Department of Social Science
Maria Luisa Alaniz
Professor of Social Science
Professor Maria Luisa Alaniz is most enthusiastic about her role teaching and advising students in the Teacher Education program. The diversity of students brings rich life experiences into the classroom, she says. "They bring a passion for teaching, a love for children...they make teaching an enriching experience."
Professor Alaniz with alumnus Ignacio Ferrey
Professor Alaniz is proud to play a role in a Teacher Education program that puts diversity at the center of its training of future teachers and leaders of education. "We're not just about teaching content, but engaging in public policy, training advocates, focusing on social justice issues," says Alaniz. "We're producing teachers who really care about kids."
She enjoys challenging her students, asking "What kind of teacher are you going to be? Are you going to teach in a microcosm, or will you strive to be an agent of change?"
Professor Alaniz' research background makes her especially well-suited to such a complete program. She has worked in various capacities to promote public health advocacy in communities of color. As a Study Director and Co-Principal Investigator at the Prevention Research Center in Berkeley, she published extensively on issues of alcohol availability and social problems in urban communities. Professor Alaniz and her colleagues consistently found that alcohol availability and advertising are disproportionately concentrated in ethnic minority communities. Further, they found "a direct relationship between alcohol availability (the number of bars, restaurants, and stores selling alcohol in a particular area) and alcohol-related problems, such as violence" (Alaniz 1998).
Professor Alaniz has also served in numerous local community organizations including the Mexican American Community Service Agency, the California Latinos United for a Healthy California Board, the Praxis Project/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded initiative, the Santa Clara County Child Advocate Board, and the Santa Clara County Violence Prevention Planning Council.
Her more recent work reflects on her own journey from migrant farmworker family to university professor, and also on the healing power of "stories as spiritual medicine." Her hobbies include hiking, travel and reading.Back to top
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Ph.D., Sociology of Education, Stanford University, Stanford, California, 1986
Ed.S. Educational Evaluation, Stanford University, Stanford, California, 1984
M.A., Counselor Education, San Jose State University, San Jose, California, 1980
P.P.S., Pupil-Personnel Services Credential, San Jose State University, San Jose, California, 1980
B.A., Social Work and Psychology, San Jose State University, San Jose, California, 1978
SOCS 177. Society and Education
Most Recent Publications:
“Migration, Acculturation, Displacement: Migratory Workers and Substance Abuse.” Journal of Substance Use and Abuse 37:8-10 (2002), 1253 – 1257
“The Use of Drinking Place by Gender, Age and Ethnic Group: An Analysis of Routine Drinking Activities,” with A. Treno & P. Gruenewald, Addiction 95:4 (2000), 537 – 551
"What kind of teacher are you going to be? Are you going to teach in a microcosm, or will you strive to be an agent of change?"
“Substance Abuse Prevention: a multicultural perspective” (review), ed. S.B.Kar (Baywood Publishing Co., 1999), Addiction 95:2 (2000), 293 - 294
“Community identified alcohol issues in the Mexican American Community: Research design and utilization,” Journal of Substance Use and Misuse, 35:1&2 (2000), 157 - 169
“Community identified alcohol issues in the Mexican American Community: Research design and utilization,” Kettil Bruun Society Thematic Meeting: Fourth Symposium on Community Action Research and the Prevention of Alcohol and other Problems, Alcohol and Public Health Research Unit, University of Auckland, New Zealand, July 1999
“Alcohol Availability and Targeted Advertising in Ethnic Minority Communities,” Alcohol Health and Research World, 22:4 (1999), 286 - 289^Back to top
Professional & Community Service
Fulbright Senior Specialist, Council for the International Exchange of Scholars, 2005-present
Consultant/Expert Reviewer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Childhood Obesity: Policy and Environmental Influences - 2004
Advisory Board Member, Human Agenda – 2003 – present
Member, Praxis Board, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative to promote public health advocacy in communities of color -- 2002 – present
Member, Santa Clara County Child Advocate Board -- 2002 – 2004
Member, Mexican American Community Service Agency (MACSA) Board -- 1999 – 2004 Executive Committee Chair, Education Committee
Member, California Latinos United for a Healthy California Board -- 1998 - 2000
Member, Santa Clara County Violence Prevention Planning Council, Co-Chair, Alcohol Policy Sub - Committee -- 1998
Recent Talks & Presentations
"Stories as Spiritual Medicine: Sharing Grief and the Emergence of Collective Identity." International Conference on Storytelling and Cultural Identity, Azores, Portugal, 6/28/2005
“From Campesina to Professor: A Stockton Story.” Semana Chicana, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California, 3/26/2003
Professor Maria Luisa Alaniz with UFW leader Dolores Huerta (seated). New Mexico State University Provost Bill Flores is at the left, Jade Sanders (daughter of Erlinda Yañez) in left foreground.
“Conducting Public Policy Research: Social Science and Community Activism,” Social Science Writing Workshop, San Jose State University, 10/2002
“Selecting a Research Topic: A Personal Perspective,” McNair Scholars Lecture Series, San Jose State University, 5/2001
“Youth Violence and Alcohol Availability in Predominantly Mexican American Communities in the U.S.,” International Society for Research on Aggression, University of Valencia, Spain, 7/14/2000
“The Sacramento Neighborhood Alcohol Prevention Project: An Environmental Approach to the Reduction of Alcohol Problems in Two Low Income Minority Neighborhoods,” Society for Prevention Research, Montreal, Canada, 6/1/2000
Edison Senior High School Hall of Fame, Stockton, California – Inducted – 5/29/2004
San Jose State University Presidential Merit Award - 2001
San Joaquin County Mexican American Hall of Fame, Stockton, California - Inducted - 7/29/2000
San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley Magazine, featured “Ground Zero: Silicon Valley” - 3/26/2000
San Jose State University Presidential Merit Award - 2000
“El Puente to the Millennium” National Latino Conference - sponsored by U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention - Research Award - Denver, Colorado, 10/14/1999^Back to top