Faculty / Staff
Faculty, (Tenured, Tenure-Line)
Anita Revilla Tijerina, Ph.D., Department Chair
Anita Revilla Tijerina
Office Location: King Hall C-4035
Dr. Anita Tijerina Revilla is an activist scholar and Professor who joined the department in fall of 2019. Her research focuses on student movements and social justice education, specifically in the areas of Chicana/Latina, immigrant, feminist and queer rights activism. Her expertise is in the areas of Jotería (Queer and Latinx) Studies, Chicanx Education, Chicana/Latina Feminism, and Critical Race/Ethnic Studies. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University, she earned her doctorate from UCLA Graduate School of Education in Social Sciences and Comparative Education with an emphasis in Race and Ethnic Studies. She is working on a book about feminist, queer, and immigrant rights activism in Las Vegas and Los Angeles titled, Muxeristas y Jotería: From Los Angeles to Las Vegas and Beyond. She is also a visual artist that specializes in painting muxerista and Queer community.
José Anguiano, Ph.D., Undergraduate and Graduate Advisor
Associate Professor, Undergraduate and Graduate Advisor
Office Location: King Hall D1052A
Dr. José G. Anguiano earned his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2012 as part of the first cohort of Chicana and Chicano Studies PhDs in the nation. His research is in the areas of: Chicana/o and Latina/o popular music and culture; sound and listening studies; and music, race and citizenship. His primary focus is listeners and audiences of popular music. Dr. Anguiano’s research documents how popular music links communities of listeners across time and space, and how listening can be an active and creative form of claiming space, citizenship and respect. This research has led to a book project tentatively titled Latino Listening Cultures, which is an ethnographic account of select contemporary Latino listeners in the Southern California region. Dr. Anguiano teaches courses for Chicana(o) and Latina(o) Studies and the Honor's College in literature, music and sound in Chicana/o and Latina/o communities.
Alejandro Covarrubias, Ph.D.
Office Location: King Hall C3059
Dr. Alejandro Covarrubias earned his PhD at UCLA and joined the Department of Chicanx and Latinx Studies in 2008. His praxis confronts persistent and pervasive patriarchal, White-supremacist colonialism in American institutions, policies, and practices. Dr. Covarrubias studies intersectional institutionalization of educational (in)opportunities, with a focus on the experiences of refusal and resistance by high school Push-Outs, the policies that lead to removal, displacement, criminalization, and commodification/elimination of indigenous brown bodies, and the community-based places that reengage Pushouts in alternative educational projects. He was a 2017-2018 Fellow for the Public Good at Cal State LA and has published in Race, Ethnicity, and Education, Urban Education, Teachers College Record, Journal of Latinos and Education, anthologies focusing on critical race quantitative methodologies and Chicanx resistance, and in other venues. Working in community with PushOuts, Alejandro founded LA CAUSA and INSPIRE in East LA and Watts, respectively.
Lani Cupchoy, Ph.D.
Lani Cupchoy, Ph.D.
Dr. Lani Cupchoy is a Public Historian-Artivist-Photographer-Filmmaker whose research focuses on Chicanx-Latinx Studies, Ethnic and Gender Studies, United States Transnational/Global History, History of the Americas, Asian American-Pacific Island Studies, Indigenous knowledge, Critical Food Studies, Oral History, Visual & Digital Storytelling, and Critical Civic Engagement, particularly through social and cultural expressions by people of color. As a University educator with K-18 experience since 1997 as well as a PAGE Fellow (2009), UC Diversity Fellow (2008) and CSU Chancellors Fellow (2007), she has authored several publications including "Fragments of Memory" in Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies (2010) and "Breaking the University Myth" in Diálogo (2018). Lani is also an award-winning filmmaker of Truth Seekers (2016), Urban Seeds (2019), Food Medicine (2020) and Aloha Soul Food (2022), documentaries that illuminate the power of activism, community engagement, and social justice. A former elected school board member for Montebello Unified, she led important grassroots policy-making initiatives including the K-12 ethnic studies requirememt, extemsion of the Dual Language Immersion Program to include both Spanish and Mandarin. LGBTQIA+ support and all-gender restrooms,a nd the expansio of school-based gardens (28 schools total) throughout the district. Dr. Cupchoy is currently completing her book: Hawaiian LA: Public Culture, Community, Memory and Collectively as well as her upcoming documentary Islandrification.
Dolores Delgado Bernal, Ph.D.
