Mexican American Experience Presenters
We thank all of our presenters who have contributed their time and expertise to our events.
The list below denotes those who have presented in the past and or currently presenting.
|Irma Camacho||Diana Martinez||Karla Savina|
|Ashley Heidebrecht||Manuel Mata*||Gilbert Silva|
|Steve Loera||Adrian Morales||Eileen Wyatt|
|Debi Lopez||Carina Ramirez|
|Angelina Martinez||Jorge Rodriguez|
Steven Loera is currently a lecturer in sociology serving four years to date with an additional 15 years as an adjunct faculty. A native of Los Angeles California, where he attended and graduated from Cal-State Northridge and later relocated with his family to El Paso Texas, Steven discovered his professional experience as a social worker, probation officer, and counselor fitted well with his academic studies in sociology. Earning a master's degree from the University of Texas, El Paso, he commenced to teach for El Paso Community College in 2001 as well as New Mexico State University, Alamogordo, fall 2011, and Park University 2015 to the present. Sociology as an interdisciplinary subject piqued Steven's interest since one can incorporate the varied social and natural sciences into the study of human society. No one academic and vocational degree is restricted from sociology for it encompasses all facets of institutions and sectors in the economy. To deliver any type of service, and product effectively in the public and private sector, an understanding of culture and its nuances are paramount. It is with this goal in mind that Mr. Loera endeavors to teach theory in conjunction with practice and through committee involvement empower students, and the community to understand the far reaching influences of today's social issues.
Diana Martinez was born and raised in El Paso, TX. She grew up crossing the border weekly as a child to see her extended family in Juarez. Ms. Martinez has a bachelor's and masters in history. Her specialty is examining the images that Westerners make of Tibetan's in context to geopolitics. That has also extended to other themes of analyzing image making of the "other" within the context of U.S. domestic and foreign policy. She teaches American History 1301 and 1302 at El Paso Community College and University of Texas at El Paso. She also teaches Humanities 3303 Challenges in Modern Culture at the University of Texas at El Paso. She also organized a protest at Tornillo with other activists and politicians. She is currently in the Coalition to End Child Detention- El Paso.
Ashley Heidebrecht is an MSW student and is currently working at Borderland Rainbow Center here in El Paso. Ashley has been working in social services for over a decade. Her experience includes a long background in mental health and family services, working in direct care with children ages 2-18, and as a supervisor and coordinator for children and family services, children's behavioral support groups, and community education. Since moving to Texas in 2017, Ashley has become heavily involved in community organizing, community advocacy, and policy work, particularly regarding immigrant rights and family separation, most notably coalition work to shut down the child detention center in Tornillo. Following the success of the organizing efforts in Tornillo, Ashley has worked to establish a local coalition, the Coalition to End Child Detention- El Paso, comprised of individuals and representatives from local organizations, with the goal of continuing the momentum of successful efforts in Tornillo and ending immigrant child detention. Ashley is a social worker and advocate and believes that education is the key to solving our most complex problems, and that the social work profession has the responsibility to educate and advocate on a systemic level.
Karla Savina is a native of El Paso, born to two immigrant parents, her mother from Mexico and her father from Italy. She grew up in El Paso traveling to Juarez, Mexico to be with family. She was also fortunate to be able to spend summers in Italy with her grandparents, aunts and uncles. She is no novice to diversity and has learned through personal experience to blend in and assimilate to different cultures and languages. In 2000, she moved to California to enter the real estate industry. She earned a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Economics from California State University, Long Beach and a Master of Science in Applied Finance from Pepperdine University. She is currently working on a Master of Science in Economics from UTEP. She returned to El Paso in 2013 to be with her family and give back to her community. She now teaches economics to EPCC students and strives to empower them with knowledge to become responsible and active participants of society.
Eilleen Wyatt was born in Albuquerque New Mexico and grew up in Las Cruces New Mexico (where she currently lives with her family). Eilleen Wyatt earned her bachelor’s and Master’s in History from New Mexico State University. Her specialty is Latin American history and the impact of religion and the Cold War in Latin American politics. Her Master’s Thesis was about Liberation Theology (a Socialist movement within the Latin American Catholic Church) and its impacts in El Salvador and Nicaragua while both nations were at a cross roads in their relations with Socialism and the influence of the United States and Cold War politics. Ms. Wyatt currently teaches Early and Recent United States History (1301 and 1302) at El Paso Community College. She also teaches U.S. History and European History at Dona Ana Community College.