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Professional Staff

Frances Morales

Associate Dean of Students and Director of El Centro Chicano

Frances started her current position in December 1989. She is originally from South Texas. At the age of four, Frances joined her four older siblings in the cotton fields and continued doing agricultural work every summer until completing her undergraduate degree at CSU, Fresno. She is the first in her family to receive a university degree. Frances earned her M.A. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of New Mexico and a Ph.D. from Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. Her professional experience includes academic advising at CSU, Fresno, lecturer at UC Berkeley, as well as bilingual education research and teacher training.

Elvira Prieto

Associate Director of El Centro Chicano

Elvira was born and raised in California’s Central San Joaquin Valley working alongside her parents and siblings in the grape fields and fruit packing sheds of Reedley, CA and surrounding communities in Fresno County. She is the first woman in her family to attend college, receiving her B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University and an Ed.M. in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Elvira has worked in higher education, student affairs, academic advising, policy analysis and implementation, and community-based education for over fifteen years. Elvira is also a writer and poet and is currently working on a memoir-style manuscript about her life journey. Elvira began writing poetry and prose ten years ago, due in large part to the encouragement and mentorship of her dear friend and teacher, Renato I. Rosaldo, Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences, Emeritus at Stanford University. Her writing is focused on the retelling of life recuerdos (memories) with the intention of creating spaces of light, love, and healing for individuals and community.

Elvira has presented her poetry and prose in various community and academic settings such as floricantos and conferences hosted at the University of Texas at Austin, San Jose State University, and Stanford University. Elvira has also shared her professional expertise at a mentorship workshop for undergraduate and graduate students at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association.

In 2010, Elvira was the recipient of the Staff Member of the Year Award from La Raza Staff Association at Stanford University.

Margaret Sena

Graduate Student Program Developer of El Centro Chicano

Margaret comes from a Mexican-American family with roots in northern New Mexico. She was born and raised in Los Angeles and was the first in her family to attend college. She earned her B.A. in History at the University of California at Berkeley. She later earned her M.A. in History at Princeton University. She is currently working to complete her Ph.D. at Princeton (expected Fall 2013). Her research focuses on religious politics in late Tudor and early Stuart England. She has been coordinating programs for the Chicano/Latino community as professional staff El Centro Chicano since 2009.