Dr. Villarreal appointed director of CMASR

Aimee Villarreal, PhD, Associate Professor of Mexican American Studies, has been appointed director of the Center for Mexican American Studies and Research (CMASR).

Dr. Villarreal will divide her time between serving as head of the Mexican American Studies program, teaching and directing CMASR.

“I have served as Assistant Director of the CMASR for the past several years so stepping into the director role is a continuation of my service to the university and broader community as a scholar-activist,” Dr. Villarreal said. “As director, I plan to continue building on the strong foundation that Dr. Ezequiel Pena and his team provided for the CMASR. Under his leadership the center raised the profile of the university as an important site for the study of Mexican American history and contemporary experiences as well as for community-based research and activism.

“My goal is to raise the research profile of the CMASR in partnership with faculty affiliates, who have specific expertise in Mexican American Studies, Ethnic Studies or US-Mexico relations and to continue to bring quality programs and cultural events to the campus and broader community. I am also dedicated to furthering mentorship and research opportunities for OLLU faculty and students. Additionally, I look forward to expanding the CMASR’s programs and community outreach in collaboration with the new Mexican American Civil Rights Institute, which will also be housed at OLLU.”

Maribel Larraga, PhD, Professor and Head of Spanish, expressed enthusiasm. 

“I think Dr. Villarreal will lead the CMASR with grit, passion, determination and collaborative efforts across disciplines,” Dr. Larraga said. “She will demonstrate a commitment to continue advancing OLLU’s Mission and Vision to disseminate further expertise in and understanding of Mexican American Studies academic discipline.

“I further believe that Dr. Villarreal will work to strengthen the foundation in place and create new opportunities to support, serve and walk with students of all cultural, ethnic, racial, linguistic, historical, socioeconomic and political backgrounds in an inclusive learning community.”

The CMASR has updated its mission and vision, which can be viewed on this link: