Professor Armando Vazquez-Ramos has been promoting educational opportunitiesfor the Chicano/Mexican and Latino population for more than 47 years. He has taught on Chicano/Latino education, history, immigration, politics, public policy, and U.S.-Mexico relations at the CSU Long Beach Chicano and Latino Studies Department, where he is also Coordinator of the California-Mexico Project.
As a student leader at CSULB in 1969, Professor Vazquez-Ramos was a co-founder of the Chicano and Latino Studies department, where he earned a B.A. in Mexican-American Studies and a Master’s in Psychology. He has also earned a Master’s in Public Administration at Pepperdine University, and is working on his doctoral dissertation on “A Development Plan for Mexican Universities in the U.S.”.
In 2010, he established the California-Mexico Studies Center, Inc. to research, develop, promote, and establish policies and programs between higher educational institutions and cultural organizations that will enhance the teaching, mobility and exchange of faculty, students, and professionals between California and the U.S., with Mexico and other nations in the Western Hemisphere. www.california-mexicocenter.org
Professor Armando Vazquez-Ramos worked at the CSU Office of International Programs (1993-1996) to promote California-Mexico exchange and North American Studies programs, and since 1998 he has led travel/study groups to Mexico, Cuba and Venezuela for students, faculty and community leaders; as well as the Public Policy Alternative Spring-break in Sacramento, focused on California-Mexico policy and higher education issues.
In 1999 he established the California-Mexico Project and through the Latino Political Roast raised scholarship funds for students to study abroad in Mexico and promote educational exchange. Thus, in 2008 Assemblymen Jose Solorio and Kevin De Leon co-sponsored Assembly Concurrent Resolution 146, to recognize the CSULB California-Mexico Project and directed the California Research Bureau to conduct the study “The California Research Bureau Report on California-Mexico Study Abroad Programs”.
He has promoted the establishment of Mexican universities in the U.S. and served as consultant to create extensions of Mexico’s Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Universidad de Guadalajara and Universidad de Colima in the L.A.-area, and has established collaboration agreements between CSULB and the UNAM, Universidad de Guadalajara and Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas.
Through these agreements, he has hosted several Mexican professors as Visiting Scholars at CSULB, has organized four California-Mexico Policy and Higher Education seminars at CSULB and 2 in Mexico City (2006 and 2012), and hosted the Seminario Permanente de Estudios de la Gran Chichimeca at CSULB in 2010 with more than 30 Mexican scholars.
Last year he led the celebration of the Chicano and Latino Studies Department’s 45th Anniversary and convened the 1st Campaign to Promote Ethnic Studies (CPES) Summit at CSULB. Through the CPES, he organized a diverse working group of 40 academics, students and community leaders, to work with the Long Beach Unified School District superintendent, who has committed funding to offer up to 12 CSULB ethnic studies classes every semester at all 6 LBUSD high schools, beginning in fall 2015 for the next 5 years.
As an innovator and immigrant rights advocate for decades, professor Vazquez-Ramos also established this semester a precedent-setting model course which allowed 14 CSULB Dreamers the opportunity to study abroad in Mexico during Spring Break, and return legally to the U.S.; but most importantly this pilot project has pioneered a method that will enable Dreamers to adjust their legal status to permanent residents, facilitate for other colleges and universities to replicate this opportunity for their students, and enable thousands of Dreamers to return to their birthplace to meet their families, discover their homeland and study as adults.