HPN is pleased to congratulate the following Faculty members who have been promoted and granted tenure, effective September 1, 2010.
Promotion from Associate Professor to Professor
Promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor
Courtesy of the Texas State University webpage
“Dr. Carranco led his department in accreditation renewal for a three year period receiving a perfect score with substantial compliance for all standards. He is regarded as one of the lead experts in health issues and is often called to testify and provide information to our System Office and the Legislature. He provided leadership and educational materials for a successful H1N1 Influenza university emergency response and continues that effort.”
-Dr. Joanne Smith, Vice President of Student Affairs
by M. Yvonne Taylor, University Marketing
Imagine a world in which the media systematically eliminate or distort the voice and perspective of huge groups of people. A world in which these same groups are cut off from valuable information, affecting their lives, their communities and their participation in government.
Sounds Orwellian, doesn’t it? Could never happen in a true democracy, could it? Yet it happens in America every day, says Dr. Federico Subervi, professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and director of the new Center for the Study of Latino Media and Markets.
But the Fulbright scholar doesn’t sit on the sidelines, idly pondering these issues. Subervi gets involved: speaking at colleges, conferences, television stations, radio stations, the halls of government — even taking on the Federal Communications Commission directly, confronting issues of media ownership and its effect on coverage of issues important to Latinos. He also has recently published a book, The Mass Media and Latino Politics: Studies of U.S. Media Content, Campaign Strategies and Survey Research: 1984-2004, which is the first to extensively analyze how the media cover Latinos and Latino issues and to assess media’s influence on Latino political orientations.
Subervi fights for increased access to media, increased and accurate representation in media, and increased coverage of issues important to those whose voices have been marginalized and whose stories remain untold.
Raised in both Puerto Rico and New York City, Subervi was an early observer of disparities — in education and in access — and decided at a young age to increase his own opportunities through education. He learned from his mother, whose schooling ended with the fourth grade, and his uncle, a professor at the University of Puerto Rico, the value of education and the value of perseverance.
“Because of my uncle, I spent time growing up on a college campus, so it was a given that I belonged there, “ explains Subervi. “And from my mother, I learned the value of the human spirit, outreach and compassion.
“She inspired me to continue to do what I wanted to do in my career and life.”
He credits one of his first jobs for spurring an interest in journalism: “I delivered the newspaper in my hometown as a kid. Before 7 a.m., I had delivered 50 newspapers and read it from cover to cover, so I was very informed about what was going on in the world.”
Subervi went on to earn a bachelor’s degree at the University of Puerto Rico. While in school, he witnessed the social upheaval of the 1960s and what he perceived as distortions in the press about protests against the Vietnam War. Seeing these events and the media’s faulty response influenced a change in career direction from studying aeronautical engineering to becoming a social scientist to “improve society and how people were informed about society and to fight against injustice.”
When the University of Puerto Rico decided to offer a master’s in journalism, Subervi jumped at the opportunity. He was one of 33 students who began the master’s program during its first year, and two years later, one of only two who finished it. He then headed to the University of Wisconsin to earn his PhD in mass communication.
Anyone who has been touched by Subervi will testify to the values he learned as a child and his desire to right the wrongs of the world.
“He is such a passionate and sincere person,” says Laura Coria, a senior mass communication and Spanish major who has taken Subervi’s Latinos in Media course and credits him with influencing her decision to enroll at Texas State. “When I was doing my research on universities to transfer to, I looked at the Texas State site and saw his biography. We eventually communicated and he informed me about the university. Talking to him, I had a gut feeling that Texas State was where I belonged.”
He became her mentor before she even arrived on campus, says Coria, adding, “I don’t think there are many people like him. He is so inspiring, and I owe so much of my professional development to him.”
In fact, Subervi inspired Coria to start a student chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, a huge undertaking.
“Dr. Subervi said that what was needed was student initiative,” explains Coria. “I decided to do it, and in January 2008, after picking up the necessary signatures and doing all of the paperwork, Texas State welcomed an NAHJ Student Chapter.”
“It’s a delight to have as students and former students, many Latinos who are very active,” says Subervi, who is also a mentor for the launch of Latinitas, Inc. and the Latinos and Media Project Web site. “Many campuses around the country have Latino students, but they’re not active or involved in such an association.”
When the Center for the Study of Latino Media and Markets sponsored an international symposium on Spanish-language and Latino media earlier this year, it was the fulfillment of a dream Subervi has had since 1992.
He had proposed the idea of such a center elsewhere, but it did not gain traction until he came to work at Texas State in 2005. Subervi believes that Texas State’s interest in diversity and issues facing minorities is one of the reasons he was brought on board.
