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

General M-A Professional News

Autentico: The Definitive Guide to Latino Career Success

R Rodriguez, AT Tapia – 2017
… When Judith Turnock and I wrote Cracking the Corporate Code we were aware that although
the book was about the success of the thirty-two African-Americans we cited, interest in the book
would go far beyond that group. … FRIDA KAHLO, Mexican painter W hy of whom this …
Link to book preview

Mexican American Proarchive: Annual Report on Mexican American Professionals

News from the census American Community Survey is generally good for the 2015 year. Mexican American college enrollment was up from 18.7% to 18.9% in the 2014 and 2015 years. Graduate or professional degree attainment was also up from 2.9% to 3.0%. The number of bachelor’s degrees granted to Mexican American students rose from 7.6% in 2014 to 7.8% in 2015.

2012-2015 College Enrollment

2012-2015 Educational Attainment

In spite of these gains, Mexican Americans still remain at the bottom of the ladder when it comes to earning a bachelor’s degree. Even after broadening the group to Latinos or Hispanics, this group still lags behind. According to the Pew Hispanic Center: “As of 2014, among Hispanics ages 25 to 29, just 15% of Hispanics have a bachelor’s degree or higher. By comparison, among the same age group, about 41% of whites have a bachelor’s degree or higher (as do 22% of blacks and 63% of Asians).” Pew reports that the main reasons for this low graduation rate is that Hispanics are less likely “to enroll in a four-year college, attend an academically selective college and enroll full-time.”

College Enrollment by Race and Ethnicity

Also in the good news column, the University of California will continue to push for a greater number of underrepresented minorities; namely, Chicano/Latino students whose resident freshmen numbers rose from 2.7% to 32.3% of admitted California freshmen. In other good news, the proportion of Chicano/Latino students transferring from community colleges increased to 29.3% from 26.8% for 2015.

University of California 2015 and prior

Occupations, including those in management, business, science, and art, fared better for Mexican Americans. The number of Mexican Americans filling these occupations rose from 17.4% in 2014 to 17.5% in 2015.

2012-2015 Occupations

The total number of Hispanics filling these occupations was 16.1% in 2015, a bit lower than Mexican Americans specifically.

Hispanic or Latino Employment by Industry

The report shows that industrial employment for Mexican Americans remained the same for 2014 and 2015 at 10.2%.

2012-2015 Industry

The figures for Hispanic or Latino employment for 2015 and 2016 show a healthy increase.

According to the Pew Hispanic center, “Construction, professional and business services, health services, financial services and food services…showed healthy gains.” Most of the jobs gained by native-born Hispanic workers were in manufacturing, mostly durable goods (82,000 Hispanic workers in this industry), followed by wholesale and retail trade (79,000), publishing, broadcasting, communication and information services (55,000), and construction (54,000).

Foreign-born Hispanics had the most job gains in construction (417,000), followed by business and professional services (179,000). Together, those two industries accounted for almost three-quarters (74%) of all jobs gained by foreign-born Latinos between 2005 and 2006.

The business and professional services sector, which ranges from management and technical services to janitorial, landscaping, and waste management services, is also a key employer for non-Hispanic workers. Of the total increase in employment in 2005-06, non-Hispanic workers accounted for 410,000 employees in the industry, native-born workers 327,000, and foreign-born workers 83,000.

Gains In Employment for Native and Foreign-born Workers


  • Census Bureau, Selected Population Profile in the United States: 2015
  • Pew Research Center
  • University of California
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics

5 Reasons Brands Should Use Facebook Instant Articles To Engage With U.S. Hispanics

Last month, Facebook announced that on April 12, they will be “opening up the Instant Articles program to all publishers—of any size, anywhere in the world.” Yes, this means that brands can now leverage Facebook Instant Articles to engage with consumers.
Facebook created Instant Articles to optimize the experience for users who click from Facebook to a third-party publisher’s website on their mobile devices. For brands, Instant Articles not only optimize page load times, but can be leveraged to create more immersive experiences that are integrated with the all-important Facebook news feed…
Link to article

5 Latinos Forging New Ground and Breaking Barriers

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…
Link to article

Job Opportunities for Latinos — Marketing Specialist

Information is the key to success these days especially in business. Most companies, entrepreneurs and organization are even willing to spend millions just to gather important details they can use to know more and understand their customers. That’s why jobs that are inclined to its niche, like Market Specialists, have a projected demand increase of about 41 percent from 2010 to 2020…
Link to article

From the Delano Grape Strike to the Mexican American Vintners Association

By Humberto Gutierrez

MAVA - Mexican American Vintners Association

There have been several longitudinal studies on Mexican American mobility showing that although the monetary movement of Mexican Americans is not quite as rapid as that of whites, there is still a steady accumulation of wealth across generations.

