Institute Community

Dominguez Adriana UTEP 2016

Adriana Dominguez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre & Dance at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and serves as the director of B.A./B.F.A. Theatre Programs at UTEP. She received a B.A. in Theatre Arts with a minor in secondary education from the University of Texas at El Paso, M.A. in Performing Arts Administration from New York University, and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University.

Adriana has published research in Chicana/Latina Studies and Camino Real, presented at numerous professional conferences, and received funding for projects from the Texas Commission on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts. Recent projects include Real Women Have Curves, Luna, El Toro y La Nina, A Christmas Carol, en la Frontera, and Into the Beautiful North. Her areas of focus are under-representation in theatre and Chicanx/Latinx work. Adriana lives in El Paso, Texas, a vibrant community that knows no borders. 

CynthiaBejarano2013 smaller

Cynthia Bejarano is Regents Professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at New Mexico State University. She is the principal investigator for a multi-million dollar, federally and state-funded program, which assists the children of farm workers seeking to attend University.

Also, Cynthia is the co-founder of Amigos de las Mujeres de Juárez, an organization working with Mexican women’s rights organizations in the state of Chihuahua, México, and the borderlands. She lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico.



C. J. Alvarez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Before he received his doctorate in history at the University of Chicago, C. J. studied the history of art and architecture at Harvard University and art and art history at Stanford University. He writes and teaches about the history of the U.S.–Mexico border and environmental history.

C. J.’s His first book, Border Land, Border Water: A History of Construction on the U.S.-Mexico Divide (University of Texas Press, 2019), is a history of the built world of the U.S.–Mexico borderline. Based on dozens of rare and never-before-seen historic maps, photographs, and blueprints, as well as archival documents and oral histories, he explains how and why the history of survey markers, surveillance infrastructure, and fencing is connected to the history of river engineering, damming, and other hydraulic projects.

C. J.’s second book project is about the history of the Chihuahuan Desert, the largest and least known expanse of dryland in North America. This study is an effort to redefine border history, explain what it means to be a desert dweller, and consider the political implications of life in an exceptionally harsh ecoregion.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, C. J.’s work was supported by an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His articles have appeared in Journal of the Southwest, the Western Historical Quarterly, and Environment, Space, Place. He was born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He lives in Austin, Texas.


David Bowles is a Mexican American author from South Texas, where he teaches at the University of Texas Río Grande Valley. He has written several award-winning titles, most notably The Smoking Mirror (2015) and They Call Me Güero (2018). David’s most recent work is titled The Chupacabras of the Rio Grande (2020), cowritten with Adam Gidwitz. His work has also been published in multiple anthologies, plus venues such as The New York Times, School Library Journal, English Journal, Rattle, Translation Review, and the Journal of Children's Literature. In 2017, David was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters. He lives in South Texas.




eE Charlton-Trujillo

e.E. Charlton-Trujillo is an author, filmmaker, and youth literacy activist. Having spoken at nearly every major book festival and educational conference in United States, the small-town South Texas native is considered one of the most inspiring and dynamic speakers advocating for the empowerment of youth through story.

Trujillo’s novels have been described as “cinematic,” “powerful,” and “necessary.” Tackling topics such as race, class, sexual orientation, gender, neurodiversity, poverty, grief, body positivity, and more, Trujillo writes for the most reluctant reader and for the outsider in all of us. Their first novel, Prizefighter en Mi Casa (2006), won the Parents’ Choice Silver Honor, was a National Council For The Social Studies Notable Book, on the New York Public Library List for The Teenager and winner of the Delacorte Dell Yearling Award. The novel Feels Like Home (2007) is a story “full of grit and poetry” set against the rural South Texas backdrop. It was also selected for the New York Public Library List for the Teenager.

The novel Fat Angie (2015) garnered the American Library Association’s Stonewall Award, the Westchester Fiction Award, was a Lambda Literary Finalist, and was selected as a Choose to Read Ohio Book. The novel Fat Angie: Rebel Girl Revolution (2019) was a Foreword INDIES finalist, and Fat Angie: Homecoming will be published in 2021. Trujillo’s short story “CoCo Chamoy y Chango,” set near the Texas border, will be featured in the highly anticipated youth anthology Living Beyond Borders: Stories of Growing Up Mexican in America (2021), edited by Margarita “Margie” Longoria.

Trujillo’s co-authored picture books Lupe Lopez Rock Star Rules will be published in 2022 and will be followed by Lupe Lopez Reading Rock Star in 2023. Trujillo’s accolades exist beyond the page. Their award-winning documentary At-Risk Summer explores what it means to be a young person on the fringe as told by youth, educators and multiple award-winning authors for kids. From the experience of making that film, Trujillo co-founded Never Counted Out, a nonprofit that cultivates reading and storytelling with at-risk youth. Thus, promoting Trujillo’s ultimate mission to excite the ganas in young people to never feel silenced. Trujillo holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and a master’s in filmmaking from Ohio University.