July 30, 2020

Chicana and Chicano Studies Department Chair, Dr. Magdalena Barrera accepts new position!

Photo of former Department Chair, Dr. Magdalena Barrera

Beginning August 1, 2020 Dr. Barrera will become the Interim Vice Provost of Faculty Success.  Within the Office of the Provost she will help to guide the overall hiring plan for the Academic Affairs division. Working closely with other key offices on campus her work will inform the design and format for all new faculty, hiring committees, retention and promotion committees, and range elevation committees. 

In 2008 she joined the faculty of the Chicana and Chicano Studies (formerly Mexican American Studies) department where she quickly became a favorite teacher and mentor among students. As the minor advisor she helped to grow the minor to become one of the top 10 minors at SJSU. More recently, in 2019 she led the department as Chair where she provided strong leadership and guidance during the transition to online learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a wonderful colleague; we will miss her and cannot say enough about what she has done for our department and students over the years. 

Please join the CCS Department in wishing her well in this next chapter of her career!


July 27, 2018

New Name Approved!

Dear Mexican American Studies Community,

The faculty of Mexican American Studies are excited to announce that the name of our department is changing to "Chicana and Chicano Studies".  The primary rationale for the name change was to align the department with our academic discipline and national academic organization: the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (see  The process of changing the name involved discussions and a vote among the faculty, a survey of current students and alumni, conversations with campus partners, and approvals at SJSU and from the CSU leadership. The name change will take about a year to be fully implemented in all facets of SJSU operations so you can and should use both our previous and new name when searching for our department.  Our website has a FAQ link that should answer any questions you might have about the different issues students and alumni might confront related to the name change.  Finally, we also want to acknowledge that there are on-going discussions and debates about the labels we use in the Latinx community and we maintain a commitment to respecting everyone’s chosen ethnic labels and to welcoming all members of the SJSU community in our classes, events, and on-going projects.

Have questions?  Take a look at our FAQ for more information and answers.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the name change.


December 7, 2017

Meet the first three!  

First three MAS majors

Mauricio Alcantar, Cassie Mayoral, and Jesus Guerrero have made history by becoming our first three MAS majors! They each bring excitment, passion, and commitment to our department and we are fortunate to have them.  


April 5, 2017

Academic cxcellence and mentorship, Magdalena Barrera, fosters these qualities not just among our students but with junior faculty in our college. 

 Photo of Magdalena Barrera

Dr. Barrera is one of three faculty members featured in the latest issue of the Academic Spotlight: College of Social Sciences Fosters Woodrew Wilson Faculty Fellows.  She was a recipient of the award in 2011-12.  During her fellowship she worked on three projects, resulting in two published articles and a third near completion. Read more...



April 25, 2014

Students and Alumni Honored for 
Academic Excellence and Service

The College of Social Sciences Honors Convocation and Awards Lunch is an annual event that brings the college together to acknowledge the outstanding achievements in teaching, research, and University service.  Students and alumni from the Mexican American Studies Department were well represented at this year's event. 

Changing the World Together:  Social Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement Alumnus Award

Alums Ana Lilia Soto, Rosana Alvarez, and Marlene Chavez 

SJSU Alumni Association Scholarship

Angelina Loyola

Inez & Donald Burdick Scholarship

Gabriel Rodriguez

COSS Salzburg Scholars

Gabriel Rodriguez

COSS Dean's Study Abroad Scholarship 

Yesenia Ramos




February 27th, 2014

Mexican American Studies welcomes new faculty member to San Jose State University

MAS Familia,

We are excited to announce that Dr. Joshua Troncoso has accepted an offer to join the MAS faculty as an Assistant Professor beginning Fall of 2014.

Dr. Troncoso earned his doctorate from UC Berkeley's Comparative Ethnic Studies Department in 2012.  His research focuses on labor economics and globalization and he will be developing the Policy Studies area of the Master's Program, while also contributing to our efforts to develop an undergraduate major.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Troncoso.  We look forward to inviting him to upcoming events this semester to give you all the chance to meet him if possible.

