Faculty Associates

The research and academic agenda of the Center for U.S.-Latin American Initiatives is enriched and strengthen by its Faculty Associates, who analyze and research about U.S. – Latin American affairs from the social science, arts, and humanities perspectives, publishing internationally and lecturing UT Dallas students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Faculty Associates provide the experience, ideas, and energy needed to ensure that the Center’s seminars, conferences, lecture series, and publications are of the highest quality. They often lecture in Latin American to students and provide training to Latin American public officials in making policy decisions from a leadership perspective.

Dr. Brian J.L. Berry is Lloyd Viel Berkner Regental Professor and Professor of Political Economy at the University of Texas at Dallas. He received his B.Sc. (Economics) degree at University College, London in 1955, the M.A. in geography from the University of Washington in 1956 and the Ph.D. in 1958. He was a faculty member at the University of Chicago (1958-1976), at Harvard (1976-1981), and a dean at Carnegie-Mellon (1981-1986), joining UTD in 1986. In the 1960s his urban and regional research sparked geography’s “quantitative revolution” and made him the most-cited geographer for more than 25 years. Subsequently, his inquiries have extended from urban ecology to geographic information systems, from growth center theory to the concept of counterurbanization, and, most recently, have focussed on long-wave macroeconomic/historical processes. The author of more than 450 books and articles, he has attempted to bridge theory and practice via involvement in urban and regional development activities in both advanced and developing countries. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1975, is a fellow of the British Academy and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and received the Victoria Medal from the Royal Geographical Society in 1988. In 1999 he became the first geographer to serve as a member of the Council of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Berry has lectured on technology and development to cabinet members of State and Federal governments in Mexico. 

Dr. Richard R. Brettell was born in Rochester, NY, he obtained his bachelor, master and Ph. D. degree on art from Yale University. He was Curator at The Art Institute of Chicago from 1980 to 1988 and director of the Dallas Museum of Art from 1988 to 1992. He curated the permanent installation of The Museum of the Americas at the Dallas Museum of Art. At present he teaches Aesthetic Studies at UTD, he is also the American coordinator of FRAME (French Regional and American Museums Exchange) and curated the exhibition Painting Quickly in France from 1860 to 1890. At the National Gallery in London on the fall 2000. Mr. Brettell is also consultant for the project of the new Museum of Natural History of Dallas that was commissioned to the architect Frank O. Gerhy. Dr. Brettell is also the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies at UT Dallas.

Alvaro A. Cárdenas is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Dallas. He holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a B.S. from Universidad de los Andes, Colombia with a major in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics.  Before joining UT Dallas he was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and a research staff at Fujitsu Laboratories of America in California.

His research interests focus on computer security, cyber-physical systems, network intrusion detection, and wireless networks. He has contributed to NIST documents on cloud computing security and smart grid security, an RFC wireless standard from the IETF and several patents. He has also received numerous awards for his research including a best paper award from the U.S. Army Research Office, and a graduate school fellowship from the University of Maryland.  

Dr. Maria A. Engen received her B.A. (Suma Cum Laude) from the Instituto Isabel La Catolica, Madrid, Spain and two Master Degrees, one from University of Madrid, Spain and the other from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Engen received her Ph.D. in the Humanities from the University of Madrid. Her dissertation was titled “The Development of Historical Writing in California.” Dr. Engen is Senior Lecturer of Spanish at The University of Texas at Dallas. Also, Dr. Engen was Senior Lecturer at the University of Missouri at Kansas City,Missouri, and Adjunct Instructor of Spanish at the Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, KS. Dr Engen received a Fulbright Fellowship and the Panama Pacific International Exposition Memorial Fellowship from University of California at Berkeley. She had provided Spanish Language consulting services such as translations and seminars to Cable Video, Inc., Kansas City; Black and Veach, Inc., Overland Park, KS; Rockwell International, Dallas, TX; Texas Instruments, Richardson, TX; Otis Engineering, Dallas, TX. Dr. Engen is member of Spanish Heritage Association (SHA), American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP). 

Charles Hatfield received the Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from The Johns Hopkins University in 2007, and is currently an assistant professor of Latin American literature and translation studies at The University of Texas at Dallas. His work deals with nineteenth- and twentieth-century Latin American literary and intellectual history. Hatfield has lived and traveled extensively in Cuba; his publications on Cuban topics include “The Limits of ‘Nuestra America,’” on Jose Marti’s foundational essay, “Nuestra America,” and When Night Is Darkest: Selected Poems, a bilingual edition of poems by the Cuban poet, ethnographer, and novelist Miguel Barnet.

