Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Navigation
search this website
search this website

Lehman College Logo Click Here to go back to Homepage


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 Coordinator

José Higuera LópezMarlen Fernández is currently the Scholarship Coordinator for the Mexican Studies Scholarship Fund at the Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute at CUNY. This scholarship primarily 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.

Silvia Siller, Grants Officer

José Higuera LópezSilvia works in the development department, from research of potential donors to reporting promptly and accurately about the programs undertaken by the institute regarding funds allocation. Silvia Siller is Mexican American, she has a Master's Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and a Master's to teach French as a second language by the Alliance Francaise (BAEF). Earlier in her career, she applied her strategic communications and leadership skills at the Synergos Institute to advance community development and philanthropy for the organizarions' initiative focusing on education and improving well-being in low income communities in Latin America through digital engagement. She speaks Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, and conversational Italian and has worked as a freelance translator and communications consultant for different clients for the last ten years. She is an award-winning poet and writer, the author of several poetry books and has also collaborated with her poetry in exhibit Man(o)rar at the Franz Mayer Museum in MexicoCity and the Textile Museum of Oaxaca.

Rosalía Reyes, Digital Archive and Resource Unit Coordinator

José Higuera López

Along with Bronxnet at Lehman College, she is the producer of the video-programming of our community leaders and the manager of the Research Center. Rosalía Reyes, a Mexican journalist for 10 years, moved to New York in 2012. She hosts “Nueva York Entre Letras,” a TV show featuring Spanish-language authors, a program aired both on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network and also in Monterrey, Mexico. Rosalia is also a Spanish teacher at Lehman College and CUNY. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences with a concentration in Journalism from (UANL-Mexico), a Masters degree in Spanish Literature from City College and a Masters in Humanities from The U. of Monterrey. As a journalist, she worked for prestigious Mexican newspapers in her hometown Monterrey, Mexico such as: El Norte (Reforma Group), and Milenio covering from government, politics, or investigative reporting to community and cultural news in radio/video for Milenio's sister TV channel and Radio Stations. For five years as a School Services Communications Coordinator, she orchestrated digital and print campaigns on academic, financial and extracurricular programs among students and their parents at U. of Monterrey (UDEM). She later became the Media Relations Manager who oversaw the university's magazine and press releases production and conducted training courses for faculty and journalists.

Maria Hernandez, Research Assistant

José Higuera LópezMaria works closely with the Latin American Studies department at Lehman seeking new lines of research for the Institute, she is currently supporting the Insitute's DARU initiative. Maria 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. 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 Comprando Rico y Sano”. Hernandez in the near future aspires to pursue a doctoral degree in geopolitics.

Pablo Jimenez Meza, Educational Opportunities Initiative Coordinator

José Higuera LópezPablo 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

José Higuera LópezArianna 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.

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