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Who We Are

The Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute 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 call (347) 577-4080 or email us at to join our mailing list and tell us your ideas.

*Note: Annual Meeting and Executive Board elections will be October 6, 2015 at 6:00 PM, please check back for location*



Alyshia Gálvez is the 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.



Associate Director

Gaspar Orozco joined the staff of the Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute in September 2015 as Associate Director.

Bio forthcoming.


Administrative Coordinator

Shareny Díaz Saldaña

Shareny Díaz Saldaña is the administrative coordinator for the Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute. She was born in Mexico City and brought to the United States at the age of two. She is a City College alumni with a major in psychology and is currently enrolled at Baruch College pursuing a Masters of Public Affairs with a concentration in Public Policy. She has been an active member of her community in promoting higher education through her participation in the youth group, Mexican-American Youth Advising Students (MAYAS). She has worked at Brooklyn College in the Center for Academic Advisement and Student Success and as Assistant to the Director of CUNY Mexican Task Force on Strengthening Educational Opportunities for Mexican and Mexican-Americans.

College Assistant

Marlen Fernández

Marlen Fernández is a 2012 Becari@, college assistant at the Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute and a double majored in Anthropology and Latin American Studies recent Lehman college graduate. Marlen plans to pursue Medical Anthropology at the graduate level. Her family is originally from Puebla, Mexico. She came to the United States at the age of three and have lived in NYC her entire life. She grew up in White Plains, located in Westchester County. Aside from her school responsibilities, she is also the Vice President of the Lehman Dream Team and the Co-coordinator of the Westchester Dream Team. These organizations focuses on helping undocumented students to find resources, provide a safe haven and promote personal growth, through leadership, community service, and activism. Participating in these organizations had allowed her to bring change to her community as well as raise awareness about the many struggles undocumented youth face. Being herself an undocumented immigrant, this path is a cause she hold closer to her heart. She has done an excellent work at Insitute by holding almost every hat there has being available. Marlen is a great example of perseverance and success among our undocumented immigrant NY communitites.


Edgar Morales

Edgar Morales is a sophomore at Lehman College pursuing a major in computer science. He was born in Tehuacán, Puebla, Mexico and at the age of 15 he reunited with his family in the Bronx. He has many dreams and goals, which he hopes to accomplish as an undocumented student. Determined to break the stereotype that Mexicans come across the border to take on low-paying jobs by graduating college and obtaining a prestigious job position at a computer company. He believes a college education will provide him with the essential tools to create a better life for himself, his family, and his community.


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 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 Ruíz    
Ambassador Sandra Fuentes-Berain Consulate General of Mexico Bio


Affiliated Faculty



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.