San Jose State University :: Faculty & Staff Web Pages: Maria Elena Cruz's Home Page


Maria Elena Cruz

Cruz, Maria Elena

Lecturer AY-A,  Mexican American Studies

Additional Contact Information



  • Doctor of Philosophy. Univ Of Texas At Austin, 2012
  • Master of Social Science
    Univ Of Texas At Austin, Texas, United States, 2007
  • Bachelor of Arts
    Univ Of Cal-Berkeley, California, United States, 2004


As a first generation, Huichol (indigenous Mexican) woman born in Northern California, I am the first person in my family to graduate from college and I am the first to receive a Ph.D. I graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 2004. I majored in English with an emphasis on Twentieth Century Literature (from Modern to Contemporary) Anglophone and Multicultural Studies. I received my Masters in Social Cultural Anthropology at the University of Texas Austin in 2007 and my PhD. from the same department in 2013. I am a socio-cultural anthropologist specializing in the anthropology of Indigenous studies with an emphasis on Mexican American and Latina/o (im)migration policy and law in the U.S. – Mexico borderlands. My research interests align closely with my teaching experience, which includes teaching undergraduate courses at the University of Texas at Austin for two years in the areas of Anthropology, History, Mexican American Studies, and Indigenous Studies Program. Currently, I am teaching a class on Indigenous and Mexican American History at San Jose State University, CA. Courses 10A and 10B.