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.
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.
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.
Dr. Marcelo E. Siles is a Research Specialist at JSRI. He has extensive experience working in higher education as an administrator and as a researcher. His previous posts include serving as Executive Director of International Programs at Old Dominion University, Dean/Executive Director of International Programs at Northern Michigan University, and as Co-Director of the Social Capital Initiative at Michigan State University. He received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University.
Dr. Richard Cruz Davila joined JSRI as a researcher in August of 2017. He recently completed a PhD in Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario. His dissertation traced the history of Chicana/os and Latina/os in punk scenes in Los Angeles and Chicago. His research interests include race and ethnicity, Chicana/o expressive cultures, and popular music.
Devin Mazur is one of the office assistants to Dr. Ruben Martinez at the Julian Samora Research Institute. She coordinates Dr. Martinez's 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.
Jocelyn Janicek joined JSRI in August 2017. She is originally from Corunna, MI and currently resides with her family in Laingsburg, MI. Since graduating from Corunna High School in 2011, Jocelyn has been attending Lansing Community College working toward her Associate in Business Degree for Business Administration and plans to transfer to Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business to complete her Bachelor of Arts Degree.
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.
Student Research Assistant II
Eileen Thompson 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.
Student Research Assistant II
Olivia Sanchez del Pozo Clarke is a junior at MSU studying biotechnology and biochemistry. She is also pursuing a minor in pharmacology and toxicology. Olivia was born in Malaga, Spain and moved to Norton Shores, Michigan in 2013. In her free time she enjoys running cross country, skiing, travelling, and going to concerts. After college, her goal is to study biomedical engineering.
Student Clerical Assistant I
Kourtia Munson is an undergraduate student at Michigan State University pursuing a major in Social Work and is on a pre-med track. She is from Detroit, Michigan and plans to move out of state following graduation to pursue a career in medicine. When not working or studying she is an active member on MSU Urban Dreams Hip-Hop dance team, and enjoys watching movies on Netflix.
Student Clerical Assistant I
David Solis is an undergraduate student at Michigan State University (MSU) pursing a degree in civil engineering. After graduating, he plans on beginning Master’s program in civil engineering at MSU. He is from the small rural town of Monte Alto, Texas and plans to stay in Michigan to work for the Michigan Department of Transportation. During his free time, he enjoys going to the gym, playing soccer, and spending time with friends.