I’m finally done! On Feb 24, I passed my dissertation defense. And last week I received a email from the Dean of the Graduate School stating that I was officially done with MSU!
During my five years at MSU, I had the opportunity to meet and build friendships with numerous individuals. And all of you have been mention in my acknowledgement of my dissertation. See below.
There are so many different individuals and organizations to thank for their support. Before moving forward I thank the Chicano/Latino community who struggled to open door for us to attend the university during the Chicano Power Movement. If they had not taken a stand and struggled for educational rights and for the field of Chicana/o Studies, this dissertation would have not been written. Therefore, I owe a debt to them and to the field of Chicana/o Studies.
I thank my parents, Louie and Gloria for all of their encouragement throughout my life; without their support I would not have finished this dissertation. My brother, José thank you for your feedback and encouragement throughout the years; especially when I struggled to finish this dissertation.
I thank Dr. Rodolfo Acuña, for all of his stories, encouragement, and believing in me. Also, I thank Dr. Dylan Miner and Dr. Theresa Melendez for their support and guidance, especially opening up their homes to me. Finally, my dissertation advisor, Dr. Dionicio Valdes who guided me through the difficult task of writing this dissertation, thank you for teaching me how to be a better researcher and historian.
It is important to note that this dissertation was written during a political struggle over the vision of Chicano/Latino Studies at MSU. So, I thank my comrades in the REAL Chicano/Latino Studies for their commitment in this struggle; Felix Medina, Ernesto Todd Mireles, Nora Salas, Antonio Vasquez, Rainer Delgado, Jose Villarreal, Julia Cardenas, Rochelle Trotter, Dr. Scott Michaelsen, Dr. Jerry Garcia, Dr. Juan Javier Pescador, and Dr. Estrella Torrez.
Numerous friends and colleagues have provided feedback, encouragement, and support during the process of researching and writing this dissertation. I thank Dr. David Rodriguez, Dr. Gabriel Gutiérrez, Dr. Mary Pardo, Robert Marshall at CSUN, and especially Dr. Jorge Garcia, who listened and answered all my questions about migration, labor, and activism. I thank Dr. Tomas Salinas and Dr. Linda Chaparro at Oxnard College for introducing me to the field of Chicana/o Studies. I thank Dr. Jose Alamillo and Dr. Frank Barajas at CSUCI for sharing their research on Mexicans in Ventura County and giving me the opportunity to teach Chicana/o history. I thank all the archivists and librarians, who helped me find research material and photographs for this dissertation and especially Charles Johnson and his staff at the Museum of Ventura County Research Library. And finally, I thank Brenda Beza, Monica Valenzuela, Jessica Santascoy, Rosailda Perez, and Magaly Kochis for their encouragement and friendship throughout the years.
And a special thanks to the late Ernesto Bustillos for his discussion on history, activist scholarship, and the politics of the Chicano Power Movement throughout the years. To my comrades in struggle: Pablo Aceves, Francisco Romero, Angela Portillo, Joseph Cortez, Ramon Hernandez, and Cathy Espitia thank you for all of your support, suggestions, and friendship over the years. Lastly, I thank my comrades in Union del Barrio and Raza Press and Media Association for allowing me the time and space to finish this dissertation.