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I M M I G R A T I O N      C O N F E R E N C E     2 0 0 8
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Featured Speakers



John D. Trasviña
John D. Trasviña
President and General Counsel
Mexican American Legal Defense and
Educational Fund
Appointed MALDEF President and General Counsel in November 2006, Mr. Trasviña began his career at MALDEF in Washington, DC as a legislative attorney in 1985. He later worked for U.S. Senator Paul Simon as General Counsel & Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution. In 1997, President Clinton appointed Mr. Trasviña as Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices. As Special Counsel, he led the only federal government office devoted solely to immigrant workplace rights. He was the highest ranking Latino attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. After returning to California, he taught immigration law at Stanford Law School.

A highly sought after advocate, Mr. Trasviña testified in the last Congress before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in support of extension of the Voting Rights Act and before the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee against English Only legislation. In 2006, he was named Attorney of the Year by the Hispanic National Bar Association, as well as the San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association. In 2007, Mr. Trasviña was named to Poder magazine’s “The Poderosos 100,” Latino Leaders magazine’s “101 Top Leaders of the Hispanic Community,” and Hispanic Trends identified him as a “Mover and Shaker.”

A native of San Francisco, Mr. Trasviña is a graduate of Harvard University and Stanford Law School. Before coming to Los Angeles, he was a member of the San Francisco Elections Commission, president of the Harvard Club of San Francisco, and a board member of the La Raza Lawyers Association, CORO of Northern California, Lowell High School Alumni Association, League of Women Voters and Pacific Coast Immigration Museum. He now serves on the boards of the Latino Issues Forum, Campaign for College Opportunity and Harvard Club of Southern California and was recently elected to be a member of the American Law Institute.

Hon. Cruz Reynoso
Hon. Cruz Reynoso
Professor of Law
University of California, Davis
Cruz Reynoso was the first Chicano person to serve on the California Supreme Court. He served as an associate justice from 1982 to 1987. Along with two other liberal members of the Court, Chief Justice Rose Bird and Associate Justice Joseph Grodin, he was ousted by voters in 1986 under California's unusual judicial-retention election system.

Reynoso was born in Brea, California, and grew up as one of 11 children, and was an agricultural worker in fruit orchards. His father was a farm worker. He graduated from Pomona College in 1953 and Boalt Hall in 1958. He served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955.

Reynoso began his career in private law practice in El Centro, California. He served as a legislative assistant in the California State Senate in 1959 and 1960, and was appointed deputy director of the California Fair Employment Practices Commission in 1965. He then served as director of California Rural Legal Assistance and was Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico. Reynoso was appointed to the California Court of Appeal in 1976. In 1982 he was appointed to the California Supreme Court by Governor Jerry Brown.

On the Court, Reynoso formed part of the Bird Court's liberal majority, and extended additional protections for the environment, individual liberties, and civil rights. Like Bird, however, Reynoso often voted to overturn death penalty sentences and convictions, and this issue was brought to the forefront in the 1986 judicial-retention election. Bird, Grodin, and Reynoso were rejected by the voters, dramatically changing the face of the Court.

After leaving the Court, Reynoso returned to private law practice and academia. In 1991, he joined the faculty of the UCLA School of Law as a professor, where he taught until 2001. He served as the vice-chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In 2000, President Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor. Cruz Reynoso joined the faculty at the UC Davis School of Law in 2001, as the inaugural Boochever & Bird Chair for the Study and Teaching of Freedom and Equality.

He retired in December 2006 and was honored with the UC Davis Medal, the highest tribute bestowed by the campus, at a lifetime achievement event on Saturday September 15, 2007 at the Robert & Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. The UC Davis School of Law has established the Cruz & Jeannene Reynoso Scholarship for Legal Access to help students of all backgrounds with financial needs attend that law school. In 2003, law students organized as La Raza Law Students Association and generous donors established the Cruz Reynoso Social Justice Fellowship, which helps Latina/o law students attending the UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) engage public interest work as a summer intern.

