Tenured/Tenure Track Professors
CESAR LOPEZ, PH.D.
Chair and Professor
Dr. López earned a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Southern California and both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation is entitled El Descanso: A Comparative History of the Los Angeles Plaza Area and the Shared Racialized Space of the Mexican and Chinese Communities, 1853-1933. It focuses on a comparative history of the Los Angeles Plaza communities.
Dr. López was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at USC in 2004-2005. In addition to teaching in the American Studies and Ethnicity Program, he was conducting a specialized research project in the rare books and manuscripts section of the college's regional archives. During the spring 2003 term, Dr. López was a lecturer at Loyola Marymount University, where he created a new multidisciplinary course in oral history using service learning and was assigned to teach two other new courses in the American Cultures Studies Program. He became Visiting Professor and Assistant Director in the program for the 2003-2004 academic year. Dr. López has additional teaching experience at California State University, Long Beach, where he has taught Chicano/ Latino History and Chicano/Latino Thought. He is also knowledgeable about developing student learning outcomes and assessment.In addition to his teaching experience, Dr. López is active in a number of professional and community organizations. He is a longstanding member of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association and the American Studies Association. He has been a volunteer instructor/tutor in after school programs at the elementary school level, where he has also taught mural art and drawing and a Puente Project mentor. Additionally, he has been a curator for the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) in Venice, California, and has organized educational programs for students, teachers and the public; he also serves on its Board of Directors.
MICHAEL ORNELAS, MA
Michael Ornelas received his B.A. in history with a minor in Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was accepted into the Ph.D. program where he received his Master’s degree in American history with an emphasis on the Chicano experience as well as modern European history since the French Revolution. He was a recipient of the University of California Regents Scholarship for Graduate Study. Since then he has attended UCSD and SDSU where he has accumulated over one hundred additional units in various disciplines including Educational Technologies, Anthropological Linguistics, International and Native American cinema, History, and Political Science. Professor Ornelas was also selected for a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Summer Study at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where he studied the literature of ethnic minorities in the southwest under Dr. Leonard Dinnerstein. With Professor Joel Perez he has organized educational study tours to Mexico with a focus on the Mayan pre-Columbian archaeological sites, Mexico City’s Museum of Anthropology, Teotihuacan and Tula. He was a participant in the intensive study program on Mesoamerican Religion and Thought at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Mexico City under the direction of Dr. David Carrasco and the director of the Templo Mayor Project and Museum, Eduardo Matos Moctezuma. In addition to his teaching responsibilities in Chicano Studies, he has also taught at UCSB, San Diego State University, Portland State University, Southwestern College, Ventura College and Oxnard Colleges.
Alessandra Moctezuma is an Assistant Professor of Art and Gallery Studies and serves the Art Gallery Director. Ms. Moctezuma has earned a Bachelor's degree and Master of Fine Arts degree from UCLA and is in a Ph.D. program in Hispanic Languages and Literature at the State University of New York at Stoneybrook.
Ms. Moctezuma taught design classes part-time for a year at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. She also worked as a teaching assistant for printmaking and painting classes at UCLA where she was responsible for giving lectures and participating in the critique of student work. Most recently, Alessandra was a teaching assistant and an instructor at SUNY Stoneybrook, teaching classes in Latin American and Mexican culture with an emphasis on the art of those cultures.
In addition, Alessandra has extensive experience as a gallery curator and exhibitor. She worked for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority as the Public Arts Officer for nearly four years, managing public arts projects in the Metro System in Los Angeles. Additionally, she was the Gallery Curator for the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) in Venice, California for three years, with responsibility for managing the gallery exhibitions and designing and supervising gallery installations.
Alessandra Moctezuma is skilled in working with students from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds. She has a strong critical and theoretical background in the Fine Arts and has demonstrated a commitment to integrating art education and community. She also has had experience in designing and installing exhibits in many different venues.
In addition to teaching art history and gallery studies classes, Alessandra will direct the Art Gallery.
