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Professors receive awards for Hispanic cultural contribution

November 10, 2009

Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez and Paul Espinosa, professors in ASU's Department of Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, are recipients of awards from the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education. The awards recognize energy, expertise and remarkable contributions to the Hispanic community.

Vélez-Ibáñez is the recipient of the Outstanding Support of Hispanic Issues in Higher Education Award. The award distinguishes someone who demonstrates exceptional accomplishment in the academic community and support of Hispanic issues.

Vélez-Ibáñez, who chairs the Department of Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, conducts transnational field research in two rural valleys in California and New Mexico and their sending communities in Mexico. His area of study focuses on applied anthropology, complex social organizations, culture and education, ethno-class relations in complex social systems, migration and adaptation of human populations, political ecology, qualitative methodology and urban anthropology. Vélez-Ibáñez has written five books, three of which are based in original field research.

Espinosa is the recipient of the Outstanding Latino/a Cultural Award in Fine or Performing Arts Award. The award recognizes Latinos/as who have contributed significantly to understanding of the Hispanic community and culture through a medium in the arts.

Espinosa is the winner of seven Emmy awards. He has written, directed and produced numerous dramatic and documentary films focused on the U.S.-Mexico border region. His work includes "Taco Shop Poets" (2002), "The Border" (1999), "... And the Earth Did Not Swallow Him" (1996) and "The Hunt for Pancho Villa" (1993).

Vélez-Ibáñez and Espinosa will be honored in March at the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education National Conference, "Raíces y Alas/Roots and Wings: A Mal Tiempo/Buena Cara."

The association each year honors people in six categories concerning the improvement of the conditions of Latinos/as pursuing a degree in higher education. The recipients are selected from open nominations by a subcommittee of the association.


Written by Danielle Kuffler (

Carol Hughes,
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