Dr. Tomás Arciniega
Dr. Tomás Arciniega
President Emeritus, California State University,
Bakersfield
Tomás Arciniega was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He received his under-graduate and graduate education in New Mexico and began his career in higher education at the University of New Mexico. He went from there to the University of Texas, El Paso before moving to the California State University system. He served as Dean, College of Education at San Diego State, Provost at Fresno State and then served as President of California State University, Bakersfield for twenty-one years. Currently, he is serving as Special Assistant to the Chancellor of the 23-campus California State University system.

Dr. Arciniega’s professional background includes educational research studies in the United States; applied technical consulting and development work in international settings; and extensive service on boards, commissions, and professional organizations. He is Trustee Emeritus, Carnegie Corporation of New York Foundation; and was a Presidential appointee to the National Council on Education Research. Other key National and State affiliations include: Member, Board of Directors, Aspen Institute; Member, Air University Board of Directors; Member, Board of Trustees, Educational Testing Service; Founding Member, Board of Trustees, Tomás Rivera Policy Institute, Claremont Colleges; Member, Board of Directors, National Hispanic Scholarship Fund; Past President, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC); Member, Telecommunications Advisory Panel, Pacific Bell; and Member, Board of Directors, Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA). Dr. Arciniega enjoys an international reputation as a scholar and consultant and, is much sought after as a speaker on all aspects of higher education. He has served as a technical consultant to many agencies including the Ministries of Education in Honduras, Bolivia, Panama, Ecuador, and Guatemala.

Dr. Arciniega is widely recognized as an expert in the field of multi-cultural education with particular interest in and emphasis on bilingual education, which he has furthered by special initiatives throughout his career.

In addition, he also has distinguished himself as a specialist in the field of institutional development and change. Change magazine selected Dr. Arciniega as one of the top 100 academic leaders in American Higher Education. He is respected for his leadership dealing with issues of equity and humanizing education.

Dr. Arciniega and his wife Concha live in Valley Center, California.

Dr. James M. Montoya
Dr. James M. Montoya
Vice President, College Board
Known widely as a champion of students and a leader in the development of education policy, James M. Montoya serves as vice president of regions and higher education assessments and services at the College Board. In this position, he manages the SAT®, CLEP®, ACCUPLACER®, and Academic Profile programs and directs the Board’s efforts to support the work of colleges and universities across the country in the areas of recruitment, admissions, and retention.

In addition, Mr. Montoya oversees the administration of the six regional offices. He was formerly vice president for the Western Regions of the College Board. In that position, he oversaw the management and operation of three regional offices.

Though best known for his work in the college admissions process, Mr. Montoya has a deep and abiding interest in public policy related to education. He is profiled in the book American Achievers by Gus Frias and has appeared on Ted Koppel’s Nightline television program to defend the practices of need-blind admissions and need-blind financial aid.

Prior to August 2001, Mr. Montoya was Stanford University’s chief student affairs officer. Before assuming the position of vice provost for student affairs in July 1997, he served as Stanford’s dean of admission and financial aid.

Mr. Montoya continues to serve as a lecturer in the Department of Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University. Earlier in his career, he accepted the director of admission position at Occidental College in California, making him the youngest director of admission at a leading liberal arts college. Then in 1985, he headed east to become the director of admission and then dean of student life at Vassar College in New York before returning to the West.

A native of San Jose, California, Mr. Montoya earned a bachelor’s degree with academic distinction from Stanford in 1975 and a master’s degree in administration and policy analysis from the university’s School of Education. At his undergraduate commencement, he received the Dinkelspiel Award, the highest honor bestowed on a graduating senior, in recognition of his scholarly attainments and his outstanding contributions to undergraduate education at Stanford. Recently, Mr. Montoya was named a Hispanic Hero of the Bay Area for his contributions to the Latino community.

In addition to his responsibilities at the College Board, Mr. Montoya serves on the Board of Trustees of the Oakwood School in Southern California and on the Board of the Abraham Lincoln High School Foundation in San Jose. He previously served as a Trustee of the College Board in New York, and as Chair of the Guidance and Admission National Assembly. In addition, he has served on the boards of the Stanford Alumni Association; the National Hispanic Institute; TheatreWorks, one of California’s premier professional theater groups; and Hidden Villa, a 1,600-acre farm and wilderness preserve in Los Altos Hills.

