Institute Community

Dominguez Adriana UTEP 2016Adriana Dominguez is a Clinical Professor of Theatre and the Director of Audience Development for the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at El Paso. She teaches Creative Drama, Leadership in Performing Arts Organizations, Women in Drama, Chicano Theatre, Feminist Theory and Drama, Theatre History and Literature I, and Theatre Practicum I-III. Adriana has participated in theatre as an actress, director, producer, designer, and teacher at the elementary, secondary, and university levels for over 20 years. She is the co-founder of both the Chican@/Latin@ Theatre Series and the Children’s Traveling Troupe, which serve to promote artistic connections with the community at no cost. She is also the director of the Department Summer Children’s Camps; collectively these projects reach over 5,000 community members each year. Adriana is a native El Pasoan and is proud to further integrate the arts into the classroom and community. When she is not busy at the theatre, Adriana enjoys reading, participating in local community events, and spending time with her family.

Liberal Arts Shepherd JJeffrey Shepard joined the Department of History at UTEP in 2002, after receiving his PhD from Arizona State University. Since then he has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in U.S., Indigenous, Borderlands, Western, Environmental, and Public History. He has chaired several dissertation and masters committees on topics as diverse as colonial era Spanish masculinity, gender and the bracero program, Indigenous-African relations in the early Florida borderlands, Native peoples and legal borderlands, and the tri-racial dimensions of settler-colonial violence in nineteenth century New Mexico. Shepard's research interests include Indigenous peoples in North America, particularly the Apache/Nde’ and Native groups in the U.S. – Mexico borderlands: environmental history; biography; and art and culture as a form of resistance to militarizing the borderlands. His first book, We Are an Indian Nation: A History of the Hualapai People, was published in 2010 with the University of Arizona Press; and his second book, The Guadalupe Mountains National Park: An Environmental History of the Southwest Borderlands, is forthcoming in 2019 with the University of Massachusetts Press. He is presently working on a biography of Wendell Chino, who was president of the Mescalero Nation for nearly 40 years, and a leading advocate for Indigenous sovereignty after World War Two; and he is conducting research into the Apache Treaty of 1852, which he considers “an Indigenous borderlands treaty.” In addition, Shepard is the co-editor (with Myla Vicenti Carpio) of the book series, Critical Issues in Indigenous Studies, through the University of Arizona Press. He has received grants from the American Philosophical Society, the Andrew H. Mellon Foundation, The Charles Redd Center at Brigham Young University, and Texas Tech University. Since 2011, Shepard has served as the Director of the PhD Program in History, at UTEP.


CynthiaBejarano2013 smallerCynthia Bejarano, a native of Anthony, NM, received her BA and MA from New Mexico State University, and her Ph.D. from Arizona State University. State University, and her Ph.D. from Arizona State University. After she completed her Ph.D. in 2001, she joined the Department of Criminal Justice at New Mexico State University and in 2014 she joined the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. Her publications and research interests focus on border violence, youth cultures, immigration issues, and gender violence at the U.S.-Mexico border. She is the author of the book “Qué Onda?” Urban Youth Cultures and Border Identity, published by the University of Arizona Press in 2005 and the co-editor of an interdisciplinary anthology with Rosa-Linda Fregoso entitled Terrorizing Women: A Cartography of Feminicide in the Américas published by Duke University Press in 2010. This anthology is also published in Spanish by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, which includes work from scholars, activists, and attorneys from across the Americas. In addition to these larger book projects, she has 21 single and co-authored articles, essays, and chapters in journals and books like Frontiers; Aztlan, Race and Ethnic Studies; Criminology and Public Policy, Violence and the Body, and the Association of Mexican American Educators Journal.


José Antonio Rodríguez is a poet, memoirist, and translator. He was born in Mexico and raised in South Texas. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, McSweeney's, Paterson Literary Review, James Dickey Review and elsewhere. His books include the memoir House Built on Ashes, finalist for an International Latino Book Award, a Lambda Literary Award and a Foreword INDIES award; and the poetry collections The Shallow End of Sleep, winner of the Bob Bush Memorial Award from the Texas Institute of Letters; and Backlit Hour, finalist for the 2014 Paterson Poetry Prize. He's also part of the collaborative work Borderlines: Drawing Border Lives, a collection of artwork by Reefka Schneider, poems in English by Steven Schneider, and Rodríguez's Spanish translations. He is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, Macondo Writers' Workshop, and CantoMundo. Other honors include multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize, the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award from Paterson Literary Review, the Founders’ Prize from RHINO, and the Clifford D. Clark Doctoral Fellowship from Binghamton University, where he received a Ph.D. in English and Creative Writing. He also holds degrees in Biology and Theatre Arts and is assistant professor in the MFA program at The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley.

cropped es 601 600x0 c defaultErika L. Sánchez is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. A poet, novelist, and essayist living in Chicago, her debut poetry collection, Lessons on Expulsion, was published by Graywolf in summer 2017, and her debut young adult novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, was released by Knopf Books for Young Readers in fall 2017. She was recently named a 2017-2019 Princeton Arts Fellow. Erika grew up in the Mexican working class town of Cicero, Illinois, which borders the city’s southwest side. In fact, her childhood apartment was so close to Chicago that she could hit it with her shoe if she flung it out the window. (Maybe she tried this, maybe she didn’t.) As a daughter of undocumented Mexican immigrants, Erika has always been determined to defy borders of any kind. And, not surprisingly, her clothes perpetually smelled of fried tortillas when she was a child. Her role model was—and continues to be—Lisa Simpson. As a result, she was a young and sometimes overbearing (but in a cute way?) feminist and overachiever. Ever since she was a 12-year-old nerd in giant bifocals, she’s dreamt of becoming a successful writer. Erika graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude from the University of Illinois at Chicago, then went onto Madrid, Spain on a Fulbright Scholarship. Erika has received a CantoMundo Fellowship, Bread Loaf Scholarship, and the 2013 “Discovery”/Boston Review Prize. In 2015, Erika was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from The Poetry Foundation. Erika’s strange and vivid poems have appeared or are forthcoming in many prestigious literary journals, including Pleiades, Hunger Mountain, Crab Orchard Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Ostrich Review, Copper Nickel, Vinyl Poetry, Guernica, diode, Boston Review,, the Paris Review, Gulf Coast, and POETRY Magazine. Her poetry has also been featured on “Latino USA” on NPR and published in Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poems for the Next Generation (Viking 2015).