Faculty & Staff

Gilda L. Ochoa, Chair of IDCLS
Professor of Chicana/o~Latina/o Studies at Pomona College
Lincoln Hall 1102 | Fall 2021 Office Hours: Scheduled Outside Office Hours with Masks (meet at Skyspace): Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:00-4:15 p.m. by appointment here calendly.com/glochoa Open Zoom Hours: Mondays 11:00-12:00 here: https://pomonacollege.zoom.us/j/89589518098 

Ochoa has been involved with and written on local struggles from bilingual education, sanctuary, ethnic and gender studies to the movement for greater representation in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District. Her last book, Academic Profiling: Latinos, Asian Americans, and the Achievement Gap, was recognized by the Asian American Studies Association, the American Sociological Association, and the Society for the Study of Social Problem for its focus on eradicating racism and named as one of 35 books that all educators of African American and Latino students must read. Ochoa’s earlier books include Becoming Neighbors in a Mexican American Community, Learning from Latino Teachers, and Latino Los Angeles. Ochoa strives for interactive and transformative learning spaces, and she regularly collaborates with teachers. She has received several teaching awards, and in 2016, she was the Susan Currier Visiting Professor for Teaching Excellence at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.


Guadalupe A. Bacio
Assistant Professor of Psychology and Chicana/o~Latina/o Studies at Pomona College
Lincoln Hall 2103 | Fall 2021 Office Hours: TBA
(909) 607-1024

Dr. Bacio directs the Cultural contExts, adolesceNt healTh behavioRs, & develOpment (CENTRO) Research Lab at Pomona College. The overarching goal of her program of research is to understand and address disparities in patterns and consequences of alcohol and drug use encountered by Latinx adolescents of different immigrant generations. Dr. Bacio’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms that explain the immigrant paradox in the etiology and development of alcohol and drug use among Latinx youth of first-, second-, and third- immigrant generation.


Evelyn Boria-Rivera
Lecturer in Chicanx/Latinx Studies at Scripps College
Balch 211 | Fall 2021 Office Hours: Tues/Thurs 12:00 - 1:00 or by appointment
(909) 607-3534

Evelyn Boria-Rivera specializes in Latinx Studies, Women's Studies, and US American Literature. After earning an MFA from Emerson College, she went on to work at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. She then earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Notre Dame. Her interest in Latinx studies led her to teach in the Latino Studies Program at New York University and to spend a year as a research fellow at the Chicana/Latina Research Center at UC Davis. She went on to become a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at UCLA teaching in the departments of English, Gender Studies, and Chicano/a Studies. She has also taught Writing at the University of Southern California. Her work is on the intersection of Latina Literature, maternity and reproductive politics in the hispanophone Caribbean, and the politics of the Cold War.  


Portait of Rita Cano Alcala. Woman with curly bob-cut black hair smiling. She wears a maroon collared top. In the background there are bookshelves and books.Rita Cano Alcalá
Associate Professor of Chicana/o~Latina/o Studies at Scripps College
Balch 205 | Fall 2021 Office Hours: TBA
(909) 607-3543

Professor Cano Alcalá's research interests lie in contemporary Chicana Literature, specifically, and in 19th and 20th century Chicano literature, more generally. Her work-in-progress is also titled "Virgins, Martyrs and Whores: Mexican Cultural Icons of Womanhood in Chicana Literature." She is currently doing work in Brazilian Literature, specifically by contemporary women.


David Chávez Méndez
Lecturer in History and Chicanx-Latinx Studies at Pomona College
Fall 2021 Office Hours: Thursdays 3-4 pm on Zoom or by appointment; pomonacollege.zoom.us/j/84326411431

Professor Chávez Méndez is a 20th Century U.S. Historian with research interests in Critical Ethnic Studies, Carceral Studies, Racial Capitalism, Settler Colonialism, and Radical Praxis. Their current research interrogates the history of youth of color criminalization in Los Angeles and reframes the so called "war on gangs" as state sponsored counterinsurgency. They derive their scholarship from their personal experience with the Prison Industrial Complex and community organizing with formerly incarcerated and system impacted communities.



David Barillas Chón
Visiting Assistant Professor of Chicana/o~Latina/o Studies at Pomona College
Lincoln Hall 1104 | Fall 2021 Office Hours: TBA
(909) 607-1877

Professor Barillas Chón is Maya Poqomam, born in Guatemala and raised in Pomona. Their migration journeys and indigenous remembrance shapes their research, focus, educational, and political commitments. Barillas Chón investigates issues concerning indigenous identity, immigration, colonialisms, and race in the contexts of schooling and education. Their current focus is on how indigeneity is reshaped in specific temporal-spatial, labored, and schooling contexts, and how indigenous migrants shape our understandings of indigeneity. Their research is geared to impact a range of communities working with and for the equitable treatment of indigenous, migrant, and minoritized  populations in and out of education settings.