Professor George Henson is a senior lecturer in Spanish at The University of Texas at Dallas and translator of contemporary Latin American literature. His translations include some of Mexico’s most prominent writers, among them Elena Poniatowska, Sergio Pitol, Juan Villoro, Luis Jorge Boone, and Alberto Chimal. In 2012, he published translations of Poniatowska’s The Heart of the Artichoke and Boone’s The Cannibal Night, and his translation of Pitol’s The Art of Flight is scheduled to be released in 2014. A frequent contributor to World Literature Today, Professor Henson’s translations have also appeared in The Literary Review, Words without Borders, and The Kenyon Review. In addition to his work as a translator, he is a frequent presenter at conferences and symposia throughout the United States on topics related to Latin American literature and translation theory. He holds degrees in Spanish from Middlebury College and the University of Oklahoma and is currently completing a Ph.D. in literary and translation studies at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Dr. Jennifer Holmes received her B.A. in Political Science at The University of Chicago in 1993. General and Departmental Honors. Summer 1999, ICPSR summer program at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. from University of Minnesota in August 1998. Major fields: Comparative Politics and Political Theory. Supporting program: History of the Hispanic World and International Relations. Assistant Professor, Government and Politics and Political Economy, School of Social Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, January 2000 – present. Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Social Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas, August 1998 – December 1999. Dr. Holmes has developed a comparative research agenda, giving emphasis on the case of Mexico.

Alex R. Piquero is Ashbel Smith Professor in the Program in Criminology in the School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, Adjunct Professor Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice, and Governance, Griffith University, Faculty Affiliate, Center for Violence and Injury Prevention George Warren Brown School of Social Work Washington University in St. Louis, and Co-Editor of the Journal of Quantitative Criminology. Prior to arriving at UT-Dallas, he was on the faculties of Florida State University, University of Maryland, John Jay College of Criminal Justice/City University of New York, University of Florida, Northeastern University, and Temple University. He has published over 240 peer-reviewed articles in the areas of criminal careers, crime prevention, criminological theory, and quantitative research methods, and has collaborated on several books including Key Issues in Criminal Careers Research: New Analyses from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development (Cambridge University Press, co-authored with David P. Farrington and Alfred Blumstein) and Handbook of Quantitative Criminology (Springer, co-edited by David Weisburd). His work has been cited over 10,000 times and he has been ranked as the #1 criminologist in the world since 1996 in terms of scholarly publications in elite criminology/criminal justice journals. In addition to his membership on over a dozen editorial boards of journals in criminology and sociology, he has also served as Executive Counselor with the American Society of Criminology, Member of the National Academy of Sciences Panel Evaluating the National Institute of Justice, Member of the Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice Network at Ohio State University, and Member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Adolescent Development & Juvenile Justice. Professor Piquero has given congressional testimony on evidence-based crime prevention practices in the area of early-family/parent training programs, and has provided counsel and support to several local, state, national, and international criminal justice agencies. Professor Piquero is past recipient of the American Society of Criminology’s Young Scholar and E-Mail Mentor of the Year Awards, Fellow of both the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and has also received numerous teaching awards including the University of Florida’s College of Arts & Sciences Teacher of the Year Award and the University of Maryland’s Top Terp Teaching Award, and was recently awarded the University of Texas at Dallas Diversity Award.

Rene Prieto is a specialist in 19th and 20th century literature and humanities. He is fluent in five languages: English, Spanish, Italian, French and Chinese. Before coming to UT Dallas in 2012, he was a professor of literature at both Vanderbilt University and Southern Methodist University, a visiting professor at Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan and The University of Virginia, and an assistant professor at Middlebury College.
Prieto received all of his undergraduate training in Italy and France, and did the major part of his graduate work at Stanford University. His interests include 19th and 20th century European and Latin American narrative (including body, gender and sexuality), literary theory, and Indigenismo. His current research deals with the ethical and political dimensions of love in 20th century Latin American literature.
Prieto hopes to work closely with museums in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as well as with the Dallas Opera, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and TITAS to showcase the bond between literature and the arts. He intends to show how this bond stretches well beyond the confines of the classroom and is, in fact, the very backbone of today’s global culture. He has published more than 40 articles and reviews, and was co-editor of The Handbook of the Library of Congress (Central American literature section) for eight years, as well as on the editorial board of the Latin American Literature Journal. He has received three grants and fellowships from the National Endownment for the Humanities, and one from the Guggenheim Foundation. Prieto has published three books, and is completing work on a fourth, Blood Ties, an analysis of the father’s role in 19th and 20th century foundational fictions of Latin America.