Dolores Delgado Bernal
Office Location: King Hall C4079
Dr. Dolores Delgado Bernal earned her Ph.D. from UCLA as a first-generation college student. Her scholarship draws from critical race studies, Chicana feminist methodologies, and educational studies to investigate educational (in)equity, Latinx educational pathways, feminista pedagogies, and different forms of resistance. Her co-authored and co-edited books include: Transforming Educational Pathways for Chicana/o Students: A Critical Race Feminista Praxis (2017), Chicana/Latina Testimonios as Pedagogical, Methodological and Activist Approaches to Social Justice (2015), and Chicana/Latina Education in Everyday Life: Feminista Perspectives on Pedagogy and Epistemology (2006). She is an affiliated faculty with the Charter College of Education. Some of her awards include American Educational Research Association Distinguished Scholar Award, Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social Tortuga Outstanding Scholar Award, and Critical Race Studies in Education Association Derrick Bell Legacy Award. Her biggest award is being mamá to three teenage boys.
Sandra J. Gutiérrez de Jesús, Ph.D.
Sandra J. Gutiérrez de Jesús
Office Location: King Hall C4035
Dr. Sandra J. Gutiérrez de Jesús is P’urhépecha, born and raised in the state of Michoacán, Mexico. She is an Assistant Professor at Cal State LA in the Department of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies and the Latin American Studies Program. Her research interests include, but are not limited to indigenous self-government, comunalidad, linguistic revitalization, indigenous radio and media communications, and cultural autonomy. Dr. Gutiérrez is currently working on a book manuscript grounded on oral histories that interweave personal stories, collective memory, and communal ethics in P’urhépecha communities. She is a founding member of Radio Uekorheni, a community-based radio station located in Huecorio, Michoacán, Mexico, which focuses on the documentation and revitalization of P’urhépecha language and indigenous knowledge systems. Dr. Gutiérrez enjoys spending time with her family, watching horror movies, and embroidering.
Rafael Solórzano, Ph.D.
Office Location: King Hall B-3023
Dr. Rafael R. Solórzano joined Cal State LA as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chicana(o) and Latina(o) Studies in the fall of 2019. Rafael is a social movement historian whose teaching interest include Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x history, racial geographies, and queer of color critique. He earned his Ph.D. in Chicana and Chicano Studies at UCLA with an emphasis on gender studies. Born and raised behind the orange curtain of Orange County, CA, Rafael has been a racial justice advocate for over 20 years. He plans to write racial justice history by documenting coalition efforts that center those most marginalized in society. His current book project, Trail of Dreams; Forging New Visions of Migrant Justice, documents the political ingenuity led by undocumented youth along the Trail, a four month, 1,500 mile walk from Miami, FL to Washington D.C. in 2010.
Valerie Talavera-Bustillos, Ph.D.
Office Location: King Hall B-3023
Professor Talavera-Bustillos is a fourth-generation Chicana and a first-generation college student from South Gate. She graduated from Pius X High School, attended UC Irvine, and received her doctorate in 1998 from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education, mentored by Professor Daniel G. Solórzano. She began teaching Chicano Studies in 1999 as an adjunct and joined the faculty in 2003. Another mentor, Professor Rita Ledesma guided her passion for teaching and supporting students. Professor Talavera-Bustillos is a full professor and served as Summer Department Chair from 2014-2016 and was Interim Department Chair in 2016. She was the director of two mentorship programs and Chair of the Chicano/Latino faculty advocacy group in 2017. She brings her personal experiences and academic training to her teaching to help students become critical thinkers, develop as scholars-in-training, and serve our community now and after they graduate.
Gabriela Valenzuela, Ph.D.
Gabriela Valenzuela, Ph.D.
Dr. Gabriela Valenzuela is a literary scholar and assistant professor. Her research interests include US Central American literature from the long nineteenth century to the present, Latine literatures, racial capitalism, genre and literariness, and print culture. Before she earned her Ph.D. in English from UCLA, Dr. Valenzuela received a BA and MA in English from Cal State LA. She is currently working on a book project about late-nineteenth-century Central American literary and cultural production in San Francisco.
Lauren Arenson, Ph.D.
Dr. Lauren Arenson completed her Ph.D. at the University of Southern California in Intercultural Education. In addition to her years of teaching at Pasadena City College and CSULA, she has worked at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the Page Museum (La Brea Tar Pits) and the Los Angeles Zoo. Dr. Arenson also currently teaches in the department of Anthropology at Cal State LA. She has worked on three textbooks and an online lab manual in Physical Anthropology. She was awarded the Ralph Story Service Award for significant contributions to the college, to the community, and to the field of education. As a trained member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corp, her research interests focus on climate change and issues of diversity, health inequities and environmental justice.
Nora Cisneros, Ph.D.