This mobility is evidenced by the progress made by Mexican American professionals. As evidence of this success, we have witnessed the birth of several prominent professional associations. Most notable are:

  • MAES, Latinos in Science and Engineering
  • AMAE, Association of Mexican American Educators
  • MABA, Mexican American Bar Association
  • SACNAS, Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science
  • MAHPA, Mexican American Hispanic Physicians Association
  • MABPA, Mexican American Business and Professional Association
  • MALFA, Mexican American Latino Faculty Association
  • MAVA, Mexican American Vintners Association

The latest American Community Survey shows year-to-year progress, or lack of it, on the survey’s annual census.

Prominent among this year is the continued progress of Mexican American college enrollment, which has jumped from 18.1% in 2013 to 18.7% in 2014. Unfortunately, graduate or professional degrees remain low with a small gain. For 2013, the graduate or professional degree was 11.2% and for 2014 this percentage climbed to 11.4% for the total population, while for 2013 it was 2.8% for Mexican Americans, and 2.9% for 2014.

2012-2014 College Enrollment

2012-2014 Educational Attainment

Occupations in management, business, science, and arts showed a nice increase for Mexican Americans, from 16.7% to 17.4% while for the total population percentages went from 36.3% in 2013 to 36.9% in 2014. Mexican Americans still lag far behind the total population but there is a slight gain as compared to the total population.


For industry, numbers have gone up slightly for the total population but have remained stagnant for Mexican Americans.

2012-2014 Industry


  • Census Bureau, Selected Population Profile in the United States: 2014
  • United States S0201 and B05006. Selected Population Profile in the United States
  • Population Groups: Mexican and Mexico (foreign-born)
  • Data Set: American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates for years 2012 and 2014
  • Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, Selected Population Profile in the United States

Slow and Steady Progress for Mexican American Professionals: The results of the American surveys for the years 2010-2012 show positive results

By Humberto Gutierrez
Edited by Kristen House

College enrollment showed an increase of 1.4 percent from 2010 to 2012—a positive sign for Mexican Americans wanting to achieve higher academic and professional goals. Here is the data.

2010-2012 College Enrollment Comparison Between Mexicans and the Total Population

College and/or Graduate School Enrollment

Educational attainment shows no change to the terrible numbers of 2.6 percent for the years 2010 and 2011 but there is hope in that 2012 showed a small gain to 2.9 percent.

2010-2012 Graduate or Professional Degree

Graduate or Professional Degree

Bachelor's Degree

Associate Degree

For occupations, there was a .2 percent increment yearly, but still shows that in management, business, science, and art occupations, there is still a wide gap between the total population at 36.1 percent for the year 2012 and 16.6 percent for Mexican Americans.

2010-2012 Occupations Comparison Between the Total Population and Mexicans


For professional, scientific, and management and administrative and waste management services, there is a close correlation between the percentage represented by the total population and Mexican Americans.

2010-2012 Industry Comparison Between the Total Population and Mexicans



There is hope at the end of the tunnel. College and university enrollment has been trending higher for Mexican Americans. Unfortunately, the percentage of students with graduate degrees stayed the same for the years 2010 and 2011, but rose a small amount in 2012. Percentages showing students with BA and AA degrees trended higher—an encouraging sign. Occupations still showed a wide margin between the total population and Mexican Americans. The Mexican American population showed a small increase in professional, scientific, and management and administrative and waste management employment while the total population showed a small but steady increase in this area.


  • Census Bureau, Selected Population Profile in the United States: 2010 – 2012
  • United States S0201. Selected population Profile in the United States
  • Population Group: Mexican and Total Population
  • Data Set: American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates

Employment & Job News 2014: US Employers Hire 321,000 Employees in November; Latino Unemployment Drops Slightly

Employment & Job News 2014: US Employers Hire 321,000 Employees in November; Latino Unemployment Drops Slightly
U.S. employers hired 321,000 people in November, the latest sign of steady growth and health job gains. The latest job figures mean 2014 is on track to be the strongest year for hiring since 1999, and 10 million jobs were lost during the financial crisis in 2008.
More jobs, 44,000, were added in September and October than had previously been estimated. The Department of Labor said the unemployment rate remained at a six-year low of 5.8 percent.
Economy analysts say job gains will accelerate improvement in the labor market as more industries participate in the recovery. The Labor Department measured a 69.7 percent rate increase in its Diffusion index which measures industry payrolls…
Link to article

Hopeful Gains in Higher Education for Mexican Americans

By Humberto Gutierrez
Edited by Kristen House

The latest figures from the 2013 American Community Survey show progress in the wide gap between the total US professional population and Mexican Americans:

  • 2012 college and/or graduate enrollment was 28.8% for the total population but only 18.2% for Mexican Americans.
  • 2013 college and/or graduate enrollment was 28.3% for the total population, 18.1% for Mexican Americans, and 33.3% for foreign-born Mexican Americans.

College enrollment for the total population has decreased from the years 2012 to 2013 by 463,000 according the Census Bureau as stated in their Sept. 24, 2014 press release.

