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Tejas FOCO holds 2016 Regional Conference at Lone Star College

tejas foco program cover The 2016 Tejas FOCO held their regional conference at Lone Star College in Kingwood, Tejas. The 2016 theme, “Preserving Traditions, Stories, Customs, and Values, of the Mexican and Mexican American Community,” brought FOCO members out in force to the three-day conference. Panels focused from Nuevas Perspectivas:Reimaging Raza Gender Perceptions to Mi Vida, Mi Voz: Multimedia Narrative from the Puente Project in Bayton. Professor Juan Tejada lead the discussion on the current state of Mexican American Studies on Pre-K-12th grade in Tejas. The conference ended with the closing plenary on the Past and Future: The Growth of NACCS Tejas FOCO Conference over the years. FOCO members from South Texas College, Northwest Vista College, Texas State University, and University of North Texas lent their expertise on the future of the Tejas FOCO conference.

Tejas FOCO 2016 Award Winners:

2016 Letras de Aztlán Community Award, Dr. Guadalupe San Miguel, University of Houston

2016 NACCS Tejas Award for Young Adult Fiction, René S. Perez II,
“Seeing Off the Johns”
published by Cinco Puntos Press

2016 NACCS Tejas Non-Fiction Book Award, George T. Díaz, “Border Contraband:
A History of Smuggling across the Rio Grande” published by UT Press

2016 NACCS Tejas Poetry Book Award, Natalie Scenters-Zapico, “The Verging Cities” published by the Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University

2016 NACCS Tejas Fiction Award, Robert Paul Moreira, “Scores” published by Broken River Books

2016 Tejas Foco Dissertation Award, Sandra D. Garza, “Güeras y prietas: Remembering Lived Experiences with Colorism Through History and Ethnoplática” University of Texas-San Antonio

2015 Mid-Year Meeting Minutes

NACCS Midyear Minutes (unapproved minutes and edited for space)
Doubletree by Hilton, Denver, CO
Friday, October 23, 2014

Present: Ed Muñoz, Armando Ibarra, Carlos R. Guerrero, Nelia Olivencia, Chalane Lechuga, V. June Pedraza, Maria Gonzalez, Julia Curry Rodriguez, Kathryn Blackmer Reyes, Aureliano DeSoto

Treasurer (Chalane): Fiscal/Financial- 2014-2015 (fiscal) Financial Report/Operating Budget, tabled as Chalane and Julia need to meet.
Executive Director (Julia): Logistics for 2016 conference in Denver, CO; $89 for room; free wifi for conference participants; fundraising for 2016 conference; updating security certificates for credit card payments; signature transitions for treasurer reporting; advising board members on policy and procedures
Associate Director(Kathy): Membership renewals are ongoing 416 currently registered; website updates are occurring; Site visit with Executive Director; Advising on programming; updating all documents for paper submissions; awards nominations; updating information on website; work on list for Caucus chairs and Foco reps
Conference Call-In Caucus Chairs and Foco Reps: Present: Vanessa Fonseca, RockyM; Mary Jane Castillo, K12; Christina Sigala; Audrey Silvestre, LBMT; Samantha Rodriguez & Theresa Torres, Chicana; Frank Ortega, Grad. Board reached out to Chairs and Reps for a discussion and or questions.

New Business:
Communication With Membership—Proposed Communications Director to renew newsletter and keep membership abreast of NACCS business/deadlines/conference discussed; Board decided to send out a newsletter and continue discussion about appointing a Communications Director
Board Manual Leadership Manuals (for Foco Reps and Caucus Chairs), by-laws etc.
Nominations Committee (Past Chair, Ed, Armando, Julia): Use directory and past lists to determine nominations for positions that will become vacant in 2016. Make a grid of regional and caucus representation on board- missing areas should be targeted with candidates for board positions.
Prepare list to discuss with board.
Becas: (Chalane and Armando) Five applications were received. Armando moves to allocate $3,000 to be awarded. Motion passed.
Book Award Committee: (Carlos) Selected recipient: Carlos Kevin Blanton—George I. Sanchez: The Long Fight for Mexican American Integration; Yale University Press.
NACCS Antonia Castañeda Prize Committee: No report.
NACCS Scholar Award: (Board) Two applications received; one did not meet agreed deadline or submission process. Discussion follows. Luis Torres selected.

Saturday, October 24, 2014
2015 Conference: Various items discussed: Pre-Conference newsletter, Registration, exhibits, trouble shooting, and other logistics. Estimated Conference Budget–Tabled. Conference Schedule—tentatively approved. Conference fees. Conference activities—Local site report. Resolutions Process and deadline—Follow last year’s procedure; At-Large reps will inform constituency’s about process/deadline; article in newsletter and pre-conference newsletter; leadership manual will be distributed before conference to Caucus Chairs and Foco Reps.

