worked with on a few projects; she is a very strong advocate for minorities such as ELL’s and Special Ed. Kids. I worked in my career for a while, but decided to become a full time mom to raise my children although I was always involved in some kind of activity related to education. Before I knew it, my children grew and started to leave for college; it was time to go continue my career. It was a big eye opener since I realized everything had changed; I had to go back to school and got my Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and specialized in ESL. Although it was hard to work, go to school and take care of teenagers, I enjoyed this time immensely and met new friends; committed and revolutionary professors and classmates.
What part of you-if any-do you consider Mexican American? Has this been a positive or negative influence on your career path?
I grew up in Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua and came to live to the US in my late teens to start college. Nowadays, I consider myself a human being that is part of the world. After knowing people from different cultures and backgrounds, I don’t think I can say I consider myself one or the other. I feel fortunate because I know Mexicans, Anglo-Americans, Native Americans, Chicanos, Mexican Americans, Hispanics from different countries, and a few from other continents; they all have influenced me, transformed me, and educated me in many ways. However, my foundation, my principles, and many of my customs are Mexican.
Name: Dan Herrera
In addition to working as an artist, I’ve been teaching as an Adjunct Professor for the past 6 years. I teach various design software, and photography at American River College, and at The Art Institute of California, Sacramento.
What motivated you to follow your particular career path? Family, friends, vocational tests, other?
I’ve always enjoyed photography and graphic design. My family has always been very supportive. After graduating with my BFA from San Jose State University, I spent a year or so freelancing and working on a loading dock to make ends meet. Eventually I landed a Full-time position as an in-house designer. Continue reading