PRSA Program

Silberman School of Social Work
2180 Third Avenue (119th