Hon. Gilbert Cedillo
Hon. Gilbert Cedillo (Invited)
D-Los Angeles
Senate District 22
A lifelong resident of Los Angeles, Gilbert Cedillo was elected as the State Senator from California’s 22nd District, in November 2002 and is proud to represent the diverse cities of Los Angeles, Alhambra, Maywood, San Marino, South Pasadena, and Vernon. Prior to his election in the Senate, Gilbert Cedillo served his constituents as the Assemblyman of California’s 46th District (1998-2002). His legislative record demonstrates his strong commitment to tackling tough issues and making real improvements in the day-to-day lives of the people he represents.

Senator Cedillo is committed to championing justice and equality for all people that live in California and has become a statewide leader for protecting the rights of working men and women; increasing and expanding access to health care; assimilating immigrants into California's social and economic fabric; devising regional solutions to combat homelessness and providing new economic development opportunities throughout the state and in his downtown Los Angeles District.

Senator Cedillo is steadfast in his pursuit of a progressive policy agenda that includes significant homeland security, civil rights and transportation legislation. Senator Cedillo recently reintroduced a homeland security and highway safety measure that would enable the State of California to comply with federal law by standardizing driver's licenses and processes used to issue them. Senator Cedillo’s proposal would also create a separate driving-only license, distinctive in color or design, for undocumented workers who are ineligible to legalize their status.

Prior to being elected to the California Legislature, Senator Cedillo was the general manager of the county’s employees’ union and in that capacity is best known for championing worker’s rights at a time of massive threatened layoffs, prohibiting the dismantling of the Los Angeles County public health system; protecting libraries and youth programs; and saving more than 25,000 local jobs. He also played a critical role in securing federal assistance to ensure that the Los Angeles County Health Care system remained financially afloat.

Senator Cedillo is a member of the Senate standing committees on Judiciary, Public Safety, Rules, Transportation and Housing. Senator Cedillo grew up in Boyle Heights, attended local schools, and graduated from UCLA in 1977.

Dr. Leo Chávez
Dr. Leo Chávez
Professor of Anthropology
University of California, Irvine
Professor Chavez's research examines various issues related to transnational migration, including immigrant families and households, labor market participation, motivations for migration, the use of medical services, and media constructions of "immigrant" and "nation." His books include Shadowed Lives: Undocumented Immigrants in American Society(Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1992, 1997 2nd edition), which provides an ethnographic account of Mexican and Central American undocumented immigrants in San Diego County, California. Covering Immigration: Popular Images and the Politics of the Nation (University of California Press 2001) examines representations of immigrants in the media and popular discourse in the United States through the lens of magazine covers and their related articles. His newest book is The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens and the Nation (Stanford University Press 2008), which examines issues of anti-Latino discourse, struggles over the meaning of citizenship, and role of media spectacles in society in relation to the politics of reproduction, organ transplants, the Minuteman Project, and immigrant marches and protests. Recent medically related articles include "Beliefs Matter: Cultural Beliefs and the Use of Cervical Cancer Screening Tests;" and "Immigration and Medical Anthropology" (2003). See also, "Culture Change and Cultural Reproduction: Lessons from Research on Transnational Migration" (2006); and “Commentary: The Condition of Illegality” (2007). Professor Chavez earned his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz and his Ph.D. from Stanford University both in Anthropology.

Dr. John Burkhardt
Dr. John Burkhardt
Clinical Professor of Higher Education
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
John C. Burkhardt is a Clinical Professor of Higher Education at the School of Education. He is Director of the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good, and is a Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education and Michigan’s Economy. From 1993-2000, Professor Burkhardt was program director for leadership and higher education at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where he led several major initiatives focused on transformation and change in higher education and participated in a comprehensive effort to encourage leadership development among college students. He has been honored as an exemplary alumnus of the U-M School of Education, an Institute for Educational Leadership Fellow and a Kellogg National Fellow. Professor Burkhardt received his PhD from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Silas Abrego
Dr. Silas Abrego
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
California State University, Fullerton
Dr. Silas H. Abrego serves as Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at California State University, Fullerton. Despite the barriers he faced as a Latino, he earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, as well as a Doctorate degree in Higher Education from the University of Southern California. The cornerstone of his career in education is program development with an emphasis on preparing young people to succeed in higher education. He is especially interested in helping low-income and underrepresented students who would otherwise not pursue or begin a higher education. At Cal State Fullerton, he has been a visionary leader in the planning and implementation of highly successful outreach and retention programs.

