Faculty and Student Research

Maria-Socorro Tabuenca, Ph.D. Hispanic Languages and Literatures

Maria Socorro Tabuenca is the Academic Director for the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies and Professor of Spanish. She obtained her Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, an M.A. in Spanish Literature and a B.A. in Foreign Languages from the University of Texas at El Paso. She has taught at the University of Texas at El Paso in the Chicano Studies Program since 1992. Her multidisciplinary courses include La Chicana and The Border Image in Mexican Film–which she developed. Tabuenca-Córdoba is the author of Mujeres Fronteras; Una Perspectiva de Género (CONACULTA/ICHICULT, 1998); co-author of Lo Que el Viento a Juárez; Testimonios de Una Ciudad que se Obstina (with Ricardo Aguilar; U. Iberoamericana/Ediciones Nimbus, 2000) and Writing From la Frontera (with Debra Castillo; University of Minnesota Press, 2002). She is a co-editor of Gobernabilidad e Ingobernabilidad en la Region Paso del Norte (with Luis Antonio Payán; El Colef/UACJ, NMSU/Editorial Eón, 2004) and Bordeando la Violencia Contra las Mujeres en la Frontera Norte de México (with Julia Monárrez Fragoso, El Colef, 2007). Professor Tabuenca has published in national and international journals mainly on border Mexican women writers, borders’ theories, Chicano/a film and literature, border cultural production, and her recent research is on Juárez femicide and its impact on the media. She has also published various chapters on other books in Mexico, the United States and the Netherlands.

Aileen El-Kadi, Ph.D. Latin American Literature

Aileen El-Kadi is an Assistant Professor in charge of the Brazilian Studies Program. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Brazilian culture (literature,films, politics, and economy) and is currently working on an interdisciplinary project that intends to present plural views on the representations of urban violence in Contemporary Brazilian Fictions. Her forthcoming book intends to be an original study of the social imaginary on urban violence examined from heterogeneous perspectives.

João R. Faria, Ph.D. Economics

Joao R. Faria is a Professor for the Public Administration Program in University College. Previously he was professor of economics at Nottingham Business School, and has taught in Australia and Brazil. He published over 70 articles in the areas of macroeconomics, economic growth, economics of terrorism, and economics of academia. He co-edited one book, and is on the editorial board of academic journals in the areas of economics and political science. Dr. Faria has also been consulting for the World Bank.

Moira A. Murphy, Ph.D. Latin American Studies

Moira A. Murphy is a lecturer in the Latin American and Border Studies Program. Throughout her career she has studied how changing global economics affect people in Latin America. The bulk of her work has been in three interrelated areas: the effects of globalization on education; US-Latin America relations; and gender and development. Within these areas her work has focused on equality of opportunity in the process of the internationalization of education, on the socio-cultural aspects of business relations between the US and Latin America (particularly Mexico) and on the effects of capitalist development on women. Dr. Murphy's publications include the books Educacion e Investigacion: Retos y Oportunidades (Trillas, Mexico City; Ed. with Maria Soledad Ramirez), Ciudad Juarez: Entre la Frontera y el Mundo (DobleHelice, Chihuahua City; Ed.), articles in several journals such as Higher Education, Radical Pedagogy and Elegir, and numerous book chapters. She is particularly interested in methods and topics which cross/impact methodological, geographical, and thematical borders.

Student Rearch

Leticia Orueta Educational Challenges: A Focus on Transnational Students in the U.S./Mexico

A primary goal of Educational Challenges: A Focus on Transnational Students in the U.S. / Mexico is to learn more about educational policies in the U.S. and Mexico in relation to transnational students from the student’s perspective. The data will be collected using questionnaires, interviews, and illustrations. The goal of the study is to understand the need for providing education to transnational students, whether the students stay in each respective foreign country or go back to their native country and return once more. The study provides valuable information as the numbers of transnational students are increasing and educators need to learn more about the topic.

Amaris D. Guzman

Youth Movements in Latin America: Stories of Age, Struggle, and Socio-Political Independence

Literary journals and books suggest that socio-political youth movements in the late 1950’s to early 1980’s were active in the inner workings of their government’s practices, especially those in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Brazil. This topic was brought about as an interest to analyze the phenomenon of the creation of suchhistorical movements and political struggles towards socio-political independence, and to also shed light to the many stories of young men and women who helped create changes as reflected in today’s Latin American societies. These stories will be collected through the use of interviews, surveys, and other first hand historicaldocumentation. This study aims to put forth age as the key factor in the successful implementation of change within the societies of Mexico, the Dominican Republic, andBrazil as seen within the aftermaths of these governments years later.

Leandro Salazar, Jr.

The Indigenous of Guatemala: A History of Protest and Survival

"We are not myths of the past, ruins in the jungle or zoos. We are people and we want to be respected, not to be victims of intolerance and racism." — Rigoberta Menchú, 1992.

The history of the Americas has been one of conflict, conquest, rebuilding, and hopeful development. The indigenous of Guatemala represent a very unique part that history. Perhaps one of the most virulent and rebellious of all indigenous groups of Latin America, this unique group has survived tumultuous circumstances. They have experienced conquest by the Spanish, decimation of much of their numbers by disease, a long line of corrupt governance, land grabs beginning with encomenderos up to modern land-holding entities, a vicious civil war, and natural disasters. Despite these challenges, this particular group remains vigilant and extremely politically active up to this day. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of data concerning indigenous groups in Guatemala. The occurrence of relevant social and political data which might help us understand their unique experiences has only recently become more available. The qualitatively organized research used in this study is intended to bring about a much-needed dialogue concerning the political activity of these groups as well as describe the intransigence stance of preserving and sustaining their ways of life and living without the burdensome oppression of those who wish to impose ‘modern concepts’ of living upon them. Using books, articles, and other literary sources, I intend to highlight the modern struggle of the indigenous of Guatemala.

Monica Garcia

Se Despierta la Mujer Gigante: Changing Latin America through Sustainable Investment in Women

Latin American women, like many women in developing countries, have remained at the bottom of the global economy. They often have limited or no access to education, healthcare, political representation, labor rights and economic development. Many poor communities in Latin America lack essential services needed to eradicate them from extreme poverty, one of them being financial services. In order to achieve economic growth and higher incomes, capital investments are a key determinant. Many argue that in order for capital investments to take place, the availability of credit is of outmost importance – but this is usually what people in extreme poverty lack, specifically women. The argument is made that access to credit is not the sole determinant of women's power and autonomy. In the fight against poverty, micro finance has become an increasingly popular option by many NGO’s in Latin America. There are studies analyzing the impacts of micro credit, but not enough to show a positive correlation between the work of micro credit institutions and the social implications on the eradication of poverty. This paper studies a comparative analysis on the effects of micro credit in Latin American countries in extreme poverty, such are the cases of Bolivia, Guatemala, and El Salvador, and the differences of micro credit programs in India by the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, who pioneered the micro credit phenomena and have reported some success rates in enterprise and social services, unlike the marginal effects micro financing has had in Latin America.