As part of a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant, the Houston Endowment funded the Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones Professor of Southwestern Studies. The Jones Professor of Southwestern Studies team-teaches the Southwestern Studies courses with the faculty of the Center for the Study of the Southwest, helps organize and present symposia, and assists the Center with other regional projects related to the professor's discipline.
Dr. Sergio M. Martínez, Associate Professor of Spanish, joined the faculty of the Department of Modern Languages in 2005, after earning a Ph.D. in Latin American Literature from the University of Arizona. He has developed new undergraduate and graduate courses in Spanish and has initiated study abroad programs in three countries. Author of numerous scholarly publications and creator of a documentary video Nocutzepo 2008: Las fiestas de san Miguel, he is currently Executive Director of the Southwest Council of Latin American Studies and Executive Co-Director of the on-line journal Letras Hispanas.