The Saber es Poder-Academic Excellence Award in Mexican American Studies recognizes an outstanding scholar whose work has demonstrated sustained excellence and long-term commitment to advancing the interdisciplinary field of study. The award also recognizes contributions in the areas of teaching, community engagement and the promotion of social justice. The award was created in 2017 by the Mexican American Studies department at the University of Arizona in collaboration with the community-based organization, Fundación Mexico, and the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME) through the Consulate of Mexico in Tucson.”


Eligibility for the award shall be extended to faculty members who currently hold an appointment at any rank at a U.S. institution of higher learning. Emeritus faculty are not eligible. 


Recipients will receive a one-time award of $10,000.

Nomination Process

Individuals wishing to be considered for this prize can self-nominate. Any member of the potential candidate's scholarly community may also submit a nomination. A nomination packet must be submitted as a single PDF with the following materials:

  1. Nomination cover sheet, which includes an endorsement by the nominee's college dean. The cover sheet can also be downloaded by going to link below.
  2. A personal statement by the nominee describing their approach to scholarship, teaching, and community engagement, not to exceed three (3) pages (1.5 line spacing, 11pt font minimum).
  3. CV for the nominee
  4. Two (2) letters supporting the nomination:
    • One from the candidate's department head or program director that attests to the nominee's research, teaching, and service to the community.
    • One from a faculty member (can be either from inside or outside the candidate's home department).


Candidates will be judged both on the evidence that they are achieving national recognition for groundbreaking innovations and on their broader contributions to research, teaching, and community engagement. 

> Excellence in Research: Candidates will have demonstrated excellence in research advancing our understanding of Mexican American, Chicano/a (Chicanx), and/or Mexican immigrant populations in the U.S. through a distinguished record of scholarly publications or creative works.

> Excellence in Teaching: Candidates will have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the education of Mexican American, Chicanx, and/or Mexican immigration populations in any of the following ways, an in any combination:

Evidence of effective advising and mentoring of students:

  • Involvement in undergraduate curriculum design or innovation.
  • Evidence of extra-curricular activities or extra-mural service related to the undergraduate Mexican American/Chicanx/Mexican immigrant student experience. 

> Excellence in Community Engagement: Candidates will have demonstrated a sustained application of scholarship and knowledge in service to Mexican American/Chicanx/Mexican immigrant communities, schools , work, environments, neighborhoods, or wherever people seek information and assistance to create a better life for themselves and their families. 

In recognition of the power of diversity and inclusion, we strongly encourage nominations of individuals with varied experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds. 

Submission of Materials

Materials are to be submitted in one (1) PDF file via email to In addition, please submit one (1) copy of the entire nomination packet with original signatures to:

Saber es Poder Award
Mexican American Studies Department
University of Arizona
PO Box 210023
Tucson, AZ 85721

Do not staple. materials such as books, reprints, CDs, DVDs or videotapes will not be accepted. Review the nomination packet carefully before submitting that all of the required materials is included and is accurate. Nomination packets that are submitted incomplete will not be reviewed. 

Due Date: January 31st. Nominations will not be accepted after the due date.


Section Process

Nominations will be reviewed by a committee composed of university faculty in several U.S. institutions of higher learning. Notification of the award winners will be sent to the individual by February 15. 


The recipient(s) will be celebrated at the Saber es Poder award ceremony at the University Park Hotel near the University of Arizona campus in Tucson, AZ. Ward recipients will be required to accept the award at an awards gala scheduled on that evening for the specific purpose and to attend a private reception with donors. Hotel and Travel cost will be covered for the awardee. 


How you applied in the last two (2) years?

If so, you application will be reviewed this year as well. Please submit any updates you would like the review committee to consider. **Past entries will be considered unless otherwise expressed by applicants. 


Please contact our Department's Main Office at 520-621-7551 or email