Mexican American Studies website
  • Location: EDCC 2.216B
  • Phone: 956.665.3212
  • Email:

Welcome to Mexican American Studies

The mission of MAS @ UTPA is to recognize, validate, and engage with students, faculty, and Mexican American, Chican@ and Latin@ communities as agents of conocimiento and knowledge. Our position en la frontera requires and enables MAS to have a simultaneous local and hemispheric concentration. This unique transcultural context shapes academic and public conversations regionally, nationally and globally. Our place-based pedagogies and transdisciplinary methods provide a holistic approach to the study of complex and dynamic Mexican American experiences. MAS cultivates transformative experiences, spaces, and relationships. We prepare students to critically investigate community knowledge and socio-political, economic, cultural, and artistic conditions of and contributions by Mexican Americans, Chican@s and Latin@s. Students develop the skills to engage in self-discovery and to communicate their conocimientos to produce salient applied research to effect positive social change in their comunidades.

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Alumni Corner

Christian Ramirez
Master of Science in Sociology
Graduate Certificate in Mexican American Studies
I am currently a second year dual Ph.D. student in Chicano/Latino Studies and Sociology at Michigan State University. To date, I have worked for the Migrant Student Services as a graduate assistant and with the Julian Samora Research Institute as a research assistant. Presently, I am on a fellowship, which allows me to focus on my dissertation project. My goal is to become a professor who can produce knowledge that informs our social understanding of Chicana/os and Latina/os in the U.S. I hope to teach and do research on these issues and continue to motivate younger generations of students to think critically in their everyday lives. My graduate education at UTPA was the platform for future success. It was here where I was able to engage with professors and other graduate students who were serious about advancing the education and social mobility of those living in the Rio Grande Valley and beyond. UTPA provided an inviting environment and the flexibility to complete my degree using an interdisciplinary approach. I believe that this approach to learning prepared me for my Ph.D. program.

Student Spotlight

Iliana Vasquez, Class of 2013

Iliana Vásquez is a Spring 2013 graduate and will pursue a M.A. in MAS at UT Austin in Fall 2013.

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Mexican American Studies Club

MASC Facebook

MASC general meetings are Thursdays from 12 to 1 in the 3rd floor of the COAS building room 310! Feel free to stop by!

MAS Advisement

Advisement takes place in the MAS Office EDUC 2.216B.

Appointments are highly recommended. Please contact the appropriate adviser below at their email address.

Undergraduate Advisers

Stephanie Alvarez

Ernesto Ramirez

Undergrad Course List

Graduate Adviser

Marci McMahon

Graduate Course List

Featured Faculty


Congratulations to Dr. Stephanie Alvarez on her recently published co-edited anthology with Dr. William Luis. The AmeRican Poet: Essays on the Work of Tato Laviera. Centro Press, 2014. Known as a Nuyorican poet, Laviera is more appropriately celebrated as an AmeRican writer of national and international prominence. As a whole, the essays discuss diverse aspects of Laviera’s life and substantial body of work that includes five published collections of poetry, twelve written and staged plays, and many years of political, social, literary and healthcare activism.


Congratulations to Dr. Sonia Hernández on her recently published book, Working Women into the Borderlands (Connecting the Greater West Series). Texas A&M University Press, 2014. Hernández sheds light on how women’s labor was shaped by US capital in the northeast region of Mexico and how women’s labor activism simultaneously shaped the nature of foreign investment and relations between Mexicans and Americans.

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MAS Video



Felicidades to our Fall 2014 MAS Graduates. L-R. Amancio Lucio (Bachelors in MAS), Lucero Martinez (MAIS in MAS), Erika Salamanca (Honorary MAS Graduate), and Priscilla Gonzalez (Bachelors in MAS). Not pictured: Eva Magallan (Graduate Certificate in MAS).

Honoring Anzaldúa

Gloria Anzaldu

MAS at UTPA is committed to honoring the legacy of UTPA alumna Gloria Anzaldúa.


Rio Bravo: Journal of the Borderlands

Río Bravo is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes scholarly articles on the borderlands between the United States and Mexico. This goal includes the promotion of the development of a better international understanding, to help in the design and implementation of further research and new discoveries concerning the relations between the United States and México, to serve as a model for such investigations along the Rio Grande and to shed light on borderlands studies in general.