Leaders in Administration

Marco Portales

Marco Portales has held faculty appointments at the University of Houston, Clear Lake (1979 – 1991) and at the University of California at Berkeley (1974 – 1979). Since 1991, he has taught courses in American ethnic literature, Life and Literature of the Southwest, and Creative Writing at Texas A&M in College Station. He received a bachelor’s in English from The University of Texas at Austin (1970) and his doctorate in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo (1974). Currently he is the Coordinator of the English Department’s Creative Writing Program. He has previously held the following administrative positions: Executive Assistant to the Texas A&M University President (1996 – 1997), Acting Director of the Race and Ethnic Studies Institute (1993 – 1994), and English Undergraduate Director (1992 – 1993). He serves on the Faculty Senate of the University, representing the College of Liberal Arts for a third 3-year term. He was Dean of Arts and Sciences at Texas Southmost College in Brownsville (1986 – 1988). While dean, he was instrumental in initiating an endowment drive that led to the College’s first $3 million gift. He was elected President (1992 – 1994) of the International Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS). He was a long-term reader for the MELUS scholarly journal, published at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. He is a contributing editor to Callaloo.

Vanessa Díaz de Rodríguez

Vanessa Díaz de Rodríguez studied at the University of Florida where she received a bachelor’s in Psychology, a master’s in Education, and a specialist degree in Education. She came to Texas A&M to pursue doctoral studies. Her work as an administrator in the Division of Student Affairs has been focused primarily on new undergraduate students, but she is a strong proponent of issues of diversity. At A&M, she has been recognized as a dedicated advocate and supporter of goals to make the university a more inclusive and welcoming campus for all. As an active member and past-president of the Professional Hispanic Network (PHN), she was instrumental in promoting collaboration between the PHN and the Mexican-American/Latino Faculty Association (MALFA). Among her other contributions, she is also credited with organizing the inaugural Hispanic Heritage Month at Texas A&M and with the creation of Gig ‘Em Week: Aggieland’s Week of Welcome.

Cushing Memorial Library & Archives • Texas A&M University Libraries