Manuel J. Velez, MFA
Manuel has devoted his professional career toward building and strengthening opportunities and access to higher education for Chicanos.
Professor Velez received his M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), and also earned his B.A. in theatre arts from the University of Texas at El Paso. The Glory Road has special meaning for this impressive scholar. In 1966 UTEP was named Texas Western College, and a squad of five African-American basketball players beat Kentucky and won the NCAA basketball championship, breaking color barriers in college sports. The film, Glory Road (2006), directed by James Gartner, documents the success of this remarkable team some 40 years ago. Along this same line, then, the "glory road" has led Professor Manuel Velez to San Diego Mesa College.
Manuel Velez leaves a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of English at El Paso Community College (EPCC). At EPCC he taught courses in English composition, Research and Literary Analysis, Chicano/a literature, World literature, and British literature. He established the EPCC Chicana/o Studies Program and has served as the program coordinator. He oversaw the development of a Chicana/o Studies associate degree program. He has also taught as an adjunct professor at his alma mater. He has served as a Project Director for an NEH-funded lecture series hosted by the Chicano Studies Department. Additionally, Manuel Velez is a poet in the traditional sense, and has published a collection of poems in a book entitled, "Bus Stops and Other Poems".
César A. González Trujillo, Professor Emeritus of Chicano Studies (1999), has lived in San Diego with his wife Bette Beattie since l969. Founding chair of Chicano Studies at San Diego Mesa College (1970), he sometimes publishes poetry, short fiction, and literary criticism. Two of his titles still distributed by the Bilingual Press, include Rudolfo A. Anaya: Focus on Criticism and Unwinding the Silence. Together with Phyllis S. Morgan, he has also co-authored a comprehensive annotated bio-bibliography on the work of Rudolfo Anaya: A Sense of Place: Rudolfo A. Anaya, An Annotated Bio-Bibliography. Berkeley: U of California P, Ethnic Studies Library Unit, 1999.
As a Chicano writer, he publishes in English, in Spanish, and inter-lingually in what Tino Villanueva calls bi-sensitive writing. César's work has been aired on KPBS Radio and TV, including the San Diego Voices and Visions poetry series. Membership in Professional Societies includes Poets and Writers, the American Federation of Teachers, Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas, Community College Humanities Association, and the National Association of Chicano Studies. He is referenced in the Dictionary of Literary Biography and Contemporary Authors, Vol. 82, as well as in Who's Who in California, in the West, Among Hispanics, and others.
His studies at the University of Santa Clara, Gonzaga University, and at UCLA were in the areas of philosophy, humanities, Spanish literature, and sociology. He was an instructor in Chihuahua, Mexico for three years and has worked with community projects in Mexico City, Los Angeles, and San Diego. He is the recipient of a Community Service Award from The Chicano Federation of San Diego County; the Outstanding Teacher-Scholar Award 1989-90 for San Diego, Imperial Valley, and Baja California; the NISOD Excellence in Teaching Award, and has received Fulbright-Hays and National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships. He is also the honored recipient of the César Chávez Justice Award.
As Professor Emeritus, César taught two classes on a pro-rata basis until the fall of 2006: Chicano Literature, his specialty, and one class in Speech 103. In the past he has also worked as a grape picker, waiter, dishwasher, and grave digger.
RITA SANCHEZ, MA
Professor Rita Sanchez graduated from Stanford University with an M.A. in English Literature in 1974. She began teaching at SDSU that year and entered the Ph.D. program at University of California at San Diego in 1976 where she was a Ford Foundation Fellow for five years.
Professor Sanchez was the first Chicana to receive a Stanford Graduate Fellowship in the Chicano Fellows Program. At Stanford she taught the first Chicana Studies course, Imagenes de la Chicana, as well as a writing course for Chicano students. She also proposed the first Chicana Journal, Imagenes de la Chicana, published at Stanford in 1973.
