Project Director - Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez launched the U.S. Latino & Latina WWII Oral History Project in the summer of 1999, with the help of a $36,500 grant from the A.H. Belo Corp. Foundation. The grant paid for the work needed to organize and hold a conference dedicated to the topic, in May 2000, at UT-Austin. Dr. Rivas-Rodriguez and Project Advisory Committee member David Montejano served as conference co-chairs for the event, which focused both academic and public interest in the project. The resulting edited volume was entitled "Mexican Americans & WWII" (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005) and includes 11 manuscripts from the conference.
Dr. Rivas-Rodriguez has taught a class, now called Oral History as Journalism, dedicated to the oral history project for several semesters. That class played an essential part in the publication of the newspaper Narratives: Stories of U.S. Latinos and Latinas of the WWII Generation, which featured stories about each person interviewed. After the newspaper ceased publication, the project produced a book that summarizes 425 of the stories produced in the newspaper. The book, A Legacy Greater than Words: Stories of U.S. Latinos & Latinas of the WWII Generation, was self-published by the project and distributed by the University of Texas Press in 2006.
Dr. Rivas-Rodriguez worked as a journalist for over 17 years before receiving her doctorate in Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998. She earned her Masters of Journalism in 1977 from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and her Bachelors of Journalism in 1976 from the University of Texas at Austin. She joined the faculty of the UT School of Journalism in 1998.
She was on the committee that organized the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and organized two of its most effective youth efforts: a writing contest for high school students and a convention newspaper that trained college students under the mentoring and training of professional journalists. The model she developed for the convention newspaper has been adopted, and adapted, by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the National Association of Black Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association.
Alfonso R. Batres is the Chief Officer of Readjustment Counseling Service, Department of Veterans Affairs. He has direct oversight of the 206 Vet Centers providing readjustment counseling service to war zone veterans nationally to include centers in Puerto Rico, Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam, and assists the Under Secretary for Health in policy issues effecting veterans health care.
Dr. Batres received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Colorado-Boulder and MSSW from the University of Louisville. Dr. Batres has been a national and international leader in the development and provision of services for veterans with combat related trauma. Dr. Batres received the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award in 1999 reflecting his leadership skills at the Senior Executive Level.
His publications include (with Harvey, OJ, Frank, H., and Gore E.J.) "Relationship of Belief Systems to Shame and Guilt," Journal of Personality and Individual Differences (1998) 25: 769-783; and (with Rodela, E. S.) "The Stressor-Strain Framework: Understanding cross-cultural Issues and the Hispanic Vietnam Veteran," Journal of Multicultural Social Work, Vol. 3(2) (1994)
Don Carleton is director of UT-Austin’s Center for American History and the J. R. Parten Fellow in the Archives of American History. He is the author of Red Scare! (1985) and A Breed So Rare (1998).
Dr. Carleton’s work as an oral historian includes his research for both books as well as several special oral history projects. The latter includes serving as Walter Cronkite’s oral historian for Cronkite’s autobiography. He currently serves as oral historian and advisory board member for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation oral history project, "The Pioneers of Television." Dr. Carleton has senior faculty appointments in UT-Austin’s Department of History and its School of Journalism.
Jaime Chahín, Dean of the College of Applied Arts at Texas State University in San Marcos, is also the project director of Las Colonias, a project to address public policy issues involved in the issue. Las Colonias also had a documentary component.
Dr. Chahín served as a Senior Policy Analyst for the Select Committee for Higher Education in Texas which reported its findings to the legislature in 1987. Dr. Chahín has also been Dean of Student Personnel Services and Research at Texas Southmost College in Brownsville, Texas (1980 to 1986) and as instructor in the Education Department at University of Texas at Brownsville.
He graduated from Eagle Pass High School in 1971 and received his Ph.D. in Education Administration in 1977 and his M.A. in 1975 in Administration and Policy from the University of Michigan. His Bachelor’s in Sociology and Political Science is from Texas A & I University in 1974. He did Post Doctoral work in Higher Education Management in 1980 and 1983 at Harvard University.
Jorge Chapa is Professor and Founding Director of Latino Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. Jorge taught at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas Austin from 1988 through 1999. Dr. Chapa was part of the Dream Team of professors and legislators, he formulated the Top Ten Percent Plan, as a method for recruiting minority students to UT.
His Bachelors degree is from the University of Chicago. His graduate degrees are in Sociology and Demography from U.C. Berkeley. His research interests center on Hispanic educational issues with the goal of creating or increasing knowledge on the Latino population of the U.S. and applying this knowledge to policy issues.
Augustine Chavez is the former Director of the San Diego State University Office of Educational Opportunities and Ethnic Affairs.
A native of Sonora, Texas, Mr. Chavez used the Project as an outreach effort to attract minority students to SDSU. Under his guidance, two students worked full time in the summer of 2000 and part time in the fall of 2000 to find interview subjects and interview them for the project. Mr. Chavez developed an excellent model for partnering with the project.