Dr. Manuel Quevedo-Lopez is currently an associate Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas. He received his PhD in Materials Science at The University of North Texas (2002).  In 2002 he joined Texas Instruments Silicon Technology Development Group as Member of Technical Staff (MTS). While at Texas Instruments he was appointed SEMATECH assignee from 2004-2006. At TI and SEMATECH he worked extensively in advanced gate stack materials for Si-based technology. In April 2007 He joined the University of Texas as Dallas as Research Professor and in September 2010 was appointed Associate Professor at the Materials Science and Engineering Department in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. Prof. Quevedo has authored or co-authored over 130 publications in peer reviewed journals and holds 10 US patents.  In 2012 He received the  UT-Dallas Faculty Diversity award and has ongoing collaborations with Mexico, Brazil and Colombia that includes student and faculty exchange. Dr. Quevedo established a dual PhD program in Materials Science between Mexico and UT-Dallas. He is associate Editor for the Journal of Electronics Materials and a member of the Materials Research Society, AVS and IEEE. His interests include materials and devices for flexible electronics, flexible non-volatile memory, large area sensors and novel nanostructured semiconductor, dielectrics and contacts for TFT and Energy applications.

Dr. Monica A. Rankin is an Associate Professor of Latin American History at the University of Texas at Dallas. She is a Cum Laude graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield with a B.A. in International Studies and Spanish. She holds two M.A. degrees from Washington University in St. Louis in the fields of International Affairs and History. She is a past recipient of the Hewlitt Foundation Fellowship for Mexico and the Fulbright Garcia Robles Fellowship for Mexico. Monica Rankin completed her Ph.D. in Latin American History from the University of Arizona in 2004.
Dr. Rankin published “!Mexico, la patria! Propaganda and Production during World War II with the University of Nebraska Press in 2009.  She is the author of Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture: The Search for National Identity, 1820s-1900 Volume III (Facts on File Library of World History, 2010) and The History of Costa Rica. (ABC-CLIO, 2012) along with various articles and chapters on popular culture in Mexico, Mexico’s diplomacy during the war, and Mexican women in the 1940s. She is currently writing a general textbook on Latin American history for Oxford University Press and a history of the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs during the 1940s.  Other research projects continue to examine popular culture and nationalism in 20th century Mexico and Latin America.
Dr. Rankin teaches a variety of upper level undergraduate courses including: Colonial Latin America, Modern Latin America, the History of Modern Mexico, Drugs & Violence in Mexico, and Latin American History through Film. Her graduate courses include: Women in Latin America, Latin American Popular Culture, Twentieth Century Mexico, the Mexican Revolution, and Drugs & Violence in Mexico.

Stephen G. Rabe is a professor of history and Ashbel Smith Professor at The University of Texas at Dallas.  He has written or edited ten books, including John F. Kennedy: World Leader (2010) and The Killing Zone: The United States Wages Cold War in Latin America (2011).  Rabe has taught or lectured in nineteen countries, conducting seminars on modern U.S. history in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador.  He has also served as the Mary Ball Washington Professor of American History at University College, Dublin in Ireland and the Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies at the University of Helsinki in Finland.

Dr. Miguel Razo was born in Salamanca, Guanajuato, Mexico. He obtained his B.S. in Communications and Electronic Engineering and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from The University of Guanajuato, Mexico, in 2001 and 2002 respectively. He worked as professor in the Communications and Electronics department, teaching undergraduate level courses, and served as a committee member for the creation ofthe B.S. in Computer Science, as well as software architect for government and private industry projects.
In January 2005 through the support of the agreement between The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and the Mexican Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT), he started his graduate studies at UTD, where he earned his M.S. in Telecommunications Engineering in 2006 and a Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2009. He worked as Research Assistant from 2007 to 2009, and is currently a Research Associate, at the OpNeAR (Open Networking Advance Research) Laboratory and Senior Lecturer within the Computer Science Department at the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.
He has collaborated in design and implementation of softwareprototypes for telecom industry.
His research interests include network planning, fault protection, telecommunication software design, protocol design and network modeling, emulation and simulation.