Dr. Nora Alba Cisneros received her Ph.D., Masters, and Bachelors degrees from UCLA. Professor Cisneros specializes in Chicana and Indigenous Feminist Pedagogies, Critical Race Theories in Education, Writing, and Adolescent Psychology. Proudly raised by padres Mexicanos in Inglewood, Professor Cisneros researches how Indigenous and Chicana/Latina youth are engaged as writers to create more just education policies, more meaningful social movements, and ultimately more empowered ways of living while refusing settler colonialism and heteropatriarchy. As a founding member of the Mothers of Color in Academia (MOCA) collective, Professor Cisneros is a strong advocate for students with dependents. Her writing has been featured in The International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, in Chicana M(other)work Anthology (forthcoming, University of Arizona Press) and in The Huffington Post. She lives in Compton and adores family time, cafecito and vintage sci-fi.
"Sonny" Richard E. Espinoza, Ph.D.
"Sonny" Richard E. Espinoza
“Sonny” Richard E. Espinoza PhD has taught in the field of Chicana/o Studies for more than 18 years at institutions such as UCLA, Loyola Marymount University, and UC Irvine. He is a passionate educator, activist-scholar, and father, whose research interests include race, mass media and the Latino market, Chicana/o cinema, Latin American cinema, and the function of digital media in the service of social justice. His teaching pedagogy applies critical race theory to the interrogation of mass media for the purpose of developing media literacy and conscientization. He has also taught community engagement courses in Boyle Heights, where Cal State LA students and youth have collaborated to create digital media to address social justice and community health. Dr. Espinoza received his doctorate in Critical Studies at the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television, and his current research focuses on the visual documentation of the Chicano Moratorium.
Julio Puente García, Ph.D.
Julio Puente García, Ph.D.
Dr. Puente García earned his Ph.D. in Latin American Literature and Culture from UCLA and completed a Postdoctoral fellowship at Santa Clara University. He specializes in Mexican and Mexican-American intellectual history, social movements, and migration studies. His most recent articles are: “Battling for the Spanish Language: Cultural Conflicts in Rolando Hinojosa’s Novel Generaciones y semblanzas (1977)” and “Nostalgias del intelectual literario en México: Ignacio Padilla, el terremoto del 85 y los límites del arte de la implicación.” He has been teaching at Cal State L.A. since 2015 in the Departments of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies and Modern Languages. Dr. Puente García is also a writer. His book, Acrobacias Angelinas, won the Rudolfo Anaya Award at the International Latino Book Awards in 2021.
Olga A. Garcia, M.F.A.
Olga A. Garcia
Poet Olga Garcia Echeverría is the author of Falling Angeles: Cuentos y Poemas, the chapbook Lovely Little Creatures and a contributor to the anthology, Imaniman: Poets Writing in The Anzaldúan Borderlands. Her work is found in numerous literary spaces including Lavandería: A Mixed Load of Women, Wash and Words; The Sun; and Telling Tongues: A Latinx Anthology on Language. She is a Touching Lives Fellow awarded by A Room of Her Own Foundation (AROHO) to women writers and artists who have made significant long-term contributions to students and teaching. Garcia Echeverría earned her M.F.A. from the University of Texas, El Paso, B.A. in Ethnic Studies, UC Santa Cruz, and an honorary degree in Code-switching from the Universidad Autónoma de Lenguas Desbordadas.
Michelle L. Lopez, M.F.A.
Michelle L. Lopez
Michelle L. Lopez is a Cal State LA alumna earning both her M.A. and her M.F.A. from the institution. In 2014, she joined the Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies Department as a lecturer. She is an educator, artist, curator, grant writer, community organizer, and mom. The focus of her research is in pre-Columbian and contemporary cultural studies and different forms of activism. Michelle serves as the finance director for the artivist (artist and activist) organization Mujeres de Maiz, and she also works with the Boyle Heights arts organization Self Help Graphics & Art. Her most recent work in fall 2018 includes co-curating the exhibition, Entre Tinta y Lucha: 45 Years of Self Help Graphics & Art at the Cal State LA Fine Arts Gallery.
Felicia "Fe" Montes, M.F.A.
Felicia "Fe" Montes
Omar G. Ramirez
Omar G. Ramirez
Omar G. Ramirez’s methodology is rooted in Chicanx art, specifically the intersection of art in public spaces and community transformation. He uses a Restorative Cultural Arts Practice holding space for collaboration, participation, and engagement. It’s a process that facilitates and encourages transformation, cultural perpetuity, and the use of historical/cultural knowledge. It provides a critique of social oppression and a pathway toward social, economic, and environmental justice for participants and audience. The process emphasizes creative problem-solving and promotes collaborative solution practices. As a practitioner, teaching artist, and creative strategist his work focuses on a process that defuses focus on object monetization and engages through dynamic interactions addressing the social and emotional needs of participants and audiences. Ramirez has been facilitating, participating, and collaborating for over 20 years in community spaces, educational institutions, and with incarcerated populations.
