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CUNY Mexican Studies Institute




The Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute is comprised of 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, pursuing this kind of work and research can request affiliation by emailing a formal request to Consider joining our Executive Board or creating a working group dedicated to a specific topic or theme, call (347) 577-4080 or email us at to join our mailing list and tell us your ideas.

José Higuera López, Deputy Director

José Higuera LópezJosé Higuera is the Deputy Director, of the Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute at CUNY. He was born in Tijuana, Baja California, México and immigrated to the US in 2009. Before joining the JLMSI, José Higuera was a professor of the School of Languages and of the School of Pedagogy and Educational Innovation at the Autonomous University of Baja California. In 2011, Higuera founded CCBR Preschool, Language & Arts Center in Brooklyn, where he served as Founding Director until February 2016. Previously, as Co-founder and Vice-president of the Mexican Association of Pedagogical Consultants, he developed and implemented numerous workshops on techniques and strategies to strengthen academic practices for the Baja California State Department of Education. In 2006, he was granted a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Arkansas and is a member of the Fulbright Association. Since 1994, he has been actively involved in diverse social and cultural initiatives with different community based organizations like SEDEPAC/American Friends Service Committee, Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Senior Center, Hogar Infantil La Gloria, and SOS Children's Villages. José Higuera is convinced that a strong academic background that fosters leadership potential and promotes mutual understanding among cultures, furthers opportunities for students that can lead to success.

Marlen Fernández, Scholarship Program Coordinator

Marlen FernándezMarlen Fernández is currently the Scholarship Coordinator for the CUNY BECAS Scholarship Program at Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute at CUNY. This scholarship primary aids students with little or no access to financial aid. She is the founding coordinator of educational outreach at the Institute where she led programs in Brooklyn and at the Consulate General of Mexico in New York. Her family is originally from Puebla, Mexico. Not a native New Yorker, she grew up in Westchester, just outside of New York City. Marlen is currently a graduate student at Baruch College studying Higher Education Administration. She recently received the 40 under 40 Rising Stars award by the Hispanic Coalition of New York. Marlen also has experience organizing around the issues of undocumented youth, formerly the President of the Lehman Dream Team, Co-founder of the Westchester Dream Team, and former member of the New York State Youth Leadership Council.

Rosalía Reyes, Digital Archive and Resource Unit Coordinator

Francisco Aquino RamirezRosalía Reyes is a Mexican journalist. She moved to New York City in 2012, since then she has worked for various reputable media outlets as a cultural reporter, producer and editor. Now she hosts and produces “Nueva York Entre Letras,” a TV show featuring interviews with Spanish-language authors. The program is aired on Manhattan Neighborhood Network and it is also on air in a Mexican TV channel, in Monterrey, Mexico.

She combines her journalistic work with her academic facet as a Spanish adjunct lecturer at Lehman College and The City College of New York.

She holds a Bachelors degree in Communication Sciences, Major in Journalism (UANL-Mexico), a Masters degree in Spanish Literature from City College  and a Masters degree in Humanities from The University of Monterrey.

Before moving to NYC, she worked for ten years as reporter for the two leading Mexican newspapers in her hometown Monterrey, Mexico: El Norte (Reforma Group), and Milenio, for which she covered government, politics, and conducted investigative reporting. She also covered community and cultural news and contributed radio and video reporting to Milenio's sister TV channel and Radio Stations.

After her work as reporter she worked five years for the University of Monterrey (UDEM) as School Services Communications Coordinator where she designed and developed digital and print campaigns to circulate information on academic, financial and extracurricular programs among students and their parents. After this position she worked as Media Relations Manager for the same university, where she edited and oversaw the production of the university's magazine and press releases. She also developed and conducted faculty training courses for interviews by journalists.

Lisett Mendoza, Administrative Coordinator

Francisco Aquino Ramirez

Lisett Mendoza is the Administrative Coordinator at the Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute at CUNY. Mendoza is also a Facilitator at Qualitas of Life Foundation and an Organizer for Language Exchange NYC. She recently received her Bachelors of Science in International Trade & Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology with minors in Economics, Italian and Mandarin. She is native to California and daughter of Mexican immigrants. She first moved to New York City in 2013 to pursue studies and a career in the Fashion Industry. Her exposure to the wide diversity of cultures found in New York City, interest in business and passion for learning languages led her to make a major career change. Before joining the Mexican Studies Institute, Lisett worked as a Management Consultant at Qualitas of Life Foundation - A non-profit organization that provides basic financial education to the Latino Community in New York to foster economic empowerment and a better standard of living. Prior to this, she worked as an Accounts Receivable Clerk at Nu-Way Scientific. Her interest in finance and love for working with the community has led her to the Mexican Studies Institute and she’s excited for this opportunity!