February 13, 2014

Mexican American Studies Professor, Dr. Julia Curry Rodriguez, is awarded the Distinguished Service Award

Each year SJSU selects four outstanding professors for their teaching excellence, scholarship, and service.  We are very happy that Dr. Julia Curry Rodriguez is among this years honorees. Dr. Curry Rodriguez has long dedicated herself to providing guidance to students from disadvantaged backgrounds with navigating their academic journey.  Several of our undergraduate students who have worked with her have gone of to pursue graduate studies.  In addition, MA students in our graduate program who she has served as adviser for have also gone on to pursue their PhD. This year she is being recognized in particular for her advocacy and activism on behalf of undocumented students.  Read more....

January 2014

Luis "Xago" Juarez, brings to the stage reAlisal: Stories de Acosta Plaza.

Students on this campus know him as professor Juarez but many others also know him as actor, writer, director, producer and co-founder of Baktun 12, which incorporates  “Chicano-flavored street theatre, poetry and hip-hop” with “urban politics… and guerrilla theatre.” (Ryce, 2014). Read more of Walter Ryce's article about how Xago uses interviews to provide an alternative narrative to the violent and negative stereotypes of Mexican Americans living in East Salinas.


Fall and Spring 2013 

College of Social Sciences highlights Mexican American Studies faculty, students, and staff in their newsletter.

Twice a year the College of Social Sciences publishes its newsletter, TogetherThe newsletter's goal is to keep the CoSS community updated on the accomplishments of the college's faculty, students, staff, and alumni.

In the Fall 2013 edition, our department Chair, Marcos Pizarro and two of our graduate students Angelina Loyola and Carlos Navarette were featured.  Read about how one class transformed the lives of these two students. 

Transforming lives does not just happen in the classroom, sometimes it occurs over a cup of coffee.  The Spring 2013 newsletter features our Department Coordinator, Erlinda Yañez.  Learn about how Mexican American Studies professors pushed and motivated her to pursue her dreams of finishing her bachelors degree. 

 March 15, 2011,

Mas graduate student, Alonzo Campos is published in the Davis Enterprise

Mexican American studies graduate student, Alonzo Campos' op-ed titled, "Fear and Learning in Davis schools" was published in the Davis Enterprise newspaper. Campos' op-ed discusses an article published by the Davis Enterprise titled “South Davis parents sound off on schools”and his experience as a Latino student in Davis. Campos notes that, "Linking low performance to student discipline also suggests that administration and community members point fingers at low-performing students instead of at the system.

Davis parents who do not want their student to learn with low-performing, low-income students suggests that Latina/o students cannot achieve high academic performance, and will continue only to perpetuate the negative views of low-income, low-performing students. The school board needs to explore and acknowledge the implications of this." To Read Campos' op-ed go to the Davis Enterprise website.

November 18, 2011,

MAS Graduate Student, Felipe Ponce is published in San Francisco Bay View

Mexican American Studies graduate student, Felipe Ponce's op-ed titled, "A chance for redemption" was published in the San Francisco Bay View: National Black Newspaper. Ponce's op-ed discusses Senate Bill 9, a bill introduced to the California Legislature that would change whether youth should be sentenced to life without parole (LWOP). Ponce says that SB 9 would "provide these young offenders with the opportunity to show remorse – and to demonstrate that they truly have been rehabilitated. These youth will only be considered for release if they have served a minimum of 25 years in prison". To read Ponce's op-ed go to the SF Bay View website.

November 22, 2011,

MAS Undergraduate Student, Daniel Guzman is Highlighted in SJSU Today

Daniel Guzman is one of 27 McNair Scholars highlighted in the program’s most recent newsletter for his research on the common stereotypes associated with being an undocumented immigrant. Guzman is an undergraduate student at SJSU minoring in Mexican American Studies. Read more about him and his work at SJSU Today.