“I think what I appreciate most about Texas State is that from day one the work that I do with Latinos and media has been validated,” he says. “I never have to explain or justify what I do or why I do it to my dean.”
He hopes that the center will gain grants and funding for more research projects and attract graduate students with his kind of passion. He also hopes the center’s work will improve both the Latino and the general market media.
Its original research already is attracting attention and putting Texas State in the spotlight.
“Dr. Subervi is a man with a lot of vision with regard to research and academics,” says Dr. Sindy Chapa, assistant professor and associate director of the center. “His work has impacted not only the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, by attracting more students interested in Latino-oriented media and markets, but also Texas State, by capturing the attention of scholars and practitioners from different universities and countries.”
His mother and uncle would be proud.
Courtesy of the Texas State University webpage
Professor and Department of History Chair Jesús Francisco de la Teja, or Frank to his colleagues at Texas State University-San Marcos, has spent his career studying and educating others on Texas’ past. Now de la Teja is part of the Lone Star State’s history.
In February 2007, Gov. Rick Perry appointed de la Teja to serve the first-ever two-year term as the state historian of Texas. The Legislature created the volunteer position in 2005. In this job, de la Teja will enhance Texans’ knowledge about the state’s history and heritage; encourage the teaching of Texas history in public schools; and consult with top government officials on the promotion of Texas history.
“To pick a Latino, non-native, who works on early Texas history is a very positive sign,” de la Teja says of his appointment. “It’s proof that state officials are capable of thinking broadly and diversely about the need to promote a vision for Texas history that is beyond traditional themes and a narrow segment of the population.”
The traditional themes de la Teja refers to include the famous stories of 1800s Texas such as the Battle of the Alamo. He believes the teaching of Texas history in schools should focus more on the state’s earlier and more recent history. “The state's early history is also the story of northeastern Mexico,” he explains. “Latino children and all Texans should appreciate just how closely we are tied to the history, culture and demographics of Mexico, going back centuries.
“By the same token, the Texas of today is a direct product of a social and economic transformation that took place in the 20th century,” de la Teja says, pointing to the radical economic and political changes the state has undergone since 1900. “The story of the 19th century may be romantic and nationalistic, but it does not give students a sense of why Texas is the way it is today,” he says. “The 20th century story does that.”
Interestingly, de la Teja isn’t from Texas. He was born in Cuba and raised in New Jersey. He earned both his bachelor’s degree in political science and his master’s degree in Latin American history from Seton Hall University. Then he came to Texas to earn his doctorate in colonial Latin American history from the University of Texas at Austin, and his love affair with Texas history began.
An instructor recommended de la Teja for a job as a research assistant for novelist James Michener, who was writing Texas at the time. Being bilingual and having an interest in colonial Mexico made de la Teja the perfect candidate. He worked for Michener for more than two years.
“In that time I had to learn a lot of Texas history,” de la Teja says. “That led me to write my dissertation on Spanish San Antonio. Before I finished writing it, I got a job as an archivist at the Texas General Land Office. There, I had to deal with Texas history on a day-in, day-out basis, and my fascination with the subject was cemented. I've been doing Texas history ever since.”
Since 1991, de la Teja has taught history courses, including Critical Issues in Texas History, Spanish Borderlands, History of Mexico to 1848 and Introduction to American Indian History, at Texas State University-San Marcos.
He has also written many books, journal and reference articles, reviews and scripts. His most important contribution so far, he says, has been five chapters of a college textbook, Texas Crossroads of North America. His chapters covered the period of dinosaurs to 1821.
“I believe that textbook sets out a way of understanding the importance of Texas's early story to all Texans,” he says. “It ties the more distant past to the present and reminds us of the vastness of the story of Texas. To the degree that those who read Crossroads come away with a better understanding of why and how Texas developed the way it did up to the arrival of Anglo-American settlers and helps make what happened in the 19th century more meaningful, I will have done my job.”
His FutureIn his job as Texas’ first state historian, de la Teja looks forward to blazing a trail. “I'll have an opportunity to shape how the position is perceived by the general public,” he says. “As a volunteer position, hopefully, I'll be able to work on finding funding support for the position so that individuals who don't have the advantage of institutional support can aspire to it without having to worry about how to cover expenses.”
But most of all, de la Teja welcomes the opportunity to share his knowledge of Texas history. “I look forward to being able to share my love and appreciation for the fascinating history of the state beyond my classroom,” he says.
Courtesy of the Texas State Webpage.
