We partnered with the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) on the search for an Assistant Vice Provost for its Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC). The ITC is a valued resource for those interested in learning about the rich mosaic of cultures of the Lone Star state—past, present and future. As part of UTSA, the institute plays a role in the university’s community engagement initiatives by developing quality, accessible resources for educators and lifelong learners on cultural heritage topics. Since its opening in 1968, the ITC has been a place of dialogue and discovery, contributing to essential statewide and national conversations.
The search resulted in the recruitment of Monica Perales to the role.
An award-winning educator, author and historian of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, Perales will also have a faculty appointment in the new Interdisciplinary School for Engagement in the Humanities and Social Sciences in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts. The mission of the Interdisciplinary School is to create and sustain an interdisciplinary environment that integrates knowledge from the arts, humanities, and social sciences in ways that engage with and respond to contemporary challenges in San Antonio and globally.
Perales joins UTSA from the University of Houston, where she has served on the faculty since 2004. She also serves as Director of the Center for Public History, responsible for creating collaborative and investigative projects with university and community partners to generate local and global historical research. Under her leadership, the center created 22 internships in various cultural institutions, historical consulting firms and local nonprofit organizations to prepare graduate and undergraduate students for careers in the public humanities.
Perales’ research explores questions of race, gender, labor and foodways in Texas. Her first book, Smeltertown: Making and Remembering a Southwest Border Community (University of North Carolina Press, 2010) received the 2010 Kenneth Jackson Award for Best Book (North America) from the Urban History Association and was a finalist for the 2010 William P. Clements Prize for the Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America.
Perales holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a minor in history and a Master’s degree in History from the University of Texas at El Paso. She earned her PhD in U.S. History from Stanford University.