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


UC is making slow but steady progress in diversifying the racial/ethnic makeup of its graduate academic students

Enrollment of underrepresented race/ethnic groups (African American, American Indian and Chicano/Latino) in UC’s graduate academic programs has grown over the past decade. In 2012–13, UC awarded academic doctoral degrees to underrepresented racial/ethnic groups at greater percentage rates than did its peers…

UC-Irvine brings intentionality to its designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution

The University of California, Irvine is among the latest to earn the “Hispanic-Serving Institution” designation, joining a fast-growing group of U.S. higher education institutions that educate a student body that is at least 25% Hispanic.
And while many colleges and universities become HSIs by accident — simply by virtue of changing demographics — UC-Irvine’s goal of becoming an HSI has been a clear part of its strategic plan. The number of Latino students on UCI’s campus has more than doubled in the last decade, thanks to targeted recruitment efforts and pipeline building…
Link to article

Funding awarded for new Latino Center of Excellence

UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare has won a five-year $3.4 million grant to fund recruitment, scholarship and research efforts in the school’s new Latino Center of Excellence.
Awarded by the federal Health Resources & Services Administration, the grant will support efforts to boost Latino youth interest in behavioral and mental health and encourage them to pursue undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in social welfare…
Link to article

UC San Diego is failing in equity and diversity

I recently retired from my position as a student affairs administrator and education studies lecturer after 28 years of service at UCSD. In 1991, along with UCSD alumni, faculty, students and staff, I helped found the UCSD Chicano/Latino Concilio to advocate for the access and success of Chicanos at the elite La Jolla campus. Creating an external organization was necessary as virtually no Chicano voices existed among the UCSD administration or academic senate to increase institutional diversity and equity…
Link to article

The Chicano Studies Program at the University of Texas at El Paso has recently launched a new online Bachelor of Arts in Chicano Studies option enabling students across the United States and around the globe to have access to one of the oldest and most respected Chicano Studies programs in the nation.In 1971, UTEP became the first university in Texas to introduce a Chicano Studies program…Link to article

The California Promise Program

If you are an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) student and a California resident entering SF State University in Fall 2017, you are invited to participate in the California Promise Program
If you are committed to graduating in 2 years, the CA Promise program can help you make that goal a reality. We encourage you to join the CA Promise Program and earn your degree in two years!
Benefits of SF State’s CA Promise Program
After Pledging to the program in your first semester, you will receive:
Priority registration every subsequent semester so that you can enroll in the courses you need to complete your degree program in two years (maximum of 60 units);
Guaranteed course availability with personalized academic plan;
Specialized advising each semester to ensure students stay on track…
Link to article

Erasing Borders: The Mexican-American Connecting Students and Mentors

As a young student, I’d wake up around 4 a.m. in Tijuana, Mexico, hustle into the car with my mom and two sisters and spend up to three hours waiting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. We lived only 15 minutes from the border, but it was a process. Since we were born in San Diego, we could attend a private elementary and middle school in the U.S., which my parents believed would provide more economic opportunity later in life. My dad, who works for the Mexican government, stayed local. My mom is a manager of a health center in San Diego. For her, our school was just a stop on her way to work…
Link to article

Literary Dynamo

Author of more than 200 publications, books, essays, articles, reviews and short stories, UC Santa Barbara professor Sara Poot-Herrera is known for “always working” — organizing conferences or speaking events on Mexican and Spanish American literature, as well as writing, editing and teaching.
“According to my friends, I don’t sleep,” Poot-Herrera joked. Initially “torn” about missing her apartment and friends in Mexico, she sustains her cultural ties by inviting Mexican writers to speak to her students at UCSB, such as Elmar Mendoza, a key figure in the genre known as narcoliterature — crime fiction. The students, she noted, “were captivated.”…
Link to article

Rise In Latino, Black High School Grad Rates Boosts National Numbers

National graduation rates reached a record high of 81.4 percent in 2013, in part due to the increase of graduation rates among minority and low-income students.
Over the last decade, 1.8 million additional students have graduated from high school, according to a report released by America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, Everyone Graduates Center, and the Alliance for Excellent Education.
GradNation, a campaign by America’s Promise Alliance, was launched in 2010 to focus individuals, organizations and communities on decreasing dropout rates. They adopted a goal of raising the national average on-time high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020…
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