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The CUNY Mexican Studies Institute, housed at Lehman College, 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 Advisory 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, serving as Academic and Administrative Director of the Mexican Studies Institute at CUNY since December 2016. He was born in Tijuana, Baja California, México and immigrated to the US in 2009. Before joining the CUNY MSI, 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.

Stephany Andrea Cadena, Administrative Coordinator

Stephany Andrea Cadena CornejoStephany Cadena is the Administrative Coordinator for the CUNY Mexican Studies Institute based at Lehman College. She helps ensure operations at the institute run smoothly by helping to create and revise systems and procedures in accordance with management directives. She was born in Mexico City, Mexico and was formerly a part of the State Protocol team of Mexico in the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs since 2010. In 2014 she was appointed to be a part of the General Consulate of Mexico which serves the Tri-State area. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from ITAM (Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico, Mexico City) and a Certification of Readiness by HBX (Harvard Business School).

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.

Maria Hernandez, Archives & Library Coordinator

Maria HernandezMaria Hernandez is currently the Archives and Library Coordinator for the Institute of Mexican Studies at CUNY. She is the point person for our emerging library and digital archive, and has a hand in the Mexican Studies Oral History Project produced in collaboration with the BronxNet team. She is also a proud Lehman College graduate with a background in Political Science and Latin American and Caribbean studies. Maria is also a research assistant for the CUNY School of Public Health, aiding research efforts surrounding the influence of cultural foods on health. In the near future Maria aims to pursue a graduate degree in geopolitics and believes her work with the institute will be impactful in her journey to obtain a PhD.

Brenda Flores, Administrative Assistant

Brenda FloresBrenda Flores is the Administrative Assistant of the Mexican Studies Institute, supporting all projects, initiatives and activities that impact the academic and administrative department. She is currently a student at Lehman College majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Dance. As a former dancer of the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez, she is currently focused on combining her dance experience with her business knowledge to create artistic opportunities for her local community, working closely with local educational programs. Flores is also a teaching artist, providing cultural knowledge to children through song and dance, with programs such as Mexico Beyond Mariachi and Midori & Friends. Brenda is a first generation Mexican-American, and a huge advocate and supporter of DACA and the DREAM ACT.

Arianna Flores Perez, Educational Opportunities Initiative Administrative Assistant

Arianna Flores PerezArianna 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 Administrative Assistant, a citywide initiative led by the Institute of Mexican Studies at CUNY where she connects community members to educational resources.

Robert Utzinger, Digital Research Fellow 

Luis RebolledoRobert Utzinger is a Digital Research Fellow for the CUNY Mexican Studies Institute, where he is always finding new ways to analyze and process the institute's data to help them achieve their goals.

Robert has previously worked with the New Jersey Department of Education and the Coalition of Global Conservation estimating, visualizing and analyzing data. In 2015, Robert recieved a Master's degree in Economics from Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. He later moved to New York City to begin his dissertation in economics, using data relating to opioid deaths and public policies. While doing this, he has also been actively teaching Economics and Statistics in the business department at Lehman College. In addition, Robert writes small articles related to healthcare in the New York region for the website of a small Economics study group.

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Anabelle Mescain Batista, College Assistant - Archives & Library

Anabelle MescainAnabelle Mescain is currently working as a college assistant for the CUNY Mexican Studies Institute at Lehman College. She works with the Archives and Library Coordinator to input the information of new books into the Institute's growing library database and plans to take advantage of working with the Institute to learn more about how she can be involved with the Hispanic community. Anabelle is also a proud Dominican undergraduate student at Lehman College, studying anthropology, biology and chemistry, part of Lehman's "ABC" program. 

To learn more about the Mexican Studies Archives and Library click here.

Jesus Diego Cabrera Rivera, Educational Opportunities Initiative Assistant

Luis RebolledoJesus Cabrera is an Assistant for the Mexican Studies Institute's comunity-based program, the Educational Opportunities Initiative. The Educational Opportunities Initiative and the Mexican Studies Institute at CUNY aims to improve the educational attainment for the immigrant community, with a focus on underrepresented groups in the city. In this role, Jesus provides one-on-one consultations to answer educational inquiries, delivers educational workshops, researches different educational opportunities meant to support clients' educational goals and manages the social media accounts for the EOI. Apart from this, Jesus is an undergraduate student at the City College of New York pursuing a B.S. in Geology with hopes of addressing environmental issues in the future. Jesus is also an active e-board member of the CCNY Dream team, serving as their treasurer.

Luis Rebolledo, Video Editor - Oral History Project

Luis RebolledoLuis Rebolledo is the Video Editor for the Institute of Mexican Studies at CUNY. He is also a Production Assistant at Bronxnet, who collaborates with the institute to produce the Mexican Studies Oral History Project. Luis is responsible for the post production of the show and on occasion is in charge of helping to edit the promos for events such as the 'FILNYC'. He is currently in his last year year at Lehman pursuing a B.A. in Film and TV Studies. In the future Luis plans to use his experience working with the CUNY MSI team and Bronxnet to pursue a career in media and be a part of the graphic arts team for a major network.


To learn more about the CUNY Mexican Studies Oral History Project click here.

Alyshia Gálvez, Former Founding Director

Alyshia Gálvez, Former Founding DirectorAlyshia Gálvez is the Former Founding Director of the Mexican Studies Institute at CUNY. 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

CUNY Mexican Studies Institute

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