The University of Texas at Austin Latino Research Initiative
IQRMI-ADS

Core Faculty


Dr. Janna Lesser
Professor, School of Nursing
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Dr. Lesser is a tenured professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio’s School of Nursing, Director of the South Texas Area Health Education (AHEC) Program, and Director of the Center for Community-Based Health Promotion with Women and Children. For over twenty years, she has conducted community-engaged projects with individuals and communities living with a myriad of health and social inequities, obtaining both internal and external funding for this work. Dr. Lesser works with a diverse group of target populations including inner-city dwelling adolescent mothers and fathers, disenfranchised youth (including youth in the juvenile justice system), families living in predominantly Hispanic impoverished communities, and individuals and groups living with chronic and severe mental illness.

Laura Delfausse

Dr. Nancy López
Director and Co-Founder, Institute for Study of "Race" & Social Justice, RWJF Center for Health Policy
Department of Sociology
The University of New Mexico

Nancy López, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of New Mexico, cofounded and directs the Institute for the Study of "Race" and Social Justice at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy. She is also the founding coordinator of the New Mexico Statewide Race, Gender, Class Data Policy Consortium and the founding Principal investigator for a Community Based Participatory Research Ethnic Studies Education and Health Research Practice Partnership in Albuquerque Public Schools.

The daughter of Dominican immigrants, Dr. López was born in Manhattan and raised in public housing.
Dr. López's scholarship, teaching and service are guided by the insights of intersectionality. Her work interrogates race, gender, class and ethnicity as overlapping systems of inequality across a variety of social outcomes (e.g., education, health, employment, housing), and aims to develop contextualized solutions that advance social justice.

Dr. López is actively involved in conversations with the U.S. Census Bureau and the Office of Management and Budget about the importance of a data infrastructure that supports civil rights monitoring and enforcement for vulnerable visible minorities. She is also collaborating with the AfroLatin@ Forum in New York City to conduct a study of AfroLatin@s in NYC. Her books include Hopeful Girls, Troubled Boys: Race and Gender Disparity in Urban Education (Routledge, 2003) and Mapping "Race": Critical Approaches to Health Disparities Research (Rutgers, 2013).  She received her B.A. from Columbia University and her Ph.D. from the City University of New York. 


Laura Delfausse

Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina
Director, Latino Research Initiative
Professor, Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies
The University of Texas at Austin

Deborah Parra-Medina, Ph.D., M.P.H., is Professor of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at The University of Texas at Austin and Director of the Latino Research Initiative. Dr. Parra-Medina has substantial experience in health promotion, public health epidemiology, health disparities in cardiovascular and chronic disease, and community-based interventions among under-served and minority populations.  

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Parra-Medina has served as Principal Investigator for 17 grants funded for over $19 million, published over 62 scientific articles, presented at many national and international conferences, and received awards for research, teaching and service. She has served as Co-Director of the South Texas Area Health Education Centers Program and as a member of the Cancer Prevention and Population Science research program at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She serves on the editorial board of several scholarly journals and has been recognized for her work in public health and health disparities research by the American Public Health Association, receiving the Mayhew Derryberry Award in 2013. She was named Fellow by the American Academy of Health Behavior in 2016. 

Dr. Parra-Medina received her Ph.D. in public health epidemiology from the University of California, San Diego/San Diego State University joint doctoral program and her master’s in public health in health promotion and education from San Diego State University. She is a native of San Diego.


Laura Delfausse

Dr. Ruth Enid Zambrana
Director, Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity
Department of Sociology
University of Maryland, College Park

Dr. Ruth Enid Zambrana is Professor 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.

Dr. Zambrana’s scholarship applies a critical intersectional lens to structural inequality, racial, Hispanic ethnicity, and gender disparities in population health and higher education trajectories. She has published extensively and serves on many social science and public health journal editorial boards. Her 
latest book is Toxic Ivory Tower: The Consequences of Work Stress on the Health of Underrepresented Minority Faculty (Rutgers University Press, forthcoming 2018). Other recent works include an anthology with Sylvia Hurtado, The Magic Key: The Educational Journey of Mexican Americans From K-12 College and Beyond (University of Texas Press, 2015) and an edited volume with Virginia Brennan and Shiriki Kumanyika, entitled Obesity Interventions in Underserved U.S. Communities: Evidence and Directions (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.

Dr. Zambrana’s achievements have been recognized by the American Public Health Association Latino Caucus (Founding Member Award for Vision and Leadership, 2013), the University of Maryland (Outstanding Woman of Color Award, 2013), and the American Sociological Association (Julian Samora Distinguished Career Award, 2011). A recent award from the Annie E. Casey Foundation aims to translate the findings of Understanding the Relationship between Work Stress at U.S. Research Institutions’ Failure to Retain Underrepresented Minority (URM) Faculty, a study led by Dr. Zambrana, into higher education policies to enhance retention and promotion of underrepresented minority faculty.


Faculty Speakers

Dr. Javier Auyero
Professor, Latin American Sociology
Department of Sociology
The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Virginia Brown
Assistant Professor, Population Health
Dell Medical School
The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Karen Landolt
Lecturer, Department of Business, Government and Society
McCombs School of Business
The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Daisy Morales-Campos
Research Assistant Professor, Latino Research Initiative
Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies
The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Ruben Parra-Cardona
Associate Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Steve Hicks School of Social Work
The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Richard Reddick
Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy
College of Education
The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Lourdes Rodriguez
Director, Center for Place-Based Initiatives
Dell Medical School
The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Victor Saenz
Chair, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy
College of Education
The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Angela Valenzuela
Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy
College of Education
The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Luis Zayas
Dean, Steve Hicks School of Social Work
The University of Texas at Austin 


For more information and to apply, visit the IQRMI-ADS Application.
Historically underrepresented minorities are encouraged to apply.

For inquiries about IQRMI-ADS, contact LRI@austin.utexas.edu.


Intersectionality