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


A community in need: Rate of Latino physicians shrinks, even as Latino population swells

By Almendra Carpizo
Record Staff Writer
Celida Lizarraga doesn’t remember seeing many doctors who looked like her when she had to translate for her parents during medical visits.
The 17-year-old said most doctors didn’t speak Spanish and an official interpreter wasn’t always available. And even when interpreters were there, she said, there was disconnect between her parents and the doctor.
“I was the one who my parents relied on,” Lizarraga said.
The group Latino Physicians of California is emphasizing the need for more Latino physicians in the state, where about 40 percent of the population is Latino, but less than 5 percent of doctors are Latino.
During a media phone conference on Friday,…
Link to article

Obama White House Touts Latino Gains in Income, Education, Health

WASHINGTON, DC — The White House on Wednesday touted gains Hispanics have made in education, income and health insurance during President Barack Obama’s time in office.
In a report released to mark the closing days of Hispanic Heritage Month, which ends Saturday, the White House issued a four-page brief from its Council on Economic Advisers on the Hispanics’ economic progress in the Obama years.
Obama marked the close of Hispanic Heritage month with remarks at a White House reception Wednesday afternoon. Hispanic Heritage Month began Sept. 15 and closes on Saturday.
“Over the last eight years we have made a lot of progress, together for all Americans and nowhere have you been able to see more vividly the progress than in the Hispanic American community,” Obama said at the event…
Link to article

The Devil is Loose: Drownings, shootings, high-speed accidents, immigrants in labor-the life of a border paramedic

For the paramedics in Laredo, Texas, the only event more concerning than a Dallas Cowboys’ loss is a fight night. Saturday, May 7, the eve of Mother’s Day, was fight night. Throughout the afternoon, the cemeteries were full of people carrying flowers to their mothers’ tombstones, bright tributes laid down in the searing heat. That evening, much of the town gathered around flat screens to watch the Mexican champion Canelo Álvarez and a British contender named Amir Khan slug it out for the middleweight title. Not many were rooting for Khan…
Link to article

The Role of Social Class, Ethnocultural Adaptation, and Masculinity Ideology on Mexican American College Men’s Well-Being

L Ojeda, B Piña-Watson, G Gonzalez – 2016
… More specifically, Latinas are surpassing Latino men, and Mexican Americans overall
are less likely to earn a degree com- pared with other Latino ethnic groups (eg, Puerto
Ricans, Cu- bans; US Census Bureau, 2011). These …
Link to report


Intimate partner violence, a serious preventable public health problem affects one in three women in the US and a billion women worldwide, crossing all boundaries including age, ethnicity, religion, and socioeconomic. However, little is known about the experience of IPV in aging women, especially in aging ethnic minorities. Furthermore, there are countless hidden victims including the many children who witness repeated IPV, placing them at risk of becoming a victim of IPV or a perpetrator in their own intimate relationships. The purpose of my dissertation was to explore the lived experience of IPV through the lens of aging Mexican-American women with a history of IPV, to increase understanding of how their experience has shaped their lives today, and to identify the salutogenic factors that may have sustained health in the midst of adversity…
Link to dissertation

Intergenerational Influences in Body Image Among Mexican American Obese Adolescent Females and Their Maternal Caregivers: ¿ Llenita no más ?

YA Marroquin
… Grounded Theory and thematic analysis were utilized to examine interview responses from
Mexican and Mexican American adolescent females with obesity, their … family members, peers
and friends, and medical professionals). In addition, the messages …
Link to dissertation

How being a bilingual speaker might make your brain stronger

During a presentation this past weekend at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Washington, DC, Judith Kroll, a psychologist at Penn State who studies bilingualism, described how speaking both English and Spanish “changes the architecture of your brain,” and that being bilingual could literally making your brain stronger…
Link to article

Writing the Good Life: Mexican American Literature and the Environment

PS Ybarra – 2016
… Writing 3 1 epistemological hierarchy and the environment: erasure of Mexican American
Knowledge in … The professionals at the New Mexico State Archives answered questions before
I … I have met so many colleagues at conferences and through professional organizations …
Link to book preview

SALUD, GÉNERO Y EMPODERAMIENTO hiv risk behavior knowledge among Mexican and Mexican American women along the U. S.-Mexico border Implications for health practices in clinical and community settings

BM Mancera, H Mata, LK Robbins… – SALUD
… The role of the fe- male is clearly defined within the Mexican and Mexican American cultures. …
Mental health professionals in El Paso, Texas have reported to us that their caseload of Mexican
refugees and traumatized mi- grants has exploded over the past two years–especially …
Link to study


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