For Mexican Americans, there was also an enrollment decrease, but not as pronounced. Mexican American enrollment dropped by only .1% whereas for the total population, there was a .5% drop in college enrollment.

2012-2013 College Enrollment

College and/or Graduate School Enrollment


Educational attainment for the general population has risen by .3% from the years 2012 to 2013. For Mexican Americans, it has decreased by .1%

Earned bachelor’s degrees for the general population have risen by .2% and a bit more for Mexican Americans at .3%

Associate degrees and/or some college has shown little change across the board.

Unfortunately, only 2.8% of Mexican Americans and 1.5% of foreign-born Mexican Americans completed a graduate or professional degree in 2013. This is an extremely low percentage because the total population completion of a graduate or professional degree in 2013 was 11.2%. Why are Mexicans and native-born Mexicans not obtaining their graduate degrees? While only 7.3% of Mexican Americans have B.A. degrees, many are settling for associate degrees—21.8% of Mexican Americans and 12.1% of foreign-born Mexican Americans are ending their academic careers upon achieving these two-year degrees, according to the 2013 data.

2012-2013 Educational Attainment

Graduate or Professional Degree

Bachelor's Degree

Associate Degree


For the year 2013, the data for civilian employed population 16 years and over in management, business, science, and arts occupations is: 36.3% for the total population, 16.7% for Mexican Americans, and 9.2% for foreign-born Mexican Americans. Again, dismal figures.

Compared to the 2012 results, which were for the total population of 36.1% and for Mexican Americans 16.6%, there was a .2% increase for the total population and .1% for Mexican Americans. There was also a .2% increase for foreign-born Mexican Americans. Not much change, but some hope.




For professional, scientific, management and administration, and waste management services, 2013 employment for the total population was 11.1% and 10.2% for Mexican Americans, with foreign-born Mexican Americans at 11.5%. The 2012 results were for the total population 10.9% and 10.2% for Mexican Americans with the foreign-born Mexican Americans at 11.6%. No change for Mexican Americans and a .2% increase for the total population. However, a happy surprise: in 2013, foreign-born Mexican Americans topped all groups at 11.5% with a small decrease from 2012.


2012-2013 Industry

This represents a mixed picture for Mexican Americans and for foreign-born Mexican Americans in their quest for parity with the total population.

Solution for Retaining Minority Students in Higher Education

Scott Watson Swail’s 2003 report (1) on student retention programs in higher education states that a comprehensive student retention program should:

  • rely on proven research
  • suit the particular needs of the campus
  • be institutionalized and become a regular part of campus service
  • involve all campus departments and all campus personnel
  • take into consideration the dynamics of the change process and provide extensive and appropriate retraining of staff
  • be student centered
  • operate in a cost-effective way, and not be tied to soft monies
  • have the support of a comprehensive student monitoring system that will become the foundation of all institutional research on campus and support every department
  • be sensitive to student needs and to diverse populations.

At least some of the above recommendations would go a long way to encourage many minority students to continue their higher education by obtaining a graduate or professional degree.

Berkley, Stanford, UCLA, and Caltech collaborate to boost minority Ph.D. students by recruiting underrepresented students in mathematical, physical and computer sciences, and in engineering.

UC Berkley put it best: “The four schools are creating a unique, cross-institutional community of underrepresented minority Ph.D. students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty members in the targeted fields; developing faculty training to better recognize and help these students thrive and advance; and conducting research that includes annual surveys of Ph.D. students about what factors impact their attitudes, experiences and preparation for the future.”(2)


  • Census Bureau, Selected Population Profile in the United States: 2012 and 2013
  • United States S0201 and B 05006. Selected population Profile in the United States
  • Population groups: Mexican and Mexico (foreign-born)
  • Data set: American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates for years 2012 and 2013.
  • Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, Selected population Profile in the Untied States.


(1) Watson Scott Swail, Retaining Minority Students in Higher Education: A Framework for Success, George Washington University, 2003

(2) Gretchen Kell, “Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA, Caltech unite to boost number of minority Ph.D. students, faculty,” UC Berkley News Center, February 13, 2014

Upscale and Affluent Latinos Are Tech Savvy, Bilingual and Big Spenders

Upscale and Affluent Latinos Are Tech Savvy, Bilingual and Big Spenders
By Nicole Akoukou Thompson (
First Posted: Jul 25, 2014 01:17 PM EDT
Guests attend a launch event for Kiva City D.C. hosted by Capital One, Kiva, and the Latino Economic Development Center on January 8, 2013 in Washington, DC
Savvy, affluent and upscale Latinos have soaring purchasing power, and ad campaigns have been working to connect with high-earning Latinos by attempting to understand the preferred media and voice of this segment.
The upsurge in U.S. Hispanic affluence has become more visible within the last two decades. The number of wealthy Latinos (incomes greater than $75,000) doubled from 2000 to 2010, growing at three times the rate of non-Hispanic upscale households. In 2010, there were 2.9 million upscale Latino households, and that number has continued to…
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