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


Looking to hire Hispanic STEM graduates? FIU a top producer of science and engineering talent

FIU graduates more Hispanics with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) than any other university in the continental U.S., according to a report released today by Excelencia in Education.

Finding Your Workforce: Latinos in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), identifies institutions that graduate large numbers of Hispanics with STEM degrees in hopes of encouraging employers to engage with these institutions and hire graduates. FIU ranked second only to universities in Puerto Rico in graduating Hispanics with bachelor’s and master’s degrees…
Link to article

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

Beyond immigrant status: Book-sharing in low-income Mexican-American families

M Salinas, DR Pérez-Granados, HM Feldman… – Journal of Early Childhood …, 2015
… Rank) Score: 0.726 | 47/222 Health (Social Science) | 125/273 Developmental and
Educational Psychology | 204/1035 Education (Scopus®). Beyond immigrant status:
Book-sharing in low-income Mexican-American families. …
Link to abstract

SF State awarded $17 million by NIH to enhance workforce diversity in biomedical research

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 22, 2014 — San Francisco State University has been awarded $17.04 million to address issues of workforce diversity in biomedical research, the National Institutes of Health announced today.
The effort is called SF BUILD, which stands for Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity. Professors in biology, chemistry/biochemistry, psychology, geography & environment, and other fields at SF State working on the project are seeking to upend the presuppositions about members of minority communities — that they may not have the aptitude or the background to excel in the sciences. “We are funded to prime institutional transformation,” said Professor of Biology Leticia Márquez-Magaña, the principal investigator for SF BUILD. “Let’s fix the institution, instead of fixing the students and not recognizing their assets.”…
Link to article

Finalists revealed: VL Innovators Challenge

Latinos use digital media more than any other ethnic group. But few Latinos are translating their tech savvy into tech work. In fact, only 7% of technology workers are Hispanic. Voto Latino believes Latinos can use their tech savviness to open doors to amazing careers in Science, Engineering, Technology and Math (STEM).
The VL Innovators Challenge was created to get millennials, especially Latino millennials, thinking about technology both as an innovative change agent and as a potential career. Applicants were encouraged to “use a tech tool to address a need in the Latino community.”
The Challenge will award $500,000 in grants to the best proposed projects. Winners will also spend two days on the Google campus in California where they will be paired with members of Google’s Marketing, Creative Labs, and Android teams, among others. Besides the chance…
Link to article

Mexican American Children and Families: Multidisciplinary Perspectives

MOB Caughy, L Franzini – Mexican American Children and Families: …, 2014
… Policy makers and public health professionals must recognize the heterogeneity within and among …
Selected measures of health status for Mexican-American, mainland Puerto Rican, and Cuban …
Child Maltreatment: Journal of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of …
Link to preview of book

Tech Program Helps Put Latinos On A Path To Silicon Valley

About an hour south of Silicon Valley in a classroom at Hartnell Community College, Daniel Diaz and Brian De Anda stand at a whiteboard mapping out ideas on how to reduce the size of a mobile app their team is building.
This isn’t a class, and the app they’re building — an informational guide for a drug rehab center — isn’t even a school project. But this is what it takes to have a chance at an elite summer internship, says Daniel Diaz.
“What you are taught at school is not enough,” Diaz says, “especially in today’s competitive society. I think you need to do some more outside learning.”The inaugural class of the Computer Science and Information Technology program, scheduled to graduate in 2016.All Tech ConsideredOut Of The Fields And Into Computer Science Classes
So these students are working on other apps, doing hackathons and learning additional programming languages outside of class. They’re doing it because there’s a thought — perhaps a reality — that hangs over…
Link to article

In 3 Minutes, This Video Will Completely Change the Way You Think About Race

By Marcie Bianco January 14, 2015
Is “race” just another label?
From Raven-Symoné to Toni Morrison, a growing number of people are now claiming that race is a social construct. As Morrison told Stephen Colbert last year, “There’s no such thing as race. None. There’s just the human race, scientifically, anthropologically. Racism [too] is a construct.” Not that race isn’t without benefits, she explained: “Money can be made off of it. People who don’t like themselves can feel better because of it. … It has a social function.”
But what does that actually mean? Jenée Desmond Harris, in a new video for Vox, has created an excellent primer for anyone confused about the concept. Whether you agree with her or not, this three-minute video will almost certainly get you thinking differently about race…
Link to article

Lessons to be learned from Latinos with dream jobs in tech

For millennials, jobs in the highest reaches of tech are among the most coveted. For Latino millennials, they sometimes seem unobtainable.
The numbers don’t lie. At Google, Twitter, and Facebook, Latino employees make up between 2 percent and 3 percent of their respective workforce. These abysmal numbers are standard also throughout Silicon Valley, where overall only 3 percent of workers are Latino…
Link to article

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


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“…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