Danieli Rodrigues received her BS Degree in Chemical Engineering from Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Brazil in 2005. She then joined the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering at Syracuse University, Syracuse – NY, receiving her MS in 2007 and PhD in 2010. Her graduate studies focused on Orthopedics research, primarily working on the characterization of corrosion and failure mechanisms of retrieved modular hip implants, and development of acrylic two-solution bone cements for the treatment of spinal compression fractures. From 2010-2012, Dr. Rodrigues worked as Senior Research Engineer in the Fatigue and Fracture Mechanics Research Department at Zimmer Inc, Warsaw – IN. As a Research Engineer with the medical device industry, she developed test methods for performance verification of new designs of hip and knee implants and related surgical instrumentation. Dr. Rodrigues joined the Department of Bioengineering at UT Dallas as an assistant professor in July 2012 and is currently the principal investigator in the Orthopedic Biomaterials Laboratory.

Dr. Fabiano Rodrigues is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Physics and William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences at UT Dallas. He received a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Universidade Federal de Santa Maria in Brazil (2000), and M.Sc. in Space Physics from the Brazilian Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (2003).  He then worked as a Research Associate at The University of Nottingham, UK before moving to United States to work on his PhD. Dr. Rodrigues received his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Cornell University in 2008. Before joining UT Dallas in 2012, he worked as a research engineer for Atmospheric & Space Technology Research Associates – ASTRA where he was involved in various atmospheric- and space-related research projects sponsored by NSF, NASA, and AFOSR. Dr. Rodrigues’s research focuses on fundamental and applied studies of the Earth’s upper atmosphere and geospace, particularly at low latitudes. As a result of his research interests, Dr. Rodrigues has been collaborating very closely with research groups in South America and Puerto Rico.

Mario A. Rotea graduated with a degree in electronic engineering from the University of Rosario in 1983. He received the master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1988 and the Ph.D. in control science and dynamical systems in 1990 from the University of Minnesota. He is currently a professor and head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Dallas, where he holds the Erik Jonsson Chair in the School of Engineering and Computer Science. In 1990, Dr. Rotea began his academic career at Purdue University, West Lafayette, where he was a professor of aeronautics and astronautics. From 2007 to 2009, he was a professor and the department head of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. During his tenure with Purdue University, Dr. Rotea managed the Control Systems program at the National Science Foundation (2005-2007), and worked as senior research engineer for the United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford, Connecticut (1997-1998).
Dr. Rotea is a Fellow of the IEEE for contributions to robust and optimal control of multivariable systems. He authored or co-authored over 120 archival and conference publications.  He has developed, and transitioned to industry, control systems to mitigate noise and vibrations in mechanical and aerospace systems. His current research interests are in monitoring and control of energy systems.
Dr. Rotea is the inaugural department head of mechanical engineering at UT Dallas. Under his leadership, the department has grown from 10 enrolled students in 2008 to more than 600 enrolled students in 2013, has started the PhD degree program in mechanical engineering, and has earned ABET accreditation for the BS degree program in mechanical engineering.

Dr. Rainer Schulte is a translator, poet, playwright, essayist, and critic of contemporary international literature. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan. He studied philosophy for several years at the Gutenberg University in Mainz and was a student in the master class for piano at the Music Academy in Darmstadt. His language background includes studies in Mexico, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany. He has translated works of contemporary poets and writers from German, French, and Spanish. He has edited several anthologies of contemporary international literature and written numerous studies on the craft and theory of literary translation. He is the director of The Center for Translation Studies and the editor of Translation Review, which he founded in 1978. He is the co-founder of the American Literary Translators Association. (ALTA), whose national office is located in the Center for Translation Studies. He is a Professor of Arts and Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and the holder of the Katherine R. Cecil Professorship in Foreign Languages. Furthermore, he has been instrumental in developing Translation Workshops for the art and craft of literary translation.

Alejandro Zentner is an Associate Professor of Managerial Economics at the Jindal School of Management, University of Texas at Dallas. He holds a BA in Economics from Universidad de la Plata in Argentina, an MS in Economics from Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Argentina, and a master and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago. Professor Zentner’s research focuses on the media and entertainment markets. He has examined cross-media substitution, firm and consumer behavior in online markets, file-sharing impacts on sales of music and movies, and structure and competition in media and entertainment markets.