Gil Coronado is the former director of the Selective Service System. He has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Mr. Coronado enlisted in the Air Force at age 16 and retired with the rank of colonel after a 30-year career, during which he earned over 35 awards and decorations, including the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star. He served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
Mr. Coronado was the initiating force and guiding hand in the movement for the creation of National Hispanic Heritage Month designated by Congress in 1988. He won the President’s Award from the League of United Latin American Citizens. And he is also the chairman and founder of Heroes and Heritage and a member of the National Consortium for Educational Access.
He is a native of San Antonio, Texas, and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Our Lady of the Lake University and is a graduate of several U.S. government and military service schools.
Miguel Encinias, of Albuquerque, is a veteran of three wars: WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
Dr. Encinias is originally from Las Vegas, N.M., was a Spitfire pilot in the Army Air Corps during WWII, flying over Northern Italy, Corsica and Sicily. He was shot down over Northern Italy and was a German prisoner of war for 15 months.
After his return, Dr. Encinias used the GI Bill to earn a BS from Georgetown University’s Foreign Service School. He later earned a Masters in French. After his retirement at age 48, he attended the University of New Mexico and earned a Ph.D. in literature.
Yolette Garcia has served as executive producer for several KERA television documentaries, including Peacemaker (PBS, 1996), the national Emmy Award-winning documentary, After Goodbye (PBS, 1994). She is a former president of the Dallas-based Network of Hispanic Communicators, and a former member of the board of directors of Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.
In 1990 she was awarded the Religious Public Relations Council’s Wilbur Award for Project Crossroads and is the co-recipient of the 1988 Silver Apple Award from the National Educational Film and Video Festival for The Other Side of The Border. She received the Katie Award from the Press Club of Dallas for the best general news story in 1987, and in 1993 for best interview/talk show.
García is a summa cum laude graduate of Southern Methodist University, with a Masters of Arts degree in Art History. Ms. Garcia received her undergraduate degree in Art History from Wellesley College, Wellesley, Mass. She is the niece of the late Dr. Hector P. Garcia, the founder of the American G.I. Forum.
Humberto García Muñiz is a professor of history at the University of Puerto Rico’s Institute for Caribbean Studies. Dr. Ga’s Ph.D. in history is from Columbia University; his Masters, in International Relations, is from the Institute of International Relations, University of the West Indies.
He has published widely in academic journals and has conducted oral history interviews with Puerto Rican veterans of WWII. His publications include: La Estrategia de Estados Unidos y la Militarización del Caribe, (San Juan: Instituto de Estudios del Caribe, Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1988); with (with Betsaida Vélez Natal) Bibliografía Militar del Caribe (San Juan: Centro de Investigaciones Históricas, Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1992). His book chapters include: "El Caribe durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial: El Mediterráneo," in Puerto Rico en las Relaciones Internacionales del Caribe, Carmen Gautier Mayoral, et al, Eds.. (Rio Piedras: Huracan, 1990, p. 165-184.)
David B. Gracy II is the Governor Bill Daniel Professor in Archival Enterprise at the UT-Austin Graduate School of Library and Information Science. He is a former President of the Society of American Archivists.
Dr. Gracy worked in the Texas State Archives and The University of Texas Archives before becoming Archivist, Southern Labor Archives, Georgia State University, and then Director, Texas State Archives and Library. Dr. Gracy’s research interests include archives and records management, as well as American biography.
He is the author of Archives and Manuscripts: Arrangement and Description, (Chicago, Ill, Society of American Archivists, 1977); An Introduction to Archives and Manuscripts, (New York: Special Libraries Association, 1981); Littlefields Lands: Colonization on the Texas Plains, 1912-1920, (Austin: UT Press, 1968); Moses Austin: His Life, (San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 1987). Both his Bachelor’s and his Masters degrees are in history from UT Austin. His Ph.D. in history is from Texas Tech University.
Richard Griswold del Castillo is the chairman of the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department at San Diego State University.
Dr. del Castillo’s books include: Aztlan Reocupada: A Political and Cultural History Since 1945-The Influence of Mexico on Mexican American Society in Post War America (Mexico City: Centro de Investigacion Sobre Los Esados Unidos, UNAM, 1996); The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: A Legacy of Conflict (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990); La Familia: Chicano Families in the Urban Southwest, 1848 to the present (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984); The Los Angeles Barrio, 1850-1890: A Social History (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1980); Cesar Chavez: A Triumph of Spirit (with Richard Garcia) (University of Oklahoma Press, 1995); and North to Aztlan: Mexican Americans in United States History (with Arnoldo De Leon), (Twayne Publishers,1996). He has served as a consultant on two documentaries: "The U.S.-Mexican War," produced by KERA-TV Dallas and "Cesar Chavez," produced by independent documentarian Rick Tejada Flores (1994).
His doctorate in history is from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Margo Gutierrez is the Assistant Head Librarian at the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection at UT-Austin. Gutierrez is co-author, with Matt Meier, of the Encyclopedia of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement (Greenwood, 2000).