Leda Ramos, M.F.A.
Leda Ramos, M.F.A., Rutgers University, teaches Chicanx Latinx Art, Film, Visual Culture and Transmedia Organizing. She is Director of the Central American Memoria Historica Archive Project at Cal State LA and artist/co-curator of the 2018-2019 exhibition "Central American Families: Networks & Cultural Resistance," JFK Memorial Library. Current art projects include: Dolores Huerta Plaza in Boyle Heights; CLS Department Visual Design (2016-2019); CFA-LA Organizing; UMAS/MEChA exhibit; International Zapatista Women’s Encuentro, Chiapas (2018); Co-editor, Izote Vos: A Collection of Salvadoran American Writing and Visual Art; FORO 2000 Poetry/Performance, El Salvador; Space, Site and Intervention: Situating Installation Art (Minnesota Press); Hidden Labor: History of the Garment Industry, Common Threads Artists & ADOBE LA (Architects, Artists and Designers Opening Up the Border Edge of Los Angeles). She is a former College Art Associate Fellow (1997) at The Getty Research Institute.
Ryan E. Santos, Ph.D.
Ryan E. Santos
Dr. Ryan E. Santos earned his Ph.D. from UCLA. His interdisciplinary training is rooted in the fields of education and ethnic studies. His research interests are historical studies of educational issues and legal cases, such as segregation and bilingual education, relevant to Chicanx and Latinx communities through a Critical Race Educational History methodology. He is currently working on a manuscript that contextualizes Chicanx community experiences and perspectives of school desegregation efforts in Crawford v. Los Angeles Board of Education (1963-1982) within the larger Chicanx movement struggle for social justice. His co-authored research on Latinx community college student experiences with developmental education has been published in the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, the Perspectivas policy brief series, and the PATHWAYS to Postsecondary Success policy report series. He loves being a dad, watching soccer games, and reading graphic novels.
Daniel Topete, Ph.D.
Daniel Topete is a Chicanx Studies scholar. He received a Ph.D. in American Studies in 2016 from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He also received a Bachelors and Masters in Chicano Studies from Cal State LA in 2006 and 2009, and wrote a Master’s thesis titled Undocumented Music: Belonging and Citizenship through Los Angeles based Hip-hop. His work focuses on artivism, Chicana/o Latina/o education, construction of the Nation, assimilation, Chicanx social movements, and gender performance. He taught in American Studies and Chicano Studies at the University of Minnesota from 2009 to 2015 and began teaching at Cal State LA in Fall 2015. His dissertation is titled Taking Back Mi Lengua: Spanish Rock, Space, and Authenticity in Chicana/o Barrios & Academia, and he is currently working on the manuscript, ‘Nunca Me Voy A Transformar En Ti:’ Negotiations of Mexican Nationalism in Chicana/Chicano Identity.
Theresa A. Yugar, Ph.D.
Theresa A. Yugar
Theresa A. Yugar is a Peruvian American scholar in religion whose academic focus is on women and ecology in Latin America. She is a graduate of Harvard University with a master’s degree in Feminist Theology and has a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in the field of Women Studies in Religion. Her teaching and research interests include creating counter narratives in course curriculum, reclaiming the native indigenous cosmology within a Buen Vivir ecological framework, reimagining Andean colonial frameworks, and reflecting on 17th century Novohispana Latina woman Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz in a contemporary U.S. context. She is the author of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Feminist Reconstruction of Biography and Text (Wipf and Stock, 2014), and chief editor for the co-edited book "Valuing Lives, Healing Earth: Religion, Gender, and Life on Earth (Peeters, Belgium, 2021) which focuses on women who embody commitments to healing the earth rendered vulnerable by problematic social systems in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
Arturo Zepeda, M.A.
Arturo Zepeda is a Cal State L.A alumni earning his M.A in Chicana/o Studies. He also received his B.A in Latin American Studies with a minor in Central American Studies. In 2014, he joined the Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies Department as a lecturer. The focus of his research is in Latin American social movements, barrio activism, and transnational grassroots organizing. His methodology is rooted in community pedagogies, specifically in theories of postcolonial studies, subaltern studies, and coloniality of power. He uses an interdisciplinary approach to understand how ethnic politics and popular education is utilized by Latin American grassroots social movements to resist the cultural legacies of colonialism. Furthermore, he uses ethnographic research and testimonios to understand Latina/o immigrant activism. Prior to teaching, Arturo was a community organizer on immigrant rights to day laborers and undocumented students in the Westlake area.
Administrative Support Coordinator
Office: King Hall C-4069