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Faculty Experts

Dr. Brandon Rottinghaus

Dr. Brandon Rottinghaus

Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall Room 447

Twitter:  @bjrottinghaus

Brandon Rottinghaus, a native of Dallas, Texas, holds a Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University.  His teaching and research interests center on Texas politics, including changing ethnic and racial trends, Texas political scandals, voting behavior, political parties, the Texas constitution, and executive and legislative power struggles.  He is the author of several books, dozens of academic journals, and editor and contributor to multiple edited volumes.  Most recently he is author of the book Inside Texas Politics (Oxford University Press).  He has provided commentary on national and Texas politics in hundreds of media outlets.  He is the co-host of Political Perspectives, a digital series on Houston Public Media and the creator and weekly contributor to Monday Morning Politics on Houston’s Fox 26.

Lan Ni, Ph.D.

Lan Ni, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Jack J. Valenti School of Communication
101 Communication Bldg., Room 149

Dr. Ni is a communication scholar specializing in public relations. Her major areas of research include stakeholder engagement, strategic relationship management, intercultural and global public relations with a focus on immigrants and minority groups, and identification and segmentation of publics.

She has been awarded multiple internal and external research grants including those from Urban Communication Foundation, Arthur Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication, and Public Relations Society of America Research Foundation. Her current projects, including one funded by the Center for Mexican American Studies, examine communication, acculturation, and mental health of immigrants as well as community engagement and health issues related to the Hispanic community.

She is the lead author of two forthcoming books by Routledge on intercultural public relations that examine the theoretical and practical aspects of communication, public relations, and community engagement, with a focus on intercultural issues both within and across borders. She has published in major journals in communication and public relations including Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Communication Management, Journal of Public Affairs, and International Journal of Strategic Communication.

Dr. Casellas

Jason Casellas, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall 427

Professor Casellas obtained his PhD in Politics in Princeton University and specializes in American politics, with specific research and teaching interests in Latino politics, legislative politics, and state and local politics. He is the author of Latino Representation in State Houses and Congress(New York: Cambridge University Press.)
He is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including a Princeton Fellowship, an American Political Science Association Fellowship, a Ford Motor Company Fellowship, the Samuel DuBois CookPostdoctoral Fellowship at Duke University, and a United States Studies Centre Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Sydney (Australia). In 2011, he was awarded a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. He is a member of the Texas Advisory Committee of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.  His work has appeared in the Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly,Aztlán: Journal of Chicano Studies, and other peer-reviewed journals.

Jodi Berger Cardoso

Jodi Berger Cardoso

Graduate College of Social Work
407 Social Work Building

Jodi Berger Cardoso is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work. Her research examines how exposure to trauma and psychosocial stress before, during and post-migration affects the mental health of immigrants and their children. Berger Cardoso recently completed a study that was funded by the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health that examined the unique parenting stressors associated with raising children in the context of deportation risk. The focus on the study was on understanding how migration and legal status relate to experiences of parental stress and depression. She also recently received an award from the UH Center for Mexican American Studies to examine trauma, stress and coping experiences among unaccompanied Latino immigrant children in Texas. In addition to this line of research, Berger Cardoso works with several humanitarian organizations in the Houston area that focus on providing legal and mental health services to immigrants, unaccompanied children, and refugees that have experienced trauma. She has served as an expert witness in gender based violence and child trauma cases.  Prior to getting a PhD, Dr. Cardoso was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador (1999-2002) and worked as bilingual mental health clinician serving Latino immigrant families at several agencies in the New York and Houston area.

Nicolas Kanellos

Nicolás Kanellos, Ph.D.

Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Studies
Director of Arte Público Press and Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage

Nicolás Kanellos, the Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Houston, is the founder and director of Arte Público Press, the oldest and largest publisher of Hispanic literature in the United States.  He is also the director of a major national research program, Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage, that identifies, preserves, studies and makes accessible Latino literary documents written from the colonial period to 1960 in what has become the United States.

The author of several books on Hispanic cultural history, including Hispanic Literature of the United States: A Comprehensive Reference (2005), Kanellos is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1989 American Book Award and the 1988 Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature presented by the White House. 

A fellow of the Ford, Lilly and Gulbenkian Foundations and the National Endowment for the Humanities, he received the Anderson Imbert Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Academy of the Spanish Language in 2014 and was elected to the Spanish Royal Academy for Arts and Science in 2008. In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed Kanellos to the National Council on the Humanities.  In 1996, he became the first Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Houston.

Cynthia Clayton

Cynthia Clayton

Associate Professor of Voice
Moores School of Music
120 School of Music Bldg, MSM 345

Cynthia Clayton is an opera and concert singer with over two decades of credits in leading roles with opera houses and orchestras throughout the United States and abroad. As a professor in the Moores School of Music, she teaches vocal technique, song interpretation, lyric diction, and performance technique to singers majoring in Vocal Performance, Music Business, and Music Education.  Ms. Clayton is currently producing a recording of several unknown vocal works by Mexican composer Daniel Catán (1949-2011) [], which is due for release in late 2017. This will include excerpts from Catán’s unproduced musical, Antonieta, about the Mexican writer, feminist, and intellectual Antonieta Rivas Mercado []. The recording will also include performances of Catán’s chamber music featuring the composer’s widow, harpist Andrea Puente, as well as orchestral works in conjunction with the Texas Music Festival Orchestra [] in June, 2017.

Hanako Yoshida

Hanako Yoshida

Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
Heyne Building, Room 239C

Hanako Yoshida is an Associate Professor and Director of the Cognitive Development Lab in the Department of Psychology at University of Houston. She received a Ph.D. in Psychology in 2003 from Indiana University. Her primary research has been driven by the questions of what children know and how they know it. She has been studying pre-school children who are exposed to a different language, multiple languages, and a different language-learning environment (e.g., immigrant status, culture, SES, and some atypically developing individuals). Her research mission has been to investigate to what extent cognitive mechanism can be explained with minimal inferences about general cognitive components, and thus provide insights into the emergence of human knowledge and processes of development. Her research team has demonstrated a record of successful and productive research programs, and has published their work in respected journals including the Journal of Cognition and Development, Cognition, Frontiers in Developmental Psychology, and Infancy.

Roberto Tejada

Roberto Tejada

Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor
Department of English

Topics of Expertise: Mexican-American & U.S.-Latino Arts & Culture / Modern and Contemporary Poetry of the Americas / Translation Studies / Latin American Art / Modern Mexico: Art and Photography / Interdisciplinary Media Studies / Gender & Sexuality / Print Culture

Roberto Tejada is a poet, visual arts scholar, and literary translator whose interests engage Mexican-American, U.S. Latino, and Latin American art and culture. His work has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fulbright Foundation, Creative Capital Warhol Foundation, and The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. He is the author of the poetry volumes Mirrors for Gold (2006), Exposition Park (2010), and Full Foreground (2012); art histories that include National Camera: Photography and Mexico’s Image Environment (2009); a monograph on pioneering Mexican-American conceptual artist Celia Alvarez Muñoz (2009); and co-editor of the volume Modern Art in Africa, Asia and Latin America: An Introduction to Global Modernisms (2012).