University of Texas, San Antonio
The 2020-2021 NACCS Leadership is honored to announce its selection of Dr. Josie Méndez-Negrete as our NACCS Scholar with great enthusiasm. Dr. Méndez-Negrete, a native of San José, California received degrees from San José State University and the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a long-time member of NACCS, and served as Chair-Elect, Chair, and Past Chair from 2006-2008. Recently, Dr. Méndez-Negrete has retired from the University of Texas, San Antonio which granted her emerita recognition for her multifaceted contributions as mentor and leader for over 20 years. Dr. Méndez-Negrete is a scholar in our communities who excedes every criterion described in the qualities of a candidate for NACCS Scholar.
Dr. Josie Méndez-Negrete is a person whom many would readily recognize as a colleague for her lifetime achievements firmly rooted in Chicana and Chicano Studies. Her publications, her instruction, her activism and her leadership on behalf of her communities and people are exceptional, unique, and powerful. Las Hijas de Juan-Daughters Betrayed to a packed auditorium in the Biltmore Hotel. In this book, she narrates in autoethnographic experiential format the story of her own household, her sisters and herself as survivors of childhood sexual abuse. While Dr. Méndez-Negrete had been a regular presenter of NACCS, no one could imagine what a sensation she would cause by utilizing her research and activist skills to bring to light an experience of shame, erasure, violence, and neglect in a commendable scholarly analysis. Without a doubt everyone present, (close to 200 people) witnessed a transformation of NACCS scholarship in the masterful use of testimonial-experience-based theorizing from the most intimate of experiences by an outstanding scholar. One could say that Dr. Méndez-Negrete is the mother of testimonial analysis in NACCS as powerful of testimonies of the victims of political, religious and familial persecution.
In her 2008 welcome letter as Chair of NACCS, “Haciendo Liderazgo: Todos Somos NACCS” she states, “I have been reminded that our charge as Chicana/o academics is to engage the creation of knowledge so as to create change and to make our surroundings as humane as we possibly can while engaging research and social change in all the work that we do.” Echoing the words of Dr. Reynaldo Flores Macias, 2014 Scholar, in the very first publication of NACSS (sic) where he states: “Let us continue to develop NACSS and other broad-based organizations that will allow us to do the work needed to liberate our peoples” (1977, ix). Dr. Méndez-Negrete engaged this language and this work with sincere and determined action and commitment.
The NACCS Scholar Award is a recognition of work – publications, pedagogical, leadership praxis, and personal commitment, Dr. Méndez-Negrete exemplifies this quality among the professoriate of NACCS. Superior mentoring is one her strengths, as witnessed at the 2006 conference when she saw the introduction of her Ph.D. student, Norma Cardenas, give her award-winning Cervantes Graduate Student Premio presentation in the Student Plenary in Guadalajara. Dr. Méndez-Negrete has supported many junior scholars who have benefitted from her tireless work assisting in writing and publishing articles, book chapters, and books. Dr. Méndez-Negrete earned her accolades and successful transitions in academia with blood, sweat, tears, perspicacity, tenacity and true grit. As a Professor Emerita she continues to draw on her passion focusing on her press, Conocimientos – where she is publishing women who theorize and tell their stories of struggle and survival. She continues to support students in their academic pursuits, and her colleagues by example to be best mentors.
The nomination of Dr. Méndez-Negrete was received from the Northern California Foco with letters of support from the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, and the Rocky Mountain focos. While she is a native of northern California she is fully embedded as an activist scholar in Texas. Her selection as NACCS scholar celebrate her multi-regional contributions which are truly embodied and celebrated as recognition for her life’s work.