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Ruth E. Zambrana, professor of women’s studies and director of the Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity, received two International Latino Book Awards for “The Magic Key: The Educational Journey of Mexican Americans from K-12 to College and Beyond” (2015). Co-authored with Sylvia Hurtado of the University of California, Los Angeles, the book won first place for Best Academic Themed Book and second place for Best Nonfiction Multi-Author Book.

Through intersectional research studies, this interdisciplinary book explores the educational experiences of Mexican Americans from kindergarten through college. Although Mexican Americans are the largest subgroup of Latina/os, there is a dearth of research on their educational trajectories. The studies in this book use a combination of qualitative and quantitative research to provide insight into the Mexican American educational experience.

Zambrana’s work examines how the intersections of gender, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status impact inequities and disparities in public health, human services and higher education with a particular focus on underserved Latino and disadvantaged  populations. Her recent books include an edited volume with Virginia Brennan and Shiriki Kumanyika, entitled “Obesity Interventions in Underserved U.S. Communities: Evidence and Directions” (2014) and “Latinos in American Society: Families and Communities in Transition” (2011). “Toxic Ivory Towers: The Health Consequences of Work Stress on Underrepresented Minority Faculty” is forthcoming in 2018.

The annual International Latino Book Awards are held by the nonprofit organization Latino Literacy Now in conjunction with Las Comadres para las Americas and Reforma: The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an affiliate of the American Library Association. This year’s ceremony was held on September 9th at California State University, Dominguez Hills where 233 authors and publishers from across the U.S. and around the world were recognized for their accomplishments.