American Latino Scholars Expert Panel

Theme Study Panel Members

The American Latino Scholars Expert Panel was established under the auspices of the National Park System Advisory Board. The expert panel provided advise on the structure of American Latinos and the Making of the United States: A Theme Study, potential essay authors, and major sources of information. Panel members also reviewed essay manuscripts in their areas of expertise. The expert panel includes the following members:


Belinda Valles Faustinos is a member of the National Park System Advisory Board and was a member of the National Parks Second Century Commission. She was Executive Officer of the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles River and Mountains Conservancy for the last nine years of her forty-year career with the State of California. She has been a leader in the development of integrated regional watershed management planning, urban nature parks, river parkway, and interpretive programs. Currently she serves as an alternate California Coastal Commissioner, Land Trust Alliance Board Member, California State Audubon Board Member, and as an Executive Advisor to the San Gabriel River Discovery Center Foundation. She earned her B.A. from Pitzer College and lives in the San Gabriel Valley.

Luis Hoyos, AIA, is Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. He serves as an advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and served as past member and chair of the California State Historical Resources Commission from 2001 to 2006. In addition, he serves on the Board of the Los Angeles Conservancy and as its vice-president for advocacy. As an architect he has received awards for the design of several historic building rehabilitations, including El Pueblo de Los Angeles and the Point Fermin Lighthouse.


Antonia Castañeda, Ph.D., is a retired Professor of History from St. Mary's University in Texas. She previously held appointments at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Texas at Austin. She is co-editor of the Chicana Matters Series and of the anthology, Gender on the Borderlands: The Frontiers Reader. Additionally, she is the recipient of the 2007 Scholar of the Year award from National Association for Chicano and Chicana studies. Castañeda received her B.A. from Western Washington State College, M.A. from the University of Washington, and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Rodolfo O. de la Garza, Ph.D., is the Eaton Professor of Administrative Law and Municipal Science at Columbia University, Political Science and School of International and Public Affairs. He specializes in ethnic politics and immigration and previously held academic positions at the University of Texas and the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. His extensive list of publications includes Beyond the Barrios, Latinos in the 2004 Elections, and The Future of the Voting Rights Act. Hispanic Magazine named de la Garza one of the most "100 influential Hispanics" in 1998 and 2002. He is a founding member of the National Association of Chicano Studies and the Inter-University Program for Latino Research. De la Garza received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

Frances Negrón–Muntaner, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and director of the University's Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race. She is an award winning filmmaker, whose titles include Brincando el charco: Portrait of a Puerto Rican and War in Guam. Negrón–Muntaner is also the founder of Miami Light Project's Filmmakers workshop and is a founding board member of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. Her books include Boricua Pop: Puerto Ricans and the Latinization of American Culture and None of the Above: Puerto Ricans in the Global Era. In 2005 Hispanic Business magazine named her one of the "100 most influential Hispanics" and in 2008 the United Nations recognized her as a global expert in Latin/o American studies. She received her M.A. from Temple University and her Ph.D. from Rutgers University.

Stephen J. Pitti, Ph.D., is Professor of History and American Studies, Director of the Program in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, and Master of Ezra Stiles College at Yale University. He teaches courses in Latino studies, ethnic studies, Western history, 20th-century immigration, and civil rights. Pitti is the author of The Devil in Silicon Valley: Race, Mexican Americans, and Northern California and is working on two books: The World of Céasar Chávez and Leaving California: Race from the Golden State. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in American Studies from Stanford University.

Estevan Rael–Gálvez, Ph.D., is Vice President of Historic Sites at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Previously, he served as the State Historian of New Mexico, the chairman of the New Mexico Cultural Properties Review Committee, and as the Executive Director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Rael–Gálvez received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and has received numerous fellowships for his work, including the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship. Dr. Rael-Gálvez is working on his book, The Silence of Slavery.

Raymond Rast, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of History and Associate Director of the Center for Oral and Public History at California State University, Fullerton. His work as a public historian focuses on Latino history. He served the National Park Service as historical consultant on the Céasar Chávez Special Resource Study, and has written National Historic Landmark nominations for the Forty Acres and Nuestra Señora Reina de La Paz, both of which are significant for their association with Céasar Chávez. He recently curated an exhibition on the school desegregation case, Mendez et al. v. Westminster School District et al. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

Maggie Rivas–Rodriquez, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. She was a journalist for over 17 years and helped organize the creation of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. In 1999, she founded the U.S. Latino & Latina WWII Oral History Project (now the VOCES Oral History Project) and has directed it ever since. She is the lead editor of four books based on the Latino/a WWII experience and is writing a fifth that examines three examples of civil rights advancements by Mexican-Americans of the World War II generation. Rivas–Rodriquez received her B.A. in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin, her M.A. from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Vicki Ruiz, Ph.D., is Professor of History and Chicano/Latino Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She is a member of the National Advisory Board for the National Museum of American History and was President of the American Studies Association and the Organization of American Historians. In 2012 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the first Latina historian to be so honored. She is also an elected fellow of the Society of American Historians. Ruiz has written extensively on topics including civil and labor rights activists, female cannery workers, and Chicana history. Her publications include Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia, 3 vols. and From out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in Twentieth-Century America. Ruiz received her Ph.D. from Stanford University and in 2009 was inducted into Stanford's Multicultural Alumni Hall of Fame.

Virginia Sánchez–Korrol, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage, is a founding member of the New York History Academy, and is history consultant at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. The recipient of the 2012 Inter-University Program for Latino Research Lifetime Achievement Award, Dr. Sánchez–Korrol's publications include From Colonia to Community: The History of Puerto Ricans in New York City, and the three-volume Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia. She heads the Latinas in History, interactive website project, and authored the forthcoming historical novel, Feminist and Revolutionary: The Story of Emilia Casanova. Dr. Sánchez–Korrol received her Ph.D. in History from Stony Brook University, State University of New York.

Last updated: March 17, 2016