Maria Cuevas
Sociology and Chicano Studies Instructor

Biography

Maria Cuevas teaches Sociology and Chicano Studies at Yakima Valley Community College. She received a B.A. in Urban and Rural Studies from the University of California, San Diego, and a Masters in Public Health and a Masters in Social Welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles. Currently, she is finishing her dissertation to complete a Ph.D. in Sociology from Washington State University. Ms. Cuevas is a third-generation American of Mexican descent, and has devoted much of her life advocating for the rights of immigrants and disenfranchised communities. She has over twenty five years experience working with communities of color, women, and college students in grassroots activism and popular education, community planning, administration and research. She has worked for the United Farm Workers union in Sunnyside, WA, to develop a fair trade Agricultural product to ensure fair wages and income to workers and growers affected by the globalization of agriculture. Also locally, Ms. Cuevas has worked to develop awareness of the growing nativist presence in the Yakima Valley which has contributed to current anti-immigrant sentiment and rhetoric. Reaching out into the community, her goal is to bring respect, justice and productive dialogue to this national issue as it is expressed locally.

Advance Schedule Requirements:Two to three weeks
Travel Restrictions: Yakima County

Topics

Introduction to Sociology: An Interactive Class Especially suited to high school classrooms, this interactive presentation allows an audience to experience what is learned in a sociology course at YVCC. Set up as a sample lesson in an introductory sociology class, students will be guided in this presentation to think like sociologists. Ms. Cuevas allows students to understand how sociology functions as an academic discipline, and how it differs from related fields such as psychology, anthropology, and other social sciences. In this presentation, Ms. Cuevas will explore with students the nature of the sociological imagination. By exploring a case study, students will develop understanding of how social conditions might impact and affect human decisions, actions and behaviors.
Latinos in Washington State: Implications for Education This presentation for community members addresses inequalities and structural gaps that Latinos encounter as they pursue education in Washington State, as well as the implications of the current demographical data as we strive to build healthy, strong communities. Ms. Cuevas will present statistical data regarding educational levels and opportunities for Latinos in Washington State, and address the ways that social class and economic circumstances impact educational opportunity. The need for policies and legislation that address the needs of Latinos will be discussed.
MEChA at YVCC As a national student organization to promote the culture, self-determination, and political health of Chicanos, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Azltan (MEChA) was founded in 1969 and operates on the YVCC campus as a positive force for change. In this presentation you can learn how MEChA members work to link our institutions of higher learning to underserved, disenfranchised populations. As a MEChA alumna and current faculty advisor to MEChA, Ms. Cuevas can share a personal perspective, as well as discuss the activities and goals of MEChA at Yakima Valley Community College.
WhatCan CollegeDo For Me? This presentation is geared toward high school audiences. With experience in the Office of Recruitment and Retention, Ms Cuevas can provide answers to the questions students considering college will have. Why attend college? What can I expect from the experience? How can I prepare? What does it cost? After college, what can I expect earn if have an A.A.? A B.A.? A graduate degree? If feasible, a current student may help with this presentation and provide additional perspective.
Intercultural Communication In a current climate of heightened tensions due to terrorist attacks and anti-immigration sentiment, it is more important than ever to understand the role of culture in the process of communications. Addressing conflict in a productive manner is vital in such times. Using role-play and an interactive approach, Ms. Cuevas guides the audience through ways of improving communication between different groups, addressing issues of race, gender, age, ethnicity, ability. This presentation is adaptable to a variety of audiences.
Please contact Joy Clark for more information and scheduling
509.574.6800 x 3285/
jclark@yvcc.edu