Claudia Barraza, Communication and Grants Coordinator

Francisco Aquino RamirezClaudia Barraza is currently the Communication and Grants Coordinator at the Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute at CUNY. She is originally from Baja California, Mexico and moved to New York City in 2016. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Language Education from Universidad Autonoma de Baja California and a Bachelor's of Science in Food Science from Universidad Iberoamericana de Tijuana. In 2016 she began working with the Mexican Community through the Memorial Sloan Kettering Center. There she worked in community outreach and various research initiatives. During this experience she sought to help create policies that empower and propel the Mexican community in New York City. Today under her new role she seeks to connect the Mexican Community through the various communication outlets. Furthermore her strong research and analytical skills will help to find new grants for the Institute to pursuit.

Maria Hernandez, Research Assistant

Francisco Aquino RamirezMaria Hernandez is a  recent graduate of Lehman College, where she double majored  in Political Science and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Her family is originally from Puebla, Mexico. Hernandez joined the Mexican Studies Institute as the research assistant. Working on closely with the Latin American Studies department at Lehman she is actively seeking new lines of research for the Institute.Her academic interests include migration, borders studies, political theory, environmental issues, and food politics.Currently she is also a research assistant at Columbia University working on “CAMINANDO y Comiendo Rico Y Sano”. Hernandez in the near future aspires to pursue a doctoral degree in geopolitics.




Pablo Jimenez Meza, Educational Opportunities Initiative Coordinator

Pablo Jimenez is the Educational Opportunities Initiative Coordinator. He was born in Puebla, Puebla, and migrated to the United States in 2013. Pablo holds a B.A. in International Relations from ITAM (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Mexico City), where he researched on the role of interreligious dialogue in domestic and international peace-making processes.
Before moving to NYC in 2015, Pablo Jimenez lived in Boston, where he studied at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University). He specialized on democracy and State reform in Latin America, as well as transnational migration between the region and the United States.
In NYC, Pablo worked at the Consulate General of Mexico in New York from 2015 to 2018, where he was responsible for promoting and supervising programs that aim at increasing the educational attainment of the Mexican diaspora in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Pablo is also interested in Latin America literature —Garcia Marquez is his favorite author—, romance languages, and theology.

Arianna Flores Perez, Educational Opportunities Initiative Coordinator Assistant

Arianna Flores Perez graduated from Brooklyn College with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Puerto Rican and Latino Studies. In college, she co-founded MeHSA (Mexican Heritage Student Association), a student club with the purpose to create awareness and celebrate Mexican culture. She worked with Council Member Carlos Menchaca, where she assisted constituents with inquiries and complaints related to city services and local resources. She is also a proud member of Atlas: DIY, Powered by Immigrant Youth, where she has been part of the Immigrant Youth Peer Educator Program and Action NYC. Currently, she works as the Educational Opportunities Initiative Coordinator Assistant, a citywide initiative led by the Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute where she connects community members to educational resources.

Francisco Aquino Ramirez, College Assistant

Francisco Aquino RamirezFrancisco is a 2016-17 Becari@. He attends Lehman College, majoring in the interdisciplinary major of Anthropology Biology and Chemistry with a minor in Political Science. The oldest of five children he aims to serve as an inspiration to his siblings and others around him by lending a helping hand to his community. He is currently the vice president of The Lehman Dream Team, a student-based organization at Lehman College, working to advocate for the rights of undocumented individuals and also addressing other pressing social issues such as discrimination and gender inequality. He also provides educational guidance for adults in preparation for the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) exam in his internship at El Centro de Recursos Educativos para Adultos. He was born in Puebla, Mexico and raised in the Bronx. He started as an intern in the Mexican Studies Institute and will now join the team in his new role assisting with the CUNY Becas Scholarship program.

Alyshia Gálvez, Former Founding Director

Alyshia Gálvez, Former Founding DirectorAlyshia Gálvez is the Former Founding Director of the Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute. 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, Latino, and Puerto Rican Studies at Lehman College. Her second book Patient Citizens, Immigrant Mothers, was awarded the 2012 ALLA Book Award (Association of Latino and Latin American Anthropologists). She is currently working on a book, under contract with University of California Press about the changing food systems in the US and Mexico since the North American Free Trade Agreement, including the public health consequences of that process of change.


    Visit Us:

    The Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute at The City University of New York
    Lehman College
    250 Bedford Park Blvd. West
    Carman Hall | Room 241
    Bronx, NY 10468

    (347) 577-4080

    Monday-Friday 9am-5pm