Dr. Rio Lopez, Director  

Dr. Rio C. López is the director of Chicano Programs. They are originally from Ciudad Juarez, México. They received their Ph.D. in Special Education with a concentration in Bilingual and Multicultural Education and a minor in Family Studies from New Mexico State University. Prior to their return to NMSU as the director of Chicano Programs, Dr. López worked as a core faculty member at Lesly University for the Graduate School of Education with pre-service teachers, graduate students, and doctoral candidates. In their work, Dr. López employs qualitative self-reflective methodologies, a Critical Race Feminista framework, and Chicana/Latina ways of knowing that center on lived experiences. Their goal is to engage in equity work that acknowledges identity, intersectionality, and power dynamics to foster accountability that is needed to ensure a sense of belonging for students, particularly, BIPOC, Latinx/e, and students from historically minoritized backgrounds. 

Selected Publications:

López, A., Casillas, C., Flores Carmona, J. (2022). Femtoring trenza: Employing a platica~testimonio approach to co-create knowledge and survive academia. Rio Bravo Special Issue: Inter/weaving, Inter/lacing Conscientização & Resistance: Decolonizing Practices, Intersectionality & Aesthetics. (Under Review)

López, A. (2021). Aprendizaje colectivo en tiempos de la pandemia: Employing testimonio pedagogies at a teacherpreparation program. In Shinas, Ly & Ozden(Eds), Cases on Practical applications for remote, hybrid, and hyflex teaching. 

López, A. (2021). Circo, maroma y teatro: Madres solteras en Ciudad Juárez cerrando las brechas educativas para sus hijos condiscapacidad intelectual. Revista CampoAbierto, 4(2), 259-270

López, A. (2021) Atando cabos sueltos: From criticalself-reflexivity to action and accountability. In Medina, Y. & Machado-Casas, M. (Eds.), Critical understandings of Latinx and global education. Brill.


Joseph Duran, Administrative Assistant

Joseph Duran is the Administrative Assistant of Chicano Programs at New Mexico State University. He has been at Chicano Programs for 4 years but has been working at NMSU for 13 years. He was born and raised in Las Cruces. He graduated from NMSU with a bachelor's degree in Business with a concentration in human resources and finance. 






John Leo Kirkpatrick, Student Computer Tech 

John is the Student Computer Tech of Chicano Programs at New Mexico State University. 
He's currently in pursuit of his bachelor's degree in Information Systems. His future plans include joining the United States Peace Corps and learning how to speak Spanish.
He is also involved in other student organizations on campus including Aggies Go Green and the Sigma Chi Fraternity. 





Paola Valdez, Student Clerical 

Paola Valdez is the clerical work study of Chicano Programs at New Mexico State University.

She is currently a senior majoring in Psychology with plans to double major in Criminal Justice.

Her plans include pursuing law school and hopefully working within the FBI as a behavioral analyst.