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

Food & Nutrition

Eating Together, Separately: Intergroup Communication and Food in a Multiethnic Community

A Wenzel – International Journal of Communication, 2016
… feeling ‘other.’ And you feel like your neighborhood is being invaded by people who are other
‘other’—and they seem to be the ones that everybody’s interested in.” He said he’s seen similar
divisions before, such as between African Americans and Mexican immigrants in …
Link to study

The Perceptions, Knowledge , Benefits and Barriers of Hispanics Regarding the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

LDA Gamboa – 2015
… 2005). However, the San Antonio Heart Study contradicted this paradox, showing
that Mexican- Americans indeed had a higher risk of cardiovascular and coronary
diseases than did non-Hispanic Whites (Hunt et al., 2003). …
Link to thesis

Patterns of Variation in Botanical Supplement Use among Hispanics and Latinos in the United States

KR Faurot, AC Filipelli, C Poole, PM Gardiner – Epidemiol, 2015
… Volume 5 • Issue 3 • 1000195 Epidemiol ISSN: 2161-1165 Epidemiol, an open access journal
US-Mexican border, botanical use may be less common because it is less available. … Loera, 2001,
J Gerontology [22] National cohort study (EPESE), probability, Older Mexican Am. …
Link to abstract

Interactive effects of acculturation and pro-inflammatory factors on C-reactive protein among childbearing age Mexican-American women in the United States

Maternal pro-inflammatory states have been linked with increased risk of diabetes and obesity in offspring. Childbearing-age Mexican-American women (CAMAW) have the highest fertility rates and one of the highest levels of inflammation in the United States. A significant proportion migrates to the U.S. during early reproductive years. How acculturation interacts with various pro-inflammatory risk factors to influence inflammation risk in this population has not been examined…
Link to abstract

Parental Feeding Practices and Child Weight status in Mexican American Families: a longitudinal analysis s

JM Tschann, SM Martinez, C Penilla, SE Gregorich… – International Journal of …, 2015
… Procedure We recruited families to participate in a 24-month longitudinal cohort study to
understand parental influences on obesity in Mexican American children. … Occupational status
could range from unskilled (=1) to major professional (=9) [48]. …
Link to article

The Chinese-Mexican Cuisine Born Of U.S. Prejudice

If you ask people in the city of Mexicali, Mexico, about their most notable regional cuisine, they won’t say street tacos or mole. They’ll say Chinese food. There are as many as 200 Chinese restaurants in the city.
North of the border, in California’s rural Imperial County, the population is mostly Latino, but Chinese restaurants are packed. There are dishes in this region you won’t find anywhere else, and the history behind them goes back more than 130 years…
Link to article

How Mexicans Became Americans

SOUTH GATE, Calif. — A FEW weeks ago, the City Council in this suburb southeast of Los Angeles appointed a Mexican immigrant to its advisory council. Jesus Miranda is from Michoacán and owns a taco restaurant here. He’ll advise the council on housing development and other issues.
Mr. Miranda’s appointment is hardly national news. But small moments like these are signs of a historic change of heart toward America and civic engagement among Mexican immigrants, many of whom, like Mr. Miranda…
Link to article

Chef Ray Garcia’s Broken Spanish Will Speak L.A.’s Mother Tongue: Mexican Cuisine –

The former Fig chef joins the city’s Alta California stars in the cocina as he takes over the former Rivera space
January 15, 2015 Bill Esparza Chefs and Restaurateurs, Dining
When Broken Spanish opens in the former Rivera space, chef Ray Garcia will boldly join the ranks of what I’ve been calling Alta California cuisine, a style of cooking from a group of Los Angeles-born pocho (Mexican-American) chefs rooted in the Latin cuisines of their youth, fine-dining experience in our California-cuisine kitchens, and the use of our abundant and diverse local products from L.A. farmers’ markets. Garcia is one of the most respected chefs in Los Angeles, known for his European-inspired cooking. But you could catch him at events where he’d prepare things like whole pig-head carnitas, and Garcia also had tacos and Mexican comfort dishes on the brunch menu at Fig, where he previously served as executive chef…
Link to article

Mexican Chef Serves Up An Authoritative Guide To Her Country’s Cuisine

If you want to give your taste buds a gustatory tour of Mexico, then Margarita Carrillo is ready to be your guide.
The Mexican chef and food activist has spent years gathering hundreds of recipes from every region of the country for Mexico: The Cookbook, her new, encyclopedic take on her country’s cuisine.
With over 700 pages and 600 recipes, the book, at first glance, can be daunting. But most of the recipes are just a paragraph long, with prep and cook times under 20 minutes. That emphasis on simplicity was a deliberate choice: Carrillo wrote her book in hopes of encouraging American home cooks to explore Mexico’s vast and varied, “labyrinthine” culinary bounty.
“Cook the simpler dishes first,” she encourages readers in her introduction, “and then challenge yourself with the more elaborate ones.”…
Link to article


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