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

The Role of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors in Explaining the Association Between Acculturation and Obesity Among Mexican-American Adults

R Murillo, SS Albrecht, ML Daviglus, KN Kershaw – American Journal of Health …, 2014
… The Role of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors in Explaining the Association
Between Acculturation and Obesity Among Mexican-American Adults … Subjects.
Mexican-American NHANES participants aged !20 years (n ¼ 1902). Measures. …
Link to abstract

Mexican American Vintners Association Enters Retail Scene with Whole Foods Market Partnership

Napa, CA (PRWEB) July 24, 2014
In an effort to educate California wine lovers about the variety and quality of wines made by Mexican-American winemakers in the region, the Mexican American Vintners Association (MAVA) is breaking into retail. During the months of August and September, Whole Foods Market’s Northern California and Reno stores will highlight wines crafted by select MAVA members. Never before has a retailer of any size focused specifically on wines produced by Mexican-American vintners…
Link to article

My Career Veered Off Course On purpose: Melissa’s #LaunchLikeABoss Story

Melissa is part of a classic American immigrant tale.

Her Mexican-American parents raised her with a strong ethic of hard work and community. She prioritized her education to become a first-generation college graduate, and she made it all the way to law school before taking on the kind of corporate desk job her parents always dreamed for her. Melissa was not going to have to work with her hands…
Link to article

Truly Texas Mexican

After traveling through Europe, Latin America and Asia for 23 years, San Antonio native and Culinary Institute of America graduate Chef Adán Medrano was inspired to write a book about his biggest passion: the food of his home city. Medrano says his cookbook, Truly Texas Mexican, incorporates a written history of 10,000-year-old cooking techniques of Native Texas Indians along with traditional recipes, all while providing a fresh perspective on timeless dishes. “The more you know about your food, the more you will enjoy it,” Medrano says. “I call this ‘intellectually delicious.’” On Thursday (June 19), Nao restaurant, in partnership with the Twig Book Shop…
Link to article

Retrospective chart review of obesity and episodic and chronic illness among rural Mexican-American adolescents accessing rural health clinic services

JD Champion, S Pierce, JL Collins – International Journal of Nursing Practice, 2014
… adolescents is essential.[42] A substantial increase in obesity has occurred among men,
Mexican-Americans and those living in southern states.[10] The rapid growth of Mexican-American
populations in … Obesity and Overweight for Professionals: Causes and Consequences
Link to abstract

A Qualitative Study of Family Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors of Mexican-American and Mexican Immigrant Fathers and Mothers

BJ Turner, N Navuluri, P Winkler, S Vale, E Finley – … of the Academy of Nutrition and …, 2014
… Twelve focus groups were held from August 2011 through January 2012 in community settings
in predominantly Mexican-American neighborhoods of … and transcribed verbatim by Area Health
Education Center staff and reviewed for accuracy by a professional transcriptionist as …

Link to abstract

Cilantro: A Natural Water Purifier?

Cilantro — the spicy ingredient common to many fiery Mexican and Southeast Asian foods — may offer a natural, inexpensive new way to purifying drink water, new research shows.

In a presentation at an American Chemical Society meeting Indianapolis this week, scientists from Ivy Tech Community College and the Universidad Politécnica de Francisco I. Madero in Hidalgo said laboratory studies have determined the herb — also known as coriander and Thai parsley — has significant “biosorbent” properties that allow it to effectively remove lead and other potentially toxic heavy metals from contaminated water.
Link to article

Signal Detection Analysis of Factors Associated With Diabetes Among Semirural Mexican American Adults

KD Hanni, DA Ahn, MA Winkleby – Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 2013
… inclusion in this analysis were as follows: (1) self-identification as Mexican American, (2) 18 years
of age or older, (3) reported being diagnosed by a doctor as having diabetes, and … Hypertension,
“Have you ever been told by a doctor, nurse, or other health professional that you …
Link to abstract


EJ Winokur – 2012
AMERICAN MALE ADOLESCENTS by … prepared by Elizabeth J. Winokur entitled Physical Activity,
Body Fat, and Endothelial Function in Mexican American Male Adolescents …
Link to dissertation


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