Dr. Abrego is responsible for directing eight distinct student affairs comprehensive programs. He also leads efforts to provide scholarships and educational enhancement programming for low-income and first generation college students attending Cal State Fullerton. In addition to his current duties, Dr. Abrego is involved in numerous community organizations. These organizations include the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), Advisory Board Member for the Orange County Hispanic Education Endowment Fund (HEEF), California Chicano-Latino Intersegmental Convocation (CLIC), American Council on Education (ACE), and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). He is also involved in National and Statewide higher education advisory Boards. Additionally, he is actively involved in a number of collaborative projects with local K-12 school districts, including the Santa Ana Engaging Latino Communities for Education Partnership (ENLACE).

In recognition of his Outstanding Educational Leadership, Dr. Abrego has been honored by the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Orange County’s United Way, the Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County, the Hispanic Outreach Taskforce, Union Hispana, Santa Ana College Foundation, the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education and other numerous organizations.

Dr. Patricia Pérez
Dr. Patricia Pérez
Assistant Professor of Chicano Studies
California State University, Fullerton
Dr. Patricia A. Pérez is currently an Assistant Professor in the Chicana and Chicano Studies Dept at California State University, Fullerton. Dr. Pérez received her doctorate from the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Her interests focus on U.S. educational inequality with an emphasis on the Latina/o population. Other teaching and research topics of interest include: higher education access and equity; Latina/o college choice; college persistence and retention issues; Latino- serving institutions, financial aid policy and racial diversity in higher education. Born and raised in Santa Paula, located in Ventura County, California, Dr. Pérez received a B.A. in Chicana/o Studies and a M.A. in Education from UCLA. She also received an Ed.M. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education with an emphasis in Administration, Planning and Social Policy. Before joining UCLA, Dr. Pérez worked in admissions at the Stanford University School of Medicine and in outreach for the Upward Bound program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Pérez is the recipient of the 2008 American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education/Educational Testing Service Kurt M. Landgraf Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Dr. Milton A. Gordon
Dr. Milton A. Gordon
President
California State University, Fullerton
Dr. Milton A. Gordon became president of California State University, Fullerton in August 1990. He has led CSUF into prominence as one of the nation's largest and most inclusive senior institutions of higher learning. Among Dr. Gordon's accomplishments at Cal State Fullerton are strengthening student recruitment and retention programs; opening a new state-of-the-art science laboratory center; a major library expansion; becoming the first university of the CSU system to install a totally fiber infrastructure which will improve the use of technology throughout the campus; dedicating new stadiums in the Titan Sports Complex; and forming new partnerships with public and private entities in the community. Currently, Dr. Gordon is overseeing a university planning process which has established missions and goals for the university into the 21st century. Additionally, he is responsible for supporting the California Corporate Board Registry.

Dr. Gordon holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the Illinois Institute of Technology, an M.A. in mathematics from the University of Detroit, and a B.S. in mathematics and secondary education from Xavier University of Louisiana.

Dr. Gordon's awards include the 1999 Cesár Chavez Community Service Award by the Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County, 1998 Manager of the Year Award by the Orange County Chapter of the Society of Advancement of Management, 1998 Orange County NAACP Citizens of Distinction Award, 1994 Tree of Life Award from the Jewish National Fund, and Honor Milton A. Gordon Day, September 22, 1992, at Chicago State University.

Dr. Charles B. Reed
Dr. Charles B. Reed
Chancellor
California State University, Fullerton
The Chancellor of the California State University is the chief executive officer of the country's largest senior system of public higher education. He provides leadership to 46,000 faculty and staff and 450,000 students on 23 campuses and seven off-campus centers. The CSU, which spans the entire state of California, has an annual budget of more than $5 billion.

The California State University currently offers more than 1,150 bachelor's degree programs, 750 master's programs, and 26 joint doctoral programs in 240 areas. CSU prepares the majority of the state's new public school teachers and 10 percent of the nation's K-12 instructors. Each year, nearly as many people graduate with bachelor's degrees from the CSU as from all other universities and colleges in the state combined.