Unfinished business
Financial Report – Chalane. Discussion of financial status of NACCS.
Meeting adjourns.

Local Venues and Events in Denver

Place to Go in Denver and Surrounding Areas

Cultural Night Friday April  8, 2016, 700pm-1000pm

The History Colorado Center, Shuttle Service will be provided.

Cultural NIght Logo

Conference Tour

15th Annual Cesar Chavez March Saturday, April 9, 2016 Sign up Required – Free – sign up available soon. 8:30 a.m. pick up from hotel. 1:30 p.m. return to hotel. The theme for the march this year is “Honorando Las Mujeres en la Lucha.” Buses will transport conference participants to Regis University where the march begins. A Catholic Mass at 9 a.m. opens (optional). From Regis University the march walks towards Cesar E. Chavez Park, about 2.5 miles. At the park, there is music, danzantes, food, speakers and leadership awards. Participants will be back at the hotel around 2 pm. RSVP/Contact Ramon at

Venues/Events and Organizations – Times are from Conference Cite

Chicano Humanities Arts Council – (3030) 571-0440 – – 20 min-car

Poetry-Spoken-Word – Café Cultura – 2nd Friday of every month

5 K – Races Denver

Mother Cabrini – No Bus – 45 min from Double-Tree – Sacred Grounds

The Market – Downtown Denver Coffee House – Excellent

Museo de las Américas – (303) 571- 4401 – 20 min car

Whiskey Tours Stranahans: Colorado born Whiskey – (303) 296- 7448 –

A new exhibit, curated by Arturo J. Aldama on Chican@ history in the Southwest is open for viewing in the Norlin Library at CU Boulder: highlights include the history of racism and white supremacy, Chicana leadership and social justice, and the history of Chican@ student activism at CU Boulder including a history of “los seis”, martyrs of the Chican@ movement. LINK TO FLYER

Su Teatro Logo Film Fest[2]


“NAACS Conference attendees get 2fer movie tickets and 2fers at the bar.  Su Teatro invites you to enjoy Denver’s premier Latino Film Festival.  The XicanIndie FilmFest,  April 7th-10,, 2016, for screening schedule and parties.”



Children Venues:

Denver Zoo – 10 min car

Denver Botanic Gardens – 15 min car

Indian Hot Springs – 52 min by car from hotel

Colorado Rockies Baseball – vs San Diego


Hotel Reservations at Denver DoubleTree

Welcome to the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies reservation information page


A block of rooms have been reserved for April 4, 2016 – April 10, 2016. The special room rate will be available until March 26th or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first.

Booking a reservation from our site is simple. To begin the process, click on “Book a Room” below to receive your group’s preferred rate.

See you at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Denver in April! We hope you enjoy your stay and your group’s event!

NACCS and Communication with Membership

Noticias de NACCS has been on hiatus for several years. Noticias represented the communication of choice for the membership. The Board has expressed interest in bringing back Noticias in a limited fashion. They propose to use both print and electronic formats to communicate. For the moment, we are using a digital format as our first communication. We will have a print pre-conference newsletter in PDF format in the near future.

In the past, the production of Noticias has been the responsibility of the Board Secretary. This year the Board discussed how to update its communication with the membership and enlisted the Chair-Elect and Past-Chair to develop a communications plan.

The Board has determined that both Noticias de NACCS and other social media communications are an essential part of the organization. The Board is discussing ways to address our communications needs.

With this inaugural newsletter format, we are rolling out a new process that we hope will lead to continuous  communications.

Luis A. Torres Selected as 2016 NACCS Scholar

Luis A. Torres, Ph.DIMG_6554. has been involved in NACCS for many years, contributing to the development of this organization, serving as the NACCS national Chair for two years in 1992 and 1993, for which he helped lead the NACCS submission of an amicus brief against the anti-Gay Rights Amendment 2 in Colorado, voted upon by referendum and decided favorably by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1996. He was also instrumental in the formation of the K-12 Caucus.

Luis A. Torres, Ph.D. is an activist scholar. He has received several academic recognitions including a Ford Foundation Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships, and a California Arts Council Award.  He has received several awards including Outstanding Faculty Award from the University of Southern Colorado in 1994, Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Award at then- Metropolitan State College in 2003, the LARASA Bernie Valdez Education Award from the Latin American Research and Service Agency in 2002, and the Cesar Chavez Leadership Award in Denver in 2002, among others.  He has twice received the Ally of the Year award from the tri-institutional Auraria Higher Education Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Alliance.

