The History of CMAS

December 1, 2023

CMAS Posada
30th Anniversary

30 years of being your casa at UTA! Representative Chris Turner presented CMAS with a resolution from the Texas House of Representatives recognizing CMAS 30 year contributions at UTA. Present was guest speaker Representative Roberto Alonso who brought forth the Center for Mexican American Studies at UTA to the 73rd Texas Legislature. Our founding father and first CMAS director, Dr. José Angel Gutiérrez, was the keynote speaker and delivered a speech rich in history and encouraging a new generation to perservere and represent our culture. Great performances from Mariachi Los Jinetes and Anastasia Flores Dance Company.


The Current CMAS Director

In Fall 2022, Dr. Xavier Medina Vidal, Associate Professor of Department of Political Science, took the helm as CMAS director


The CMAS Director

Dr. Christian Zlolniski, Professor of Anthropology, served as CMAS director from 2013 until 2022


CMAS Gets a New Director

In 2005 Dr. Susan González Baker became the next CMAS director until 2013


Interim Director Named

In 2003, Interim Director Dr. Alejandro Del Carmen of UTA’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice was appointed until 2005


Dr. L. Manuel García y Griego Named Director

Those efforts led to the appointment of Dr. L. Manuel García y Griego as CMAS director in fall 1999. Dr. García y Griego relinquished leadership of the Center in 2003


Search Begins for New CMAS Director

In 1997, the University named Consulting Director Dr. Neil Foley of the University of Texas, Austin to reconstitute and reactivate the Center, and to search for a new director


UTA Grand Opening Hosts Grand Opening

On October 12, 1994 the Center held its grand opening under the leadership of founding director Dr. José Ángel Gutiérrez, a member of UTA’s Department of Political Science. Dr. Gutiérrez’s directorship ended in 1996.


Rep. Robert Alonso

73rd Texas Legislature Authorizes Creation of CMAS-UTA

Through the efforts of State Representative Roberto Alonzo of Dallas, the 73rd Texas Legislature authorized the creation of CMAS-UTA in 1993. When he was first elected, Rep. Alonzo made history by becoming the first Mexican American from North Texas elected to the Legislature, outdistancing his opponents by a 2 to 1 margin with over 66% percent of the vote.