Lani Cupchoy
Visiting Assistant Professor in Chicana/o Latina/o Transnational Studies at Pitzer College
Scott Hall 224 | Fall 2021 Office Hours: TBA

Dr. Lani Cupchoy is a Public Historian-Artivist-Photographer-Filmmaker whose research focuses on Ethnic and Gender Studies, United States Transnational/Global History, History of the Americas, Chicanx-Latinx Studies, Asian American-Pacific Island Studies, Indigenous knowledge, Critical Food Studies, Oral History, Visual & Digital Storytelling, and Critical Civic Engagement, particularly through social and cultural expressions by people of color. As a University educator with K-18 teaching experience since 1997 as well as a PAGE Fellow (2009), UC Diversity Fellow (2008) and CSU Chancellors Fellow (2007), she has authored several publications including “Fragments of Memory” in Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies (2010) and “Breaking the University Myth” in Diálogo (2018). Lani is also an award-winning filmmaker of Truth Seekers (2016), Urban Seeds (2019) and Food Medicine (2020), documentaries that illuminate the power of activism, community engagement, and social justice. She is currently completing her book Hawaiian LA: Public Culture, Community, Memory and Collectivity. A former elected school board member for Montebello Unified, she led important grassroots policy-making initiatives including the K-12 ethnic studies requirement, extension of the Dual Language Immersion Program to include both Spanish and Mandarin, LGBTQIA+ support and all-gender restrooms, and the expansion of school-based gardens (28 schools total) throughout the district.


Martha Gonzalez
Associate Professor of Chicana/o Latina/o Studies at Scripps College
Miller 206 and Lincoln 1101 |Fall 2021 Office Hours: TBA
(909) 607-3710

Martha Gonzalez is a Chicana artivista (artist/activist) musician, feminist music theorist and Associate Professor in the Intercollegiate Department of Chicana/o Latina/o Studies at Scripps/Claremont College. Born and raised in Boyle Heights she is a Fulbright (2007-2008), Ford (2012-2013), Woodrow Wilson (2016-2017) and United States Artist (2020) Fellow.

Gonzalez's research interests lie at the intersection of Chicana feminist theory, Chican@ music, transnational music dialogues, Performance Studies and feminist development theory. Her academic interests have been fueled by her own musicianship as a singer/songwriter and percussionist for Grammy Award (2013) winning band Quetzal. Quetzal has made considerable impact in the Los Angeles Chicano music scene. The relevance of Quetzal’s music and lyrics have been noted in a range of publications, from dissertations to scholarly booksTheir latest recording “Puentes Sonoros” (Sonic Bridges) was released on Smithsonian Folkways in the fall of 2020. In addition, in the summer of 2017 Gonzalez’s tarima (stomp box) and zapateado dance shoes were acquired by the National Museum of American History.


Rudy Mondragón
Visiting Assistant Professor in Sport and Society at Pitzer College
Fletcher 220 | Fall 2021 Office Hours: Wednesdays 1-2pm and 6-7, Tuesday and Thursday 4:30-5:30 PM; In-Person and/or Zoom
(909) 607-7342

Rudy Mondragón is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Sport and Society at Pitzer College. His research looks at the sport of boxing and the ways in which Black and Brown boxers politically and culturally express themselves via the most important, yet understudied component of the sport: the ring entrance. Mondragón is currently working on Rings of Dissent: Boxing and the Performance of Rebellion, co-edited with Gaye Theresa Johnson and David J. Leonard (Under Review - University of North Carolina Press), “Boxing Ring Entrances as Insubordinate Spaces: A Disruptive Oral Herstory” for Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies (Provisional Acceptance) and “Sporting Representations of El Salvador’s First World Champion: El Famoso and his Boxing Robe as Material Culture” for the Routledge Handbook of American Material Culture Studies (Forthcoming 2022).

Mondragón has published a film review of the boxing documentary “Champs” for the Journal of Sports History and book reviews of Louis Moore’s I Fight for a Living: Boxing and the Battle for Black Manhood, 1880-1915, for the International Review for the Sociology of Sport and José M. Alamillo’s Deportes: The Making of a Sporting Mexican Diaspora for Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies.

He has written on the sport of boxing for Remezcla, We Are Mitú, and LA Taco and has been featured on ESPN, Fox Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report, Washington Post, New York Times, and other news platforms. As a photographer, Mondragón’s photos have been published on Indian Country Today, Shepard Fairey’s Obey Giant, Ernesto Yerena’s Hecho Con Ganas, and The Streets Magazine.

He is the recipient of the prestigious University of California Cota Robles Fellowship, UCLA Dissertation Year Fellowship (declined), UC Berkeley Oral History Center Fellowship, UCLA Gold Shield Alumnae Graduate Fellowship, Fellow of the Smithsonian Latino Museum Studies Program, NCAA Ethnic Minority Enhancement Postgraduate Award, and Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports-Scholar Award.