Luis A. Torres, Ph.D., has served as Deputy Provost for Academic and Student Affairs at Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSUD) since 2008 and previously as Associate Dean in the School of Letters, Arts, and Sciences.  He has been Co-Chair of MSU Denver’s Hispanic Serving Institution Initiative since 2007, helping increase Hispanic student enrollment from approximately 13% in 2008 to 22% in 2015, toward the goal of 25%.  He helped lead the effort for MSU Denver, as the only institution in Colorado to do so and few if any nationally, to develop a tuition structure in 2012 to allow undocumented students to pay a reduced rate, substantially less than half of out-of-state tuition, before Colorado in 2013 passed the ASSET Bill for in-state tuition. He serves currently on the national College Board’s SAT Writing Test Development Committee.  Among other examples of community involvement, Dr. Torres has served on the Board of Denver’s Latino Education Coalition, and he chaired Denver Public School’s Hispanic Education Advisory Council, serving as Principal Investigator at MSU Denver of a partnership Goals 2000 Grant with Denver Public Schools to establish the El Alma de la Raza Curriculum and Teacher Development Project, which created more than 80 curriculum units in multicultural studies.

Carlos Kevin Blanton Recepient 2015 NACCS Book Award

Carlos Blanton

The National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies is pleased to announce the 2015 Book Award Winner, Carlos Kevin Blanton for his book George I. Sánchez:

The Long Fight for Mexican American Integration Yale University Press.

The NACCS Book Award committee Chaired by Carlos Reyes Guerrero with blind reviewers made this years selection.

The book represents a contribution to Chicana and Chicano Studies. Dr. Blanton’s book, George I. Sanchez: The Long Fight for Mexican American Integration, provides its readers an inside view of the building blocks of Chicana/o Studies scholarship and the antecedents of Chicana and Chicano Studies.

Blanton’s book examines the complex life George I. Sánchez. It offers a window into the antecedents of Chicana/o educational rights. Blanton weaves a narrative that demonstrates the commitment educational equity in Chicana/o communities.

NACCS Immigrant Student Becas

by Armando Ibarra, At-Large Rep, NACCS Becas Committee Chair

Since 2008 NACCS has supported immigrant students by providing financial awards to help them pay their academic dreams. This year, the committee selected 6 students to receive the Immigrant Student Beca, they are: Chantiri Ramírez Resendiz, a graduate student at UCLA, Griselda Madrigal Lara, Undergraduate student, Sonoma State University, Margarita García-Villa, MAS Graduate student, San José State University, Marisela Hernández, Undergraduate student, Chico, State University, Gabriela E. Zamora-Muñoz, Undergraduate Student, University of Utah.

The Beca is supported by NACCS and through donations from our members. Consider making a donation today, go to the following LINK.

The Antonia I. Castañeda Prize Enters Its Fifth Year

by Linda Heidenreich, Chair, Antonia I. Castañeda Prize Committee

It was just five years ago when Dr. Arturo Madrid and five esteemed scholars, Emma Pérez, Deena González, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Tomás Ybarra-Frausto and Dudley Brooks came together to honor the work of Antonia I. Castañeda by founding a scholarly award in her honor. In order to do justice to such an award it needed to do more than honor scholarly excellence. It needed to do so in such a way that supported independent scholars, pre-tenure scholars and advanced graduate students. It needed to help build the field of Chicana History, and to encourage interdisciplinary and cutting-edge gendered work.

For the past five years the award has done just that. Building on Dr. Castañeda’s legacy of “enGendering history,” editors and mentors have nominated the articles of Chicana, Latina, and Indigenous/Native women scholars whose work brings new and nuanced gendered analysis to our histories. Last year, thanks to the hard work of past recipients – especially Dr. Jenny Luna — we were able to host a roundtable at the national conference. This is something we hope to be able to do every 3-4 years in celebration of the innovative and exceptional work with which Chicana, Latina, and Indigenous/Native women scholars continue to build the fields of Chicana History and Chican@ Studies.

The 2015 roundtable highlighted the cutting-edge gendered history young scholars are producing today. Dr. Cindy Cruz shared from her work “LGBT Street Youth Talk Back,” where building upon the work of María Lugones, she focused our attention on oppositional struggle in “the smallest of spaces” arguing that when we fail to see resistance in small spaces/tight spaces, we are unable to see the resistance enacted by LGBT street youth, especially LGBT street youth of color. Dr. Vanessa Fonseca’s shared excerpts from her award winning paper, “Rosaura Sánchez, Crítica Marxista y Máxima Expresión del la Jolla Circle,” highlighting the consistency and complexity of Dr. Rosaura Sanchez’s work in linguistics and in Chicana/o literature. Throughout her talk, as throughout her article, Fonseca used the very tools for which she praised Sánchez, bringing a deep and layered historical context to her discussion of material analysis, linguistics and literature. Finally Dr. Jenny Luna discussed her work on Danza, “La Tradición Conchera,” highlighting the plurality of ways in which Danza is praxis challenging colonial culture and power, and at times, patriarchal discourse.

