UH Experts Available for Hispanic Heritage Month

Experts at the University of Houston (UH) are available to discuss a range of topics related to Hispanic Heritage Month. UH faculty can address subjects such as obesity in Hispanic children; how the Mexican migration is viewed in popular culture; Hispanic history and politics. If you are unable to reach a professor, please call 713-743-8153.


Raúl A. Ramos is an associate professor in the department of history. He introduces a new model for the transnational history of the U.S. by placing Mexican-Americans at the center of the Texas creation story in his award-winning book, “Beyond the Alamo: Forging Mexican Ethnicity in San Antonio, 1821-1861.” He frequently speaks on expanding our views of Texas and Borderlands history.  His current research spans the frontier from 19th-century Florida to early 20th-century Los Angeles, examining the ways communities reconstruct their past, even while looking to the future. Reach him at raramos@uh.edu


Nicolás Kanellos, the Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Studies, is the founder and director of Arte Público Press, the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit publisher of Hispanic books in the U.S. He is also the director of the national research program, Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Heritage of the United States, which aims to identify, preserve, study and provide access to tens of thousands of Latino historical documents. He is a cultural historian who has written numerous books and articles, including reference works on the full breadth of Hispanic contributions to the U.S. He is available to comment on Hispanic culture in the U.S. Reach him at 713-743-3128 or kanellos@uh.edu


Tatcho Mindiola is an associate professor of sociology and director of the Center for Mexican American Studies at UH. His current research deals with the relationship between Mexican-Americans and African-Americans. Reach him at 713-743-3136 and tmindiola@uh.edu


Jodi Berger Cardoso is an assistant professor in the Graduate College of Social Work. Her long-term career goal is to develop evidence-based interventions that target high-risk behaviors through the reduction of cultural stressors in Latino immigrants. Her research focuses on health disparities in the Latino community, specifically those related alcohol and drug misuse, risky sexual behaviors, and mental health problems. Cardoso is interested in understanding how the immigrant experience in the U.S. influences the health outcomes of Latino immigrants over time. Prior to UH, she provided clinical social work services to recent Latino immigrants in New York City and Houston and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. Reach her at 713-743-1157 or jcardoso@central.uh.edu


Luis Torres is an assistant professor in the UH Graduate College of Social Work and co-investigator in two national studies examining Hispanic families. One is a national implementation evaluation of grantees in the federal Hispanic Healthy Marriage Initiative. The second study examines Fatherhood Programs targeting Hispanic fathers to assess the cultural uniqueness of these programs. Torres is also principal investigator in a NIDA-funded study examining consequences of drug use in aging Mexican-American men. His work is helping understand the cultural, contextual, and familial determinants of drug use and health, and exploring how Hispanic families can be enriched through effective, culturally appropriate family-strengthening programs. Reach him at 713-743-8512 or lrtorres@uh.edu


Lynn Mitchell is a professor of religious studies and the director of A.D. Bruce Religion Center. He has taught an estimated 20,000 students in religious courses from an interfaith, non-sectarian perspective over a period of 35 years. Mitchell is a leading figure in religious studies and media sources on issues of religious pluralism and political ethics in America. Reach him at 713-443-9391 or lemitchell@uh.edu


Guillermo De Los Reyes is an associate professor of Latin American literature and cultural studies and serves as director for the LGBT studies minor at the University of Houston. He has written extensively on gender, sexuality and LGBT issues. His recent ethnographic work focuses on a group of gay Mexican migrants in Houston. Reach him at 713-743-3007 or jdelosreyes@uh.edu


Christina L. Sisk is an associate professor of Latina/o cultural studies in the department of Hispanic studies. Her book, “Mexico, Nation in Transit: Contemporary Representation of Mexican Migration to the United States,” explores how Mexican migration to the United States is represented within literature, film and music produced on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Sisk can be reached at clsisk@uh.edu


Michael A. Olivas is among the country’s leading authorities in the fields of immigration, higher education law and the regulation of higher education. He litigates immigration and education cases, and his services as an expert witness are in widespread demand. He is the former General Counsel of the AAUP and immediate past president of the Association of American Law Schools. Reach him at molivas@uh.edu


Geoffrey Hoffman, director of the UH Immigration Clinic and clinical associate professor, UH Law Center, specializes in immigration-related federal court litigation and deportation defense before the Executive Office for Immigration Review, asylum cases, adjustments and appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals. He is available to discuss the different versions of proposed legislation in the House and Senate concerning Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Reach him at 713-743-2094 or ghoffman@central.uh.edu 


Manuel Gutiérrez, professor of Spanish linguistics in the department of Hispanic studies, conducts research on linguistic change in the Spanish-speaking world, particularly on the processes of language transfer, simplification, and attrition in Spanish spoken in the U.S. due to its contact with English. His research uses data produced by Spanish speakers in the Houston area to explore the strategies used by bilinguals to lighten the cognitive load produced by the use of two languages. Gutierrez has been able to demonstrate for theorists, teachers and students how language change occurs and what the implications of this change are for the teaching of Spanish to monolinguals and biliniguals. His work has been published in leading journalistic journals in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Reach him at mjgutierrez@uh.edu 


Norma Olvera, professor of health education in the UH College of Education and director of the BOUNCE (Behavior Opportunities Uniting Nutrition Counseling and Exercise) program, is an expert on the obesity epidemic affecting Hispanic and African-American children and their families. She designs interventions to prevent and treat obesity. Her award-winning BOUNCE healthy lifestyle programs are nationally recognized as effective obesity treatments. Reach her at 832-842-5925 or nolvera@uh.edu

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Hispanic Heritage Month Events at UH:

HoustonPBS/KUHT-TV, a service of the University of Houston, will air a series of programs celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. For details, visit: http://houstonpbs.org/events/houstonpbs-hispanic-heritage-month.html

“Stand Up for Diversity,” 7-9 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 18

Comedian Gina Brillon bases her comedy on her Hispanic heritage. She will perform during, “Stand Up for Diversity,” in the University Center’s Houston Room. The event is free and open to the public and sponsored by the Student Programming Board and the Council of Ethnic Organizations. Comedian Ranier Pollard will also perform.

Hispanic Health Summit:  Challenges and Solutions,” 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 26

Sponsored by the City of Houston, Hispanic Health Coalition and the UH College of Education, the “Hispanic Health Summit: Challenges and Solutions,” focuses on the critical issue of health in the Hispanic community and the major health initiatives currently being conducted. State Rep. Carol Alvarado will serve as keynote speaker.

 Other speakers include:

•    Stephen L. Klineberg/Rice University, Professor, Co-Director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research

•    Jessica Farrar/Texas State Rep. District 148

•    Arturo Blanco/City of Houston Health and Human Services, Bureau Chief of Air Quality Control

•    Maria Quintero/ Mental Health Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County

•    Guadalupe Palos/M.D. Anderson, Assistant Professor, Department of Symptom Research

•    Deborah Banerjee/City of Houston, Public Health Practitioner, Evaluator and Researcher with Community Health Planning, Evaluation and Research

For more information, visit http://www.hispanic-health.org/summit.html