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Texas A&M-Kingsville alumni to receive Tejano Heritage Awards

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Santa Barraza and Mike Lopez

Santa Barraza (left) and Mike Lopez (right)

Renowned South Texas Chicana artist Santa Barraza and civil rights activist and communitarian Mike Lopez will be honored at Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s annual Tejano Heritage Awards Ceremony, Thursday, Oct. 15, in the Memorial Student Union Building on campus.

At 2 p.m., Texas A&M-Kingsville President Mark Hussey will present the awards during a virtual ceremony and a reception will follow. The link for the presentation is:

Both ceremonies will be on the second floor of the Memorial Student Union Building. The event is open to faculty, students and invited guests. 

Barraza, who retired as an art professor from Texas A&M University-Kingsville this fall, has artwork that has been displayed internationally and is one of the top artists for the Chicano genre in the world. She refers to herself as a Chicana/Tejana artist and recently opened an art gallery in her hometown of Kingsville.

Barraza attended Texas A&I and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree in art from the University of Texas. She has taught at many of the top universities in the nation and world but returned to her hometown and taught at Texas A&M University-Kingsville for 35 years, retiring in 2020 as a full professor of art.

Lopez was a long-time journalist before becoming a public relations consultant and one of the top advisors for the national leadership of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the nation’s top Hispanic civil rights organization.

Lopez is the owner of Lopez Advisory Services, a public relations consulting firm. In that role, he has helped spur LULAC’s national agenda at the solidified La Raza Unida as a legitimate political party that had to be on the ballot.

As a public relations consultant, Lopez has worked with every U.S. president since Nixon, with the exception of Trump. He has also worked with several medical and political firms and in 2017, after hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico, his firm was contracted for nine months with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide bilingual assistance to Puerto Rico. His firm was also contracted to work with the U.S. Census Bureau 2020 count.

For more information contact Crispin Trevino at 361-593-4973 or Dr. Manuel Flores at 361-813-7808.

Category: General Univ , Arts/Sciences

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