Those of you who attended NACCS 2015 will remember that it was Belinda Linn Rincón, with her article “Estas Son Mis Armas”: Lorna Dee Cervantes’ Poetics of Feminist Solidarity in the Era of Neoliberal Militarism,” who was last year’s recipient of the Castañeda Prize. Dr. Rincón’s article, in its historically grounded critical methodology, is a fine example of intersectional, interdisciplinary and feminist scholarship at its best. Its bold challenge to neo-liberalism also asks difficult questions of our own transfronterista feminist literature. If you have not yet had a chance to read it, don’t miss out (WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly 42: 3&4).

I encourage you to be on the look out for independent or pre-tenure faculty women (or ABD graduate students) in your departments who will publish their work this year and nominate them for the award. The prize seeks to honor innovative work, to promote the work of new and emerging Chicana, Latina, and Indigenous/Native women scholars and, equally important, to build on the legacy of Antonia I. Castañeda, who taught our generation to gender our work, to challenge disciplinary boundaries, and to publish work that matters. Go to the NACCS website to find more information about nominating a colleague’s article for the Antonia I. Castañeda Prize.

See you in Colorado.



Dr. Stephanie Alvarez, NACCS Member, Receives Professor of the Year

By Jennifer L. Berghom

Courtesy of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Award Ceremony Dr. Stephanie AlvarezRIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – NOV. 19, 2015 – Dr. Stephanie Alvarez, an associate professor of Mexican American Studies at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, has been named a U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Alvarez is the first faculty member in The University of Texas System to receive the national award, and is one of just four national recipients this year.

“It’s something that is an honor not just for myself, but for all my students, for the entire university community and my entire family – mostly because all of my teaching is grounded in my students,” Alvarez said. “It’s grounded in the community, and I draw from them. They’re my inspiration for everything that I do.”

Alvarez joined UTRGV’s legacy institution, UT Pan American, in 2006. Among her accomplishments are helping redesign the Mexican American studies program, and developing the Cosecha Voices project with the late Latino poet Tato Laviera. The project provided training to migrant students in the K-12 public school systems on creative writing assignments about their experiences working as migrant farmers with their families.

Dr. Ala Qubbaj, UTRGV vice provost for Faculty Affairs and Diversity, said the recognition is well-deserved.

“We are very proud that one of our UTRGV faculty members, Dr. Stephanie Alvarez, has been named as one of the most outstanding college professors in undergraduate education nationwide,” Qubbaj said. “This significant recognition clearly reflects on the high caliber of our UTRGV faculty and the exceptional educational experiences they are providing to our students. Through her excellence in teaching, student engagement and mentoring, Dr. Alvarez has positively impacted the lives of so many students and their ability to succeed in college and beyond, which is central to UTRGV’s mission and focus.”

Alvarez might draw inspiration from her students, but those students say she is their inspiration.

Arnulfo Daniel Segovia, a graduate student in the Mexican American Interdisciplinary Studies program at UTRGV, said Alvarez is highly commitment to her students. “As an educator, she’s able to challenge us to grow as students and human beings, and to give us this intellectually nurturing experience in the classroom,” he said. “She is more than a mentor. She’s more like a mentor and a good friend who is always there for you, to give you direction and guidance.”

Claudia Razo, another UTRGV graduate student in Mexican American Interdisciplinary Studies, said Alvarez has guided her throughout her undergraduate and graduate experience, from advising her on which courses to take, to encouraging her to continue her studies into the master’s program. “She was the one who inspired me to do it. I wanted to finish with my bachelor’s degree and that was it,” Razo said. “She said I could do it. She kept telling me to move forward and apply.” Razo took the advice to heart. “She’s become a huge part of my life, because she’s been such an inspiration to me,” she said.

Conducted by CASE and sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the national awards recognize professors for their influence on teaching and commitment to undergraduate students, according to a CASE news release. In addition to the four national winners, 35 faculty members were named state Professors of the Year. CASE began the awards program in 1981.  National and state winners of the 2015 U.S. Professors of the Year awards were honored today, Nov. 19, 2015, at a luncheon and awards ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.