The University of Texas at Austin Latino Research Initiative

Scientific Advisory Panel

Nilsa Burgos

Dr. Burgos is a full professor and researcher, retired from the Graduate School of Social Work, University of Puerto Rico (1983-2014). She is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel at the Latino Research Institute, University of Texas at Austin. Faculty Affiliate of the Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity at the University of Maryland. With a PhD in research from Columbia University and a MSW from the University of Puerto Rico, Dr. Burgos Ortiz is a visiting professor at the following universities: George Mason University, The State University of New Jersey Rutgers, Catholic University Dominican Republic, University of Brasilia and University of Costa Rica. She belongs to several editorial boards in Latin America and in Puerto Rico. In 2018 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Puerto Rican Association of Social Workers. She has also presented papers, individually and in panels, in many Latin American universities, Puerto Rico, the United States, and countries such as Spain, South Korea, Croatia and Ireland. She is the author of two books, co-author of four, editor of five, has chapters in eleven books, and multiple articles in peer review journals of different countries. Served as president of the Latin American Association of Schools of Social Work from 2015 thru 2018.

Charles Martinez

Dr. Martinez is the 12th dean of the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Martinez began his tenure as dean on January 1, 2019. Martinez’s scholarly work focuses on identifying factors that hinder or promote the success of children and families who are from vulnerable and underserved populations. He is particularly interested in how immigrant Latino families adjust to life in the U.S. and how to better harness culturally specific protective factors to ensure their success in navigating the many challenges associated with immigration. Martinez has led numerous national and international research projects designed to examine risk and protective factors involved in linking social and cultural factors to education and behavioral health disparities for Latino children and families, and to develop and test culturally specific interventions for at-risk families in the U.S. and in Latin America. Prior to joining Texas, Martinez was the Philip H. Knight Professor in the Department of Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership at the University of Oregon, where he also served as founding director of the Center for Equity Promotion. He is a nationally recognized scholar on organizational equity, cross-cultural research, and community engagement. A first-generation college graduate, Martinez received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pitzer College, and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. Martinez holds the Lee Hage Jamail Regents Chair in Education and the Sid W. Richardson Regents Chair. He is a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology.

Nelly Salgado de Snyder

Dr. Salgado de Snyder is a professor and senior researcher in medical sciences at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico (INSP). She holds a Doctorate in Social Welfare from the University of California Los Angeles and a B.A. and Master's Degree in Psychology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She is the founder of the Global Health Program of the INSP and the Latin American Global Health Alliance (ALASAG). Her research has focused on the interface of health sciences and social and behavioral sciences in the study of vulnerable populations in contexts of social inequality. Global health and social determinants of health have been central themes in her research work in recent years.Dr. Salgado de Snyder maintains international collaborations with colleagues in various parts of the world and has more than 150 publications in scientific journals, book chapters and books. She is a consultant to many national and international organizations and has received numerous funding from various sources for her research and teaching projects. He has taught more over 120 undergraduate and graduate courses, and graduated more than 40 undergraduate, master and doctoral students. She is a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences; Academy of Sciences of Morelos; Fellow of the American Psychological Association; Fulbright Fellow; Fulbright New Century Scholar in Global Health; and Balzan Fellow on Social Determinants of Health, among other distinctions. Since 2016 she is the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Health Research (ACHR) of the Pan American Health Organization /World Health Organization (PAHO / WHO). She is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Latino Research Institute of the University of Texas at Austin.

Lynn Weber

Dr. Weber, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina, has for over thirty years been a leader in developing the field of intersectionality—the study of the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality and other dimensions of social inequality. As co-founder and director of the Center for Research on Women at the University of Memphis and as director of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina, she promoted intersectional research and practice through her scholarship, pedagogy, institution-building, and engagement with local communities. This work has focused primarily in three areas: promoting community-based collaborative interventions through the Women’s Well-Being Initiative at the University of South Carolina and at the Delaware Center for Justice, addressing the social determinants of health inequities, exploring inequalities in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and in the experiences of Katrina’s displaced across the country.

Ruth Zambrana

Dr. Zambrana is a Distinguished University Professor and Interim Chair in the Department of Women’s Studies, Director of the Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity and adjunct Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Medicine. Her scholarship applies a critical intersectional lens to structural inequality and racial, Hispanic ethnicity, and gender inequities in population health and higher education trajectories. Dr. Zambrana has published widely on health inequity in her major research concentrations, women’s health, maternal and child health, socioeconomic health disparities and life course impacts on health and mental well-being of traditionally and historically underrepresented minorities. Dr. Zambrana collaborated with the Pan American Health Organization to launch educational training and intervention programs internationally in Mexico and Central America to address gender equity and health (1995-1999). Her latest book is Toxic Ivory Tower: The Consequences of Work Stress on the Health of Underrepresented Minority Faculty (Rutgers University Press, 2018). She has published 12 books and significant articles, book chapters, reports and reviews; serves on several editorial boards, and is frequently invited as an expert scholar to serve on professional and government committees. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2011 Julian Samora Distinguished Career Award by the American Sociological Association, Sociology of Latinos/as Section for her contributions to the sociology of Latinos and immigrant studies, teaching and mentoring, and the 2013 American Public Health Association Latino Caucus, Founding Member Award for Vision and Leadership.

Luis Zayas

Luis H. Zayas is dean of the Steve Hicks School of Social Work and the Robert Lee Sutherland Chair in Mental Health and Social Policy. Dean Zayas is the sixth dean in the history of Steve Hicks School of Social Work. He also holds an appointment as professor of psychiatry at the Dell Medical School of The University of Texas at Austin. In his role as a national leader in social work, Dean Zayas is currently president of the Society for Social Work and Research, the largest social work research organization in the world. Previously, he served two terms (2016-2018; 2018-2020) as president of St. Louis Group for Excellence in Social Work Education and Research, which represents the leading research schools of social work. In 2012, he was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. In 2017, he was elected to the Executive Board of the Academy and served until 2019. Prior to these positions, Dean Zayas held the position of member-at-large of the executive committee of the National Association of Deans and Directors of schools and programs in social work. Along with Professors Catherine Cubbin and Cynthia Franklin, he was identified in a 2019 report (Journal of Social Service Research ) as one of the most influential contemporary social work scholars.