2016 NACCS Scholars
Dr. Luis A. Torres currently serves as Deputy Provost for Academic and Student Affairs and Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU). Previously, Dr. Torres served as the Associate Dean in the School of Letters, Arts, and Sciences and as Chair of the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies. Dr. Torres has been an instrumental force nationally and in the State of Colorado for building and sustaining quality Chicana/o Studies programs. He assisted in laying the foundation for what would become the Chicana/o Studies program at the University of Colorado at Boulder in the 1970’s and at the University of Washington in Seattle while pursuing his M.A. and Ph.D. in English. Before assuming positions in administration, Dr. Torres taught for thirty-four years. As Chair of Chicana and Chicano Studies at MSU, Dr. Torres took a floundering CHS Program and transformed it into a viable part of the University, at the time the only Department of Chicana/o Studies in Colorado. Dr. Torres developed the first teacher licensure program for Chicana and Chicano Studies majors in Colorado. He also led the development of El Alma de la Raza Curriculum and Teacher Development Program for Denver Public Schools, which created over 80 curriculum units for ECE—12. He helped create a unique program, Journey Through Our Heritage, which pairs MSU students with high school students to explore Chicana/o Studies and other Ethnic Studies curricula. In 2008, Dr. Torres began as Deputy Provost. He led MSU Denver’s long-term effort, culminating in 2012, as the only institution in Colorado to develop a tuition structure to allow undocumented students to pay a reduced tuition rate, before Colorado passed the ASSET Bill for in-state tuition in 2013. Dr. Torres served as the national Coordinator (sic) in 1992 and 1993. He helped lead the NACCS submission of an Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court opposing the anti-Gay Rights Amendment 2 in Colorado, which had been voted upon and passed by referendum; the lawsuit was ultimately successful in defeating Amendment 2, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1996. He was also instrumental in the formation of the K-12 Caucus. As an activist scholar, Dr. Torres has numerous publications, served on several boards and received many academic and community awards. His commitment to Chicana/o Studies and social justice can be heard in meetings, negotiating for policy changes, funding and overall structural change within our society. Dr. Torres lives in Denver with his wife of 43 years, Anna Suarez Torres, and they have two daughters, Alicia and Mercedes, five grandchildren, and one great-grandson.