Every spring for the first 11 years of his life, Jaime Chahin had to leave his Eagle Pass, Texas, home a month before school let out to travel to places like Oregon, Montana, Washington and Idaho — places where his parents could earn a living picking potatoes, hops and cherries and hoeing sugar beets. It was in those fields and orchards during those long, hot summers that Chahin learned the value of opportunity and education.
“My frame of reference was working with the sun on your back for nine or 10 hours a day and getting paid $25 an acre,” he says. “It made me real hungry.”
That hunger spurred Chahin to charge through his secondary education with single-minded determination. After graduating from Eagle Pass High School in 1971, he earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science in just 33 months, immediately landed a full scholarship to pursue his master’s from the University of Michigan, then completed his doctorate in education administration in 1977 before his 25th birthday.
Today, as the dean of the College of Applied Arts at Texas State, Chahin hasn’t forgotten his roots. He has made it his mission to introduce educational opportunity into places it often isn’t found.
Among his many efforts are receiving funding to endow the Tomás Rivera Children’s Book Award to promote literacy; establishing Caminos, a summer camp held at Texas State that helps disadvantaged ninth-graders he calls “youth of promise” prepare for high school; helping to create the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s (RBF) national Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color program; producing “The Forgotten Americans” a PBS documentary on colonias on the U.S. Mexico border and engaging students with cameras to document their social condition; and establishing the Center for Migrant Education at Texas State.
Chahin established the center in 2000 with a small grant to provide training to teachers of migrant students within the state of Texas. Its responsibility grew rapidly. In 2003, the center’s staff received its first five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) in the amount of $2.8 million. “That began the first effort to provide training and in-service to migrant education staff in the school districts throughout the nation,” Chahin says.
In 2008, the center received another five-year, $3.1 million grant from the DOE, giving Chahin good reason to take pride in the part the center and its staff has played in bringing educational opportunities to migrant students.
“We received this grant in a national competition during difficult financial times in this country,” he says. “To continue funding for the next five years means the center staff has done exemplary work to provide the training and in-service that is needed to support the migrant education programs in America.”
Those programs include providing instructional resources and technical assistance to educators who work with migrant students. The center facilitates training for every state in the nation that has a migrant education program. It also brings bilingual teachers from Mexico into the school districts where they are needed to provide critical summer instruction to migrant students.
“A migrant student might leave Texas or Mexico in late April to go to Wisconsin and come back in September or October,” Chahin explains. “So they miss [school] the month of May and potentially the month of September. The Center for Migrant Education makes sure they transfer transcripts and have instructional support so they can continue their education and they don’t lose out when they come back to their home base.”
Under another DOE grant, the Center for Migrant Education also coordinates the CAMP program for migrant students attending Texas State. “It pays tuition, room and board, fees and a stipend for 50 migrant students a year,” Chahin says. “It’s for the whole freshman year, so it adds up to about $13,000 per student.”
In 2008, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund honored Chahin for his years of service to its Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color program, which he helped establish. Each year the program selects 25 college juniors from across the United States receive fellowships of $22,000 to attend graduate school.
RBF recognized Chahin at its annual summer workshop in New York, where he gives a presentation each year to the RBF Fellows and advises them about applying for graduate school and finding matching funds for their fellowships.
Back home at Texas State, Chahin personally coaches the university’s nominees for the RBF Fellowship. “I spend six weeks with our students who are chosen,” he says. “I tell them, ‘You have to show that you know the applied part, that you know about the theory, and that you have the passion to want to be a master teacher.”
Most recently, Chahin coached education majors Audrey Estupinan and Albert Walker, who became the 18th and 19th Texas State students to receive RBF Fellowships since the program’s inception.
Chahin’s newest project, Los Caminitos, is a spin-off of Caminos, the six-week summer camp he created to provide disadvantaged ninth-graders with the opportunity to earn high school credits and gain the confidence to take a college-bound curriculum.
Los Caminitos targets much younger students — 4-year-olds. Inspired by a book he read about the impact that early exposure to language has on children’s ability to learn and succeed academically, Chahin is working to bring together colleagues from Texas State’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences to launch the program at Bonham, a San Marcos pre-kindergarten.
“I have to sell them on the idea,” he says. “They’re the experts in early childhood education. I don’t know anything about that. The job of a dean is to facilitate the engagement of other scholars and identify potential funding resources.”
Chahin has an idea for that. As a National Kellogg Fellow, an honor he received in 1993, he plans to seek grant funding from the Kellogg Foundation for Los Caminitos.
If Los Caminitos becomes reality, it will be yet another worthy project Chahin’s passion for education has brought to students and another notable addition to his curriculum vita, but more important, to the public good.
“If someone asks me where my passion for all these programs come from,” Chahin says. “I say, ‘I lived it."
Courtesy of the Texas State University Webpage.