Soham Patel
Visiting Assistant Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies at Pitzer College
Broad Center 213 | Fall 2021 Office Hours: MWF 10-11 AM - in person, online, or by appointment 

Soham Patel is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies at Pitzer College. He holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. He is currently working on his book manuscript Terrorist Threats: The Muslim International in the Shadow of War which explores how the US-led War on Terror has shaped domestic policing, security, social protest movements, and ultimately solidarities between Black and Muslim communities. This year Professor Patel will be teaching Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies; Transformative Life of Malcolm X; Spirit of Bandung: Afro-Asian Solidarity & Internationalism; World of War: Migrants, Refugees, and Exiles; and Third World LA. 


Suyapa Portillo Villeda
Associate Professor of Chicana/o~Latina/o Transnational Studies at Pitzer College
Scott Hall 221 | Fall 2021 Office Hours: TBA
(909) 607-9415

As a Professor, her research interests focus on gender and labor history in the Americas; Central American immigrants and migration; Honduras and Hondurans in the US; Central American transnational social movements; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender human rights in Central America. Her recent courses include History of Central Americans in the US, and Gender, Sexuality, and Healthcare in the Americas. Photo Credit: Javier Lopez Casertano 


Omar Ramirez
Visiting Assistant Professor of Chicana/o~Latina/o Transnational Studies at Pitzer College
Lincoln Hall 1101
(909) 607-9415

Omar G Ramirez methodology is rooted in transformative and restorative culture, and thought specifically living at the intersection of cultural art & aesthetics in public spaces and community transformation utilizing collaborative, participatory, and social engagement practices. It’s a process that facilitates and encourages transformation, focusing on dynamic interactions, addressing the social and emotional needs of participants and audiences while limiting object monetization.  For over 20 years he has been facilitating, participating, and collaborating with community cultural spaces, educational institutions, and system impacted communities.  


Tomás F. Summers Sandoval Jr.
Associate Professor of History and Chicana/o~Latina/o Studies at Pomona College
Mason Hall 122 | On Sabbatical Fall 2021
(909) 607-2916

Tomás Summers Sandoval is a historian of Latinx populations in the modern United States, with an emphasis on California. He teaches classes on Latinx history, social movements, oral history, and racial inequality in the United States. He is the author of Latinos at the Golden Gate: Creating Community and Identity in San Francisco (University of North Carolina Press, 2013) and is currently at work on a book titled On the Edge of Things: The Vietnam War in Latinx America, based on oral histories with Chicano/Latino Vietnam veterans and their families. He has produced two public-facing projects based on these interviews: Vietnam Veteranos: Mexican America and the Legacy of Vietnam (2017), a multimedia public history exhibit funded by California Humanities; and Ring of Red: A Barrio Story (2018), a stage play funded by The Whiting Foundation.


Miguel R. Tinker Salas
Leslie Farmer Professor of Latin American Studies and Professor of History and Chicano/a Latino/a Studies at Pomona College
Mason Hall 119 | Fall 2021 Office Hours: TBA
(909) 607-2920

Professor Miguel Tinker Salas is an authority on the political and social issues confronting Latin America. He is the author of Venezuela: What Everyone Needs to Know; The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture and Society in Venezuela; Hugo Chávez and the Decline of an Exceptional Democracy;and author of Under the Shadow of the Eagles, The Border and the Transformation of Sonora During the Porfiriato. His research expertise includes contemporary Latin America, society and politics in Venezuela and Mexico, oil, culture and politics in Venezuela, the drug war in Mexico, Mexican border society, Chicanos/as and Latinos/as in the United States, and Latin American immigration policies.


Arely Zimmerman
Assistant Professor of Chicana/o~Latina/o Studies at Pomona College
Lincoln Hall 1104 |On Sabbatical AY 2021 -2022
(909) 607-1877

Prior to joining Pomona College, Professor Zimmerman was a faculty fellow in the department of social and cultural analysis at NYU and a Mellon Fellow in Social Movements at the University of Southern California. She is a co-author of By Any Media Necessary: the New Youth Activism (New York University Press, 2018) which examines the political significance of social media in youth organizing and civic participation. She is currently at work on a book about the political activism of Salvadoran immigrants in the United States.



Janet Hernandez
Academic Coordinator of IDCLS
Lincoln Hall 1103 | Office Hours: In person, online, or by appointment M-F 8am - 12pm, 1pm - 5pm.
(909) 607-3221

Janet (she/her) received her B.A. in Ethnic Studies from Cornell College in Iowa in 2015. She previously worked for four years at a local non-profit youth development organization and brings to IDCLS her passion for working with the Latinx community and artistic creativity.