A&M International Professors Present Lectures for VMT School's Hispanic Heritage Festival

Two Texas A&M International University faculty members will be the main presenters for the Vidal M. Trevino School of Communications and Fine Arts' eighth annual presentation of its Hispanic Heritage Festival in October.

Dr. Carlos E. Cuellar, A&M International assistant professor of History and Dr. Rachel Y. Cruz, assistant professor of Music, have been selected for the honor. The Hispanic Heritage Festival's Lecture Presentations are scheduled as part of a month-long observation at the campus.

The Hispanic Heritage Festival affords students, faculty members, administrators and visitors an opportunity to celebrate the rich traditions of Hispanic culture, said organizer Ernesto Guajardo, director of the VMT School.

"This effort offers participants learning opportunities about various dimensions of Hispanic culture and heritage with innovative educational exhibits, demonstration booths, games, activities and guest lecturers. We are delighted to be able to provide Festival participants with an opportunity to attend lectures by Drs. Cuellar and Cruz," said Guajardo.

Dr. Cuellar will lecture on his efforts to preserve the history of Guerrero Viejo through the recently launched "Guerrero Viejo Archives Preservation Project."

Guerrero Viejo, the ancestral home for many Laredoans, was founded in 1750 and became a ghost town after a 1953-54 flood resulting from the building of Falcon Dam forced residents to settle in Ciudad Guerrero.

Cuellar, whose own ancestors were settlers of Guerrero Viejo, will focus on the importance of preserving the past and trace the history of the peoples of Guerrero Viejo, which celebrates its 250th anniversary this year.

He holds his Ph.D. in History from Texas Christian University. He holds an M.A. in History from Texas A&M International University and a B.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He has been part of the A&M International faculty since 1995 and also directs the University's D. D. Hachar Honors Program.

Dr. Cruz will present a lecture-recital on the history of the music of the Texas-Mexican border region, with an emphasis on the development of the traditional Mariachi Band. The University's Mariachi International, which she directs, will provide a live demonstration of the creolization of the two main border cultures. Cruz also directs the University's Chorale and teaches applied voice and guitar.

She earned her D.M.A. (doctorate in musical arts, applied voice) at the University of Texas at Austin. Her Master of Music, applied voice, was also earned at UT-Austin. Her Bachelor of Arts in Music was earned at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.

Cruz joined the University faculty this Fall.

For additional information on the VMT Hispanic Heritage Festival, please call 795-3325, ext 33. VMT office hours are from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily.

For information on Drs. Cuellar or Cruz, contact the A&M International Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at 326.2180, visit offices in Killam Hall 268 or email to pais@tamiu.edu

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu