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UW’s Fonseca Appointed to Two National Organizations

September 21, 2015
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Vanessa Fonseca

Vanessa Fonseca, University of Wyoming assistant professor of Latina/o studies and English, has been appointed to a pair of national organizations that focus on minority women’s issues and Chicano/a studies.

Fonseca will serve a two-year term on the Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS) executive committee as membership coordinator. She also has been appointed to a two-year term as the Rocky Mountain Foco (focus) representative for the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) organization.

“Being in a leadership position, to me, means that I have an opportunity to give back to two organizations that have been fundamental in my formation as a Chicana scholar,” she says. “I also think it is important, as scholars, to acquire the necessary skills to serve as leaders in our community as a natural process of growing as an academic.”

MALCS (translation: Women Active in Letters and Social Change) is an academic organization open to all indigenous women -- Chicana, Latina, Afro-Latina, Asian-Latina and gender non-conforming people -- working toward the support, education and dissemination of Chicana/Latina and Native American women’s issues. This includes faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduates and community members/activists.

The organization’s members gather each year at a summer institute to network, share information and offer support.

NACCS serves academic programs, departments, research centers and community organizations that focus on issues pertaining to Mexican Americans, Chicana/os and Latina/os. NACCS hosts an annual conference where scholars, students and community activists present research from the social sciences, humanities and other fields of study.

“The Foco representatives are the spokespersons for their regions. They run the Foco meetings at the NACCS conferences and work with their region's members to discuss issues affecting their regions with the larger NACCS community,” Fonseca says.

The NACCS Rocky Mountain region includes Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

Fonseca, from Grants, N.M., received her M.A. in Hispanic Southwest studies (2008) from the University of New Mexico, and her Ph.D. (2013) in Spanish cultural studies from Arizona State University.

She has been at UW since 2012.

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