As a professor of Chicana/o Studies Prof. Sanchez presented at many conferences including the International Writers Conference at San Jose State University and the Chicana Conference at UC Berkely, along with others, including Ana Nieto Gomez in 1973. Her work appeared in a special edition of the Aztlan: a Journal of Chicana/o Studies. She also presented academic papers at the National Association of Chicano/a Studies in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1990, again at NACS San Antonio, Texas in 1996; and at the Conference on Latinas/Latinos in World War II in Austin, Texas in 2004, where her work was selected for publication.
Professor Sanchez taught the La Chicana course for ten years at SDSU, 1974-1984, before coming to Mesa College. At SDSU, she edited a Chicana Journal of student writings called Vision de la Mujer in 1976; she hosted presentation and receptions for numerous important figures in Chicana/o Studies; Dr. Tomas Rivera, Chancellor of UC Riverside, Clint Jencks, labor organizer and principle in the film Salt of the Earth; Suni Paz, noted Argentine folk singer, and invited and introduced Olga Talamante, activist, at The Third World Literature Conference.
At Mesa College Professor Sanchez was the lead writer for the Mesa College Chicano Studies Department History and Self Study; Chair of the Mesa College Committee Against Racism after the Rodney King verdict; moderator for the Chicana Writers Conference hosted by Professors Cesar Gonzalez and Mike Ornelas; it included Alma Luz Villanueva, Lucha Corpi, and Ana Castillo; she served as Chair of Chicano Studies from 1996 to 1999. She has continued to present academic papers and publish: "The Five Sanchez Brothers; Remembrance and Discovery" in Mexican Americans in WWII (Austin: UTexas, 2005); a book entitled, Cochise Remembers My Great-Grandfather (San Diego: R&R, 2000); Southern New Mexico’s First Mestizos,” in Dona Ana Historical Society Journal: Quarterly. January 2001; “Writing As A Revolutionary Act” Chicana Feminist Thought: The Basic Chicana Writings 1970-1990. ( Ed. Alma Lopez. New York: Routledge, 1997). Professor Sanchez has also published numerous research articles on women in the history of New Mexico appearing in the journal Herencia.
Works accepted for publication include “Teaching Gloria Anzaldua,” “Hijas de Dolores: Suffering, Redemption and Rage in the Works of Frida Kahlo,” and “Chicanas In the Arts” for A San Diego Sin Fronteras (Tucson: University of Arizona, 2007).
Thanks to professor Sanchez Mesa College hosted Dolores Huerta for Cesar Chavez Day in 2004, an all day campus wide event. She has been a guiding force in contributing to the high quality and relevant education for students at Mesa College and continues to teach pro-rata in the spring. Her personal papers are housed at the Green Library Archives, Stanford University.
OSCAR CANEDO, MA
MA in Latin American Studies, San Diego State University. Oscar Canedo is a native of National City and still makes his home there. He has taught at Mesa College since the 2000-2001 school year, and he also teaches US History at Grossmont College. He's also worked at Southwestern, Cuyamaca, City, and Palomar Colleges. Oscar earned his B.A. from U.C. San Diego in Anthropology, and he has the M.A. in Latin American Studies from San Diego State. Oscar mainly teaches the online section of Chicano Studies 141A as well as on-campus sections of Chicano Studies 141B. He really enjoys teaching online and he's always interested in the latest techonologies and methods being utilized in distance education. Oscar's main areas of interest include Mesoamerican cultures (Aztecs, Maya, Olmecs, Teotihuacan), Spanish colonialism, and the US-Mexican War. In his spare time, Oscar enjoys watching hockey, especially the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks, and taking care of his six cats, including one that's 21-years-old.
Victoria Chavez, MA
MA in Chicana/o Studies and Women's Studies, San Diego State University
Patricio A. Chavez, MFA
MFA, UC San Diego
Anthony J. Guaracha, MA
MA in Chicana and Chicano Studies, California State University, Northridge
JOSE-RODOLFO JACOBO, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Education, Claremont Graduate University / San Diego State University Joint Doctoral Program.
Maria Del Consuelo Lopez, MA
MA in History, Portland State University