Dr. Rubén O. Martinez became Director of the Julían Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University on Sept. 1, 2007. He is a nationally known scholar with expertise in the areas of higher education, race and ethnic relations, and diversity leadership. His areas of specialization include leadership and institutional change, education and ethnic minorities, youth development, and environmental justice. He was formerly Professor of Public Administration at the University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA), where he also served as Director of the Center for Policy Studies.
Dr. Martinez has published and lectured widely in the areas of leadership, organizational transformation, race and ethnic relations, education of ethnic minorities, and environmental justice. In 1993, he and Adalberto Aguirre, Jr., published a monograph entitled Chicanos in Higher Education. Their most recent work is a monograph titled "Diversity Leadership in Higher Education."
Dr. Martinez previously worked as a consultant on multiple community projects sponsored by, among others, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Ford Foundation, Pfizer Foundation, Anne E. Casey Foundation, and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. He has also served on higher education accreditation teams and has visited several institutions across the country on accreditation site visits. At UTSA he implemented and coordinated the Hispanic Leadership Program in Agriculture and Natural Resources, a pioneering leadership program involving the U.S. Forest Service, the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, and Texas A&M University System.
In 1997-1998, he served as President of the Western Social Science Association. During 1994-95, he served as an American Council of Education Fellow, studying issues in higher education and serving as an administrative intern in the Office of the President at the University of Southern Colorado.
Dr. Martinez has held a full-time faculty appointment since 1984, and has also been a senior academic administrator, department chairperson, director of two research institutes, director of a learning center, graduate coordinator, faculty sponsor of several student organizations, including La Despedida, Alpha Lambda Delta, MEChA, the Sociology Club, and the Alpha Kappa Delta Honors Society chapter, Zeta of Colorado. He also has served as president of faculty governance organizations, chairperson or member of several student success and advocacy committees, a member of the University of Colorado Faculty Senate, vice-chair of the University of Colorado Faculty Council, chairperson and member of the CU and UCCS Minority Affairs Committee, member of the CU Mission 2000 and Faculty Futures Review Committee, member of the executive board of the Western Social Science Association, member of the site coordinating committee of the National Association for Chicano Studies, and member of the Race Relations Committee of the Pacific Sociological Association. In the community, he has worked with several high schools to develop multicultural learning environments, and has served as chairperson and member of the Colorado Springs Human Relations Commission, member of the Colorado Springs JTPA-Private Industry Council, member of the 4th Judicial District's Diversity Task Force, and member of the Colorado Judicial Advisory Council to the Chief Justice and Administrator of the Colorado Court System. Until recently, he served on the Resource Advisory Board of Kelly USA in San Antonio.
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
Dr. Pilar Horner received her joint Sociology and Social Work PhD from the University of Michigan and is currently an Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the MSU School of Social Work and the Julian Samora Research Institute. Dr. Horner’s research looks at decreasing health disparities with an emphasis on Spanish-speaking communities; specifically her work examines how social and cultural aspects of health disparities can be addressed to improve services and health outcomes. Her areas of focus include HIV/AIDS cultural prevention strategies in Latin America and the United States; deportation effects on children and families; substance use and misuse, history of social welfare policy, and organizations. She is a qualitative researcher and teaches social welfare policy and advocacy courses at MSU. For more information, please visit: www.pilarhorner.com.
Dr. Jean Kayitsinga is a sociologist demographer for JSRI. He received his Ph.D. in sociology at Michigan State University in 1999. His areas of specialization include rural sociology, sociology of families, demography, research methods, and statistical methodologies.
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
Dr. Daniel Vélez Ortiz is an Assistant Professor at MSU with a joint appointment in the JSRI and the School of Social Work. His areas of research are in mental health services, community service integration, Latino older adults, and organizational factors. He is from Puerto Rico and has been in the Midwest since he left the island to study at Purdue University where he earned an A.S. in Organizational Leadership and a B.A. in Psychology. He earned an M.S.W. and a Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Juan David Coronado has been recently appointed as a postdoctoral scholar at the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University. A social historian, Coronado earned a doctoral degree in history at Texas Tech University. His dissertation, "‘I'm Not Gonna Die in this Damn Place’: Manliness, Identity, and Survival of the Mexican American Vietnam POW,” lies at the intersection of Mexican American, military, U.S. history, and gender studies. He previously held a Lecturer position at The University of Texas-Pan American, located in his hometown of Edinburg, Texas. Recently, he completed an article on Mexican Americans in baseball in South Texas (The Journal of the West). The article highlights the obstacles the Mexican American community faced during the 1960s. Currently, he is working on a photograph book on baseball in South Texas (Arcadia Press) and he is also working on converting his dissertation into a book-length manuscript.
Jamie Wing is the administrative assistant at JSRI, joining the unit in March, 2015. She has worked at MSU most of her career, mostly in research and administrative units. She is a Davenport University dual graduate, earning an Associate degree as an Executive Office Assistant and a bachelor degree in Business Administration (BBA). Her office responsibilities include grant award monitoring, budgeting, and publications. Jamie has lived in the greater Lansing area all of her life. She grew up on a Holstein dairy farm and currently has 4 dogs and a cat. When not at work, Jamie enjoys relaxation or get-togethers with family or friends. She enjoys weekend, day-trips to Michigan attractions, and “popcorn and a movie” event whether at home or in theatres (genre; science fiction, medieval, or action/ adventure). Her interests include animal welfare and rescue and world history and events.
Devin Mazur is the secretary to Dr. Ruben Martinez at the Julian Samora Research Institute. She coordinates his calendar, travel and arranges meetings. Her office responsibilities include maintaining accurate records, processing travel reimbursements, and also providing general leadership to student and on-call employees. She communicates with faculty, staff, prospective students, and external clients to provide requested information.
Student Research Assistant III
Nabih Haddad is a fourth year doctoral student in the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE) program in the College of Education at Michigan State University. Nabih’s research interests include higher education policy, educational philanthropy, and student success and college completion. His current research empirically examines the intersections of organized philanthropy and higher education, with an emphasis on college completion across different race and ethnic groups. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Wayne State University and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Penn State University.
Student Research Assistant III
Barry Lewis is a Master's of Social Work student focusing on Organizational and Community Leadership. Originally from Denver, Colorado, he moved to Michigan in 2009 to pursue his dual bachelors at Wayne State University where he graduated with two degrees in Journalism and Urban Studies. Upon graduating with his MSW degree, he intends to pursue a doctorate in Social Work with a special focus on juvenile and criminal justice systems and reform. When not working or studying, Barry enjoys exercising, binge watching Netflix and eating at various restaurants.
Research Assistant II
Eileen Stefansky is a graduate student in veterinary medicine, public health, and food safety at Michigan State University. She holds bachelors degrees in Animal Science and in Spanish from MSU. Her academic background is in production animal husbandry with a focus on dairy, swine, and poultry. She has ten years of Spanish language immersion, and has spent time in Puerto Rico and Argentina, as well as Japan and Australia. Upon graduation, she intends to pursue a residency in preventive veterinary medicine and plans to focus her career in production animal and zoonotic research and consultation. When not studying or working she enjoys gaming, reading, and traveling.