Who We Are

The CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies is comprised of all of the faculty, students, staff, and affiliated community-based organizations working on research, advocacy, and services related to Mexico and Mexicans in the United States. All CUNY faculty, students, and staff pursuing this kind of work and research are automatically affiliated with the Institute and considered a part of our advisory board, but we would like you to be more involved. Consider joining our Executive Board or creating a working group dedicated to a specific topic or theme. Just email us at mexican.studies@lehman.cuny.edu to join our mailing list and tell us your ideas.


Alyshia Gálvez is the director of the CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies. Author of two books on Mexican immigration in New York, Patient Citizens, Immigrant Mothers Mexican Women, Public Prenatal Care and the Birth Weight Paradox (Rutgers University Press, Oct. 2011) and Guadalupe in New York (NYU Press, Dec. 2009), she is a cultural anthropologist and associate professor of Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies at Lehman College. Her research focuses on the efforts by Mexican immigrants in New York City to achieve the rights of citizenship. Her second book Patient Citizens, Immigrant Mothers,was awarded the 2012 ALLA Book Award (Association of Latino and Latin American Anthropologists). She is also the faculty advisor for the Lehman College D.R.E.A.M. Team.

Director's statement on Immigration Reform

Associate Director

Leslie A. Martino-Velez is the Associate Director of the CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies and is an instructor in the Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies department at Lehman College. Her research surrounds issues relating to immigration, education, race/ethnicity and language in the United States as well as in Latin America. Prior to receiving a Master?s degree in Anthropology and Comparative and International Education at Teachers College, Columbia University and starting her PhD in Sociology at the Graduate Center, Leslie was a classroom teacher and teacher trainer for twelve years in schools in Los Angeles, New York and in Mexico. Apart from her current research on indigenous Mexican migration, she worked on a remittances project, a Head Start longitudinal study at the National Center for Children and Families at Columbia University and was a research fellow at the Welte Institute in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Development and Publications Coordinator

Patricia Ruiz-Navarro was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in 2000 to study her M.A. at the New School for Social Research. She recently received her Ph.D. from The Graduate Center at CUNY, where her primary research focus has been the familial decisions of Mexican immigrants, from remittance behavior, to social networks and return decisions. Patricia´s current interests in the health of foreign-born Mexican parents and their U.S. born children integrate cultural, behavior and assimilation issues. She is currently the Development and Publications Coordinator at the CUNY Mexican Studies Institute. She is working with us to prepare a publication based on our conference ˇSalud! Beyond Deficits and Paradoxes in Mexican Immigration and Health, held on May 11, 2012.

College Assistant

Alma Nazario was born in Mexico City but her parents are originally from Puebla, Mexico. She came to the United States at the age of eight and has lived in the Bronx ever since. She is currently a senior at Lehman College majoring in Latin America and Caribbean studies with a minor in Early Childhood Education. She is working with the CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies as a college assistant during her last year of college.


Marlen Fernández and Victor Pajarito are interns and scholarship winners with the IME Becas program. Marlen will be coordinating work with the IME Becas program as part of her internship while Victor will be supporting our Mexican Indigenous Languages Campaign.

Marlen Fernández

Marlen Fernández is a junior at Lehman College, majoring in Anthropology and Latin American Studies. She is also treasurer of the Lehman DREAM Team and co-founder of the Westchester DREAM Team.



Victor Pajarito

Victor Pajarito was born in Puebla Mexico, but will always call Brooklyn his home. He is a Linguistics and Russian major at Lehman College with a double minor in Spanish and Anthropology.



Executive Board

At the CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies' Annual Meeting on Sept. 20, 2012, the Advisory Board elected the Executive Board. We are thrilled to work with this fantastic board.

Administrator Ricardo Fernandez Lehman College/CUNY Bio
Administrator   José Magdaleno Lehman College/CUNY Bio
Staff   Jesus Pérez Brooklyn College/CUNY  
Faculty David A. Badillo Lehman College/CUNY Bio
Faculty   Juan De la Cruz Lehman College/CUNY Bio
Faculty Alfonso Gonzales Lehman College/CUNY Bio
Faculty Gerardo Renique City College- CUNY Bio
Faculty Robert C. Smith Baruch College/CUNY Bio
Faculty   Oswaldo Zavala College of Staten Island/CUNY Bio
Faculty Isabel Martinez John Jay College/CUNY Bio
IME Becario/Student Jasniya Sanchez Baruch College/CUNY Bio
Student   Cesar Zuniga Graduate Center/CUNY Bio
Administrator Jay Hershenson CUNY Bio
CBO   Juan Carlos Aguirre Mano a Mano Bio
CBO   Emily Socolov Mano a Mano - Founding Director Bio
Consul Carlos Sada Solana Consulate General of Mexico Bio



The governance structure of the Institute consists of an Executive Committee and a Director.The Executive Committee shall consist of sixteen full members. Executive Committee members shall be elected during the Institute's annual meeting (comprised of the Executive Committee and the Advisory Board). They shall serve a two-year term. Executive Committee members may be reelected. For the pilot year of the Institute only, one half of the Executive Committee will be elected for a two-year term and one half for a one-year term, thus enabling future staggering of the Executive Committee elections.

The Executive Committee shall meet at least once a semester. Additional meetings may be called by the Director of the Institute or at the written request of three Executive Committee members.

The Executive Committee shall decide all policy and program issues, including but not limited to programs, invited speakers, budgetary items, and the creation of committees to facilitate operational functions.

The Institute will also be guided by an Advisory Board. The Advisory Board will provide a forum for the discussion of the Institute's activities and mission and ensure its continued relevance to the community and its interests. The Advisory Board shall meet at least once per academic year. The Advisory Board will be comprised of:

  • members of the Executive Committee
  • members of the CUNY Working Task Force on Strengthening Educational Opportunities for Mexicans and Mexican Americans
  • affiliated faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduate students
  • community leaders and directors of community-based organizations whose mission is relevant to the Institute's work
  • others upon nomination and approval by the Executive Committee

Affiliated faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduate students: All CUNY graduate and undergraduate students and faculty whose work focuses on Mexican Studies (broadly defined) will be considered affiliates of the Institute and welcome to participate in its annual meeting and advisory board. Affiliation will be activated by participation in the advisory board.

Annual Meeting

On September 20, 2012, the CUNY Inst. of Mexican Studies had its first Annual Meeting. All attendees of the annual meeting comprise members of the advisory board. The executive board was elected by the advisory board. Minutes of the meeting.

Events Calendar