By Iris Campbell
SMCISD Public Information Officer
Students of PRIDE High School got a sample of what it would be like to sit in a college classroom on Friday, April 11, 2008, when Austin Community College professor Dr. Mariano Diaz-Miranda brought his syllabus for History 2327: U.S.I—Mexican Americans for Spring 2008 to the campus. Diaz-Miranda first discussed the textbooks and support texts used in the class and the course objectives.
“The purpose of this course is to look at the diversity and complexity of the Mexican American population in Texas in particular, and the United States in general,” he said. “At their present rate of growth and immigration, Mexican Americans will be one of the largest minority groups in the United States. Texas today is one of four states where the majority of the population is composed of minority members.”
Then the professor rolled up his sleeves, grabbed the chalk from a nearby blackboard, and started talking to the group of assembled students about “Eugenics,” the study of races. He engaged the students, taking questions and asking questions of his own.
Diaz-Miranda told the PRIDE group some of his personal background, growing up as part of a minority. He was a good student who was “beat down” by society, and dropped out of high school. Without a diploma or a GED, he joined the military where he discovered that he had a knack for teaching. When he left the armed forces, Diaz-Miranda began his college career. He is now Director of the Latin American Studies Center, Chair of Mexican American Chicano Studies, and Professor of History at Austin Community College where he currently serves on the Student Retention Committee. He received a Master’s degree in History from Midwestern University and a Ph.D. in Latin American History from the University of Texas at Austin. From 1989 to 1991, he served as the Secretary of the Brazilian Studies Association of the Committee on Latin American History of the American Historical Association. In 1985, he was awarded the Outstanding Professor Award at Southwestern University. Diaz-Miranda has authored many publications.
His daughter, Angelica Diaz-Miranda, is a recruiter for Austin Community College. She works closely with PRIDE students, and it was she who made the arrangements for her father to come give PRIDE classes a taste of a college course. Both father and daughter reminded students of ACC programs available for dual credit, and programs such as Early College Start. Dr. Diaz-Miranda also reminded students that ACC is hosting its second annual “Dia de la Familia” at the ACC Riverside Campus, 1020 Grove Boulevard, on April 26, 2008, from 11 am to 2 pm with free information, admission, campus tours, and scholarship drawings.Email | Print