Mexican-American Studies

Rooted in the fine arts, humanities, and social sciences, the Mexican-American Studies minor is a relatively easy and effective way to enhance any major in any discipline by “adding” to that discipline the knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the predominant ethnic group in the American Southwest, the Mexican-American.

It is a particularly useful minor for those students entering the teaching, medical, legal, business, or service fields.


Mexican-American Studies Programs

  • The Center for Mexican-American Studies

    The Center for Mexican-American Studies (CMAS) was established in 1971 to create new opportunities for service to the Mexican-American community and to promote a greater understanding of the Mexican-American experience. The CMAS offers a reading and study center equipped with computers as well as library materials on Mexican Americans. The CMAS is used as the homebase for the Mexican-American Students Association (MASA), a student group with an active, open-to-all membership, and for the Latino Alumni and Friends Association at TLU.

  • Mexican-American Students Association (MASA)

    MASA Mission Statement 

    Founded in 1981, the Mexican-American Students Association (MASA) at Texas Lutheran University is an association of Mexican-American and other students, regardless of ethnicity, that seeks to promote, celebrate, and showcase Mexican-American culture, history, and people. Working closely with the Center for Mexican-American Studies (CMAS), MASA provides a culturally safe space where Mexican-American students can learn, develop, and practice leadership skills and forge lifetime memories and friendships as they prepare for leadership roles and lives of service in their home communities.

  • Mexican-American Alumni and Friends Association

    Mission Statement

    The TLU Mexican American Alumni and Friends Association is committed to the development of funds and services for the benefit and advancement of Latino students at TLU.

    The Mexican American Alumni and Friends Association of Texas Lutheran University (MAAFA) intends to increase the number of Latino students enrolling at TLU through tuition assistance grants and other recruitment and retention means. Additionally, it seeks to help create a campus environment that is culturally diverse and supportive of the needs of these students.

    Minority enrollment on college campuses is a positive development that benefits not only students of color but enriches the entire academic community. A 2000 study released by the Educational Testing Service at Princeton, New Jersey concludes:

    • While minority enrollment is growing, the numbers of Hispanic students enrolling in higher education continues to lag behind.
    • Encouraging minority enrollment on the nation's campuses will translate into a more diverse professional workforce, which in turn strengthens the United States' ability to compete in the global economy.
    • Enabling minorities to attend college is a promising approach to reducing poverty.
    • Diversity strengthens the learning environment at the nation's colleges and universities. More diverse viewpoints will stimulate a broader range of ideas, improve intellectual pursuits and better prepare students to be good neighbors, citizens and workers. 

    Goals

    • Increase the number of Latino students at TLU by initiating recruitment activities intended to increase both the number of Latino students recruited to TLU as well as the retention rate of those Latino students already enrolled at TLU.
    • Maintain and enhance the reputation and standing of TLU as one of the best universities its size in the Southwest.
    • Make recommendations to TLU's leadership that both encourage persistence and prompt institutional and programmatic changes as it shapes a campus culture that effectively supports Latinos. Necessarily, these changes will include a greater presence of Latinos at all levels of the administrative and faculty ranks.
    • Raise funds that will help this organization to realize its organizational goals and objectives, especially for tuition grants and other projects that will benefit Latino students at TLU.
    • Organize and promote social events and other activities that will enrich and diversify the culture and campus life of TLU and the lives of its alumni and friends.

    History

    The idea for the Mexican American Alumni and Friends Association originated with professor Juan Rodríguez in February 2000. It was then that he met with Liz (Bueno) Gonzales, the first (1981) Mexican American Student Association (MASA) president. Later that year, during homecoming, the group, initially known as Friends of the Mexican American Studies Center, met for the first time on Oct. 21, 2000. That day, over 20 alumni and friends gathered at the Center for Mexican American Studies to renew friendships and to launch the association. Everyone present enthusiastically supported the formation of an association to help current and future Latino students at TLU. Since that first gathering, the group has had several meetings, and in the spring of 2001, the group formed a board, set goals and renamed itself the Latino Alumni and Friends Association, which later changed to the  Mexican American Alumni and Friends Association.

    The original co-coordinators were George Gonzales '85 (deceased the summer of 2004) and Suzanna Rojas (1981).

    Officers

    Coordinators 

    Alejandro and Yolanda Guerra '85 

    Suzanna Rojas '81 

    Secretary / Treasurer 

    Cristina Castro '05 

    Advisor 

    Prof. Juan Rodríguez, Director for Center for Mexican American Studies

    George G. Gonzales Endowed Scholarship

    In the Fall of 2004, a few months after Geroge Gonzales' tragic drowning in Mexico while he and his family were on vacation, the Mexican American Alumni and Friends Association at TLU established an endowed scholarship in his name to be awarded to a TLU Mexican American student. Anyone wishing to contribute to the fund, can do so through the TLU business office or by contacting Professor Juan Rodríguez.

    About George G. Gonzales

    George Gonzales graduated from Floresville High School, Class of 1980, and in 1984 from Texas Lutheran College with a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communications. He took his Master Degree at Webster University in Business Administration.

    Quiet Giant was one of Liz's pet names for him. He was quiet, low­key, humble, but great things came as a result of his efforts. His actions, gestures and words were mild mannered. George loved to make people laugh. He shared the love of Christ through sports, an avenue through which he brought many young people to salvation.

    He was a supervisor in the contracting division of the Air Intelligence Agency, at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. He received numerous awards in recognition of his outstanding service to the Air Force during his nineteen years, nine months of service.

    George was a man of order. One of his favorite scriptures and life principles was "The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord." George's favorite scripture was Isaiah 40:31; "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

    George loved the beach and he loved Mexico. The day of his death he got up at sunrise to go out to the beach where he created a work of art — a picture of footsteps in the sand using his own sandals. And his last day was spent at his favorite beach on the Mayan Riviera in an area called Tulum, 40 miles South of Cancun. He loved that spot!

    George is survived by his wife of over sixteen years, Elizabeth Bueno Gonzales of San Antonio, and their two children, Brianna Nicole and Adriana Nichole of San Antonio; father and mother Arturo L. and Angelina Gonzales of Floresville; parents-in-law, Sóstenez and Aurelia Bueno of San Antonio; brothers, Fidencio Gonzales, Arturo Gonzales, Anthony Gonzales, Michael Gonzales, Jeffrey Gonzales, and James Gonzales, and two sisters, Irene Gonzales and Sonia Gonzalez.

Minor in Mexican-American Studies

18 semester hours, including Intro to Mexican-American Studies, Mexican-American Culture in the Southwest, Advanced Conversational Spanish, Major Issues in Ethnic and Racial History, and an Internship in Mexican-American Studies; and 3 hours from Intro to Mexican-American Literature, Texas and the Borderlands, or Hispanic/Latino Theologies.