A native of Tucson, Ms. Gutierrez received both her Bachelors and her Masters in library science from the University of Arizona, and a Masters in Latin American Studies from UT. Ms. Gutierrez has worked tirelessly to gather archival material about Texas Mexican American history, including the Viva Kennedy clubs that centered around JFK’s presidential campaign. ]
George A. Martinez is a professor at the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Professor Martinez was a teaching fellow in the department of philosophy at the University of Michigan from 1979-81 and a visiting assistant professor of philosophy at Texas Christian University from 1981-82. He has also worked in private practice in Chicago and San Francisco.
His publications include: "Legal Indeterminancy, Judicial Discretion and the Mexican-American Litigation Experience: 1930-1980," University of California at Davis Law Review 555 (1984); and "The Legal Construction of Race: Mexican Americans and Whiteness," Harvard Law Review (Fall 1997). He is associate editor of NAFTA: Law and Business Review of the Americas.
David Montejano is the chair of the Center for Latino Policy Research and an Associate Professor, in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Montejano is the immediate past director of the Center for Mexican American Studies.
His Bachelors is from UT and his Masters and PhD. in Sociology are from Yale University. He specializes in comparative and historical sociology, political sociology, and race and ethnic relations. He is the author of the award-winning Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 1836-1986 (UT Press, 1987) and the editor of Chicano Politics and Society in the Late Twentieth Century (UT Press, 1999).
Joanne Rao Sanchez is a Professor of History in the New College Program at St. Edward’s University in Austin, where she has taught since 1980. She received her doctorate in European and Latin American histories from the University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Sanchez has served as a consultant for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board since 1984. Her teaching interests include the history of Mexican Americans, Mexican history and Women and World War II. Dr. Sanchez’ honors include being named the New College Teacher of The Year in 1998 and the "Vision and Excellence Award" by the New College Program.
In addition to serving on the advisory committee, Dr. Sanchez has been conducting oral history interviews for the project, as well as matching volunteer interviewers with interview subjects.
Mario L. Sánchez of Austin is a historian and registered architect.
In 1990, in partnership with public and private sector organizations, Dr. Sánchez helped to initiate "Los Caminos del Rio" (the roads of the river), a historical and cultural tourism corridor linking Texas/Mexico communities along the Lower Rio Grande River. The binational corridor concept was formally presented in the published cultural survey entitled, A Shared Experience: the History, Architecture and Historic Designations of the Lower Rio Grande Heritage Corridor. A second edition of the survey, enhanced with a teacher’s guide and traveling history trunks, was released in 1994, and it is currently used in school districts throughout South Texas. Dr. San’ projects have led him to raise over $16 million from private philanthropies, corporate donations and federal programs.
His doctorate is in European and Latin American History from the University of Notre Dame and his master’s degree in architecture from UT-Austin. Dr. Sánchez is currently employed by the Texas Department of Transportation to assess and to plan transportation projects that impact cultural resources.
Otto Santa Ana is a founding member and associate professor in the César Chávez Center for Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Santa Ana’s research interests involve sociolinguistics and sociology of language, bilingualism, codeswitching, language and ethnic community formation, maintenance and change. Dr. Santa Ana has researched the development of Chicano English among Mexican Americans in Los Angeles. This required 18 months of ethnographic work in four barrios in Los Angeles (Boyle Heights, South San Gabriel, Huntington Park, and north and south Montebello). Over 150 full-length interviews of Chicanos and Chicanas were conducted across five generations, from immigrants to the great-grandchildren of immigrants. Ph.D., Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, 1991. M.A. in linguistics and his B.A. in anthropology are from the University of Arizona.
Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez is professor and Chairman, Chicano and Chicana Studies Department at Arizona State University.
His research area includes ethnic and minority groups in the United States and Mexico as well as peoples of the Hispanic Caribbean, and he has numerous publications in these areas. His specialties include applied anthropology, the anthropology of education, complex systems, transnationalism, migration, political and economic anthropology, and the anthropology of human rights.
Dr. Vélez-Ibáñez is the author of numerous articles and books which include the award-winning Border Visions: Mexican Cultures of the Southwest United States (1996); Bonds of Mutual Trust: The Cultural Systems of Rotating Credit Associations Among Urban Mexicans and Chicanos (1983); and Rituals of Marginality: Politics, Process, and Culture Change in Central Urban Mexico (1983). His forthcoming publications include:Human Rights, Power, and Difference: Expanding Contemporary Interpretations of Human Rights in Theory and Practice. Jr. Co-Editor with Carol Nagengaust. (Washington D.C.: Publications of the Society of Applied Anthropology); Transnational Transformations: Re-examining the Politics, Process, and Cultures of Latino Communities in the New Millenium. Sr. Co-Editor with Anna Sampaio, and Manolo González-Estay. (Boulder: Rowland and Littlefield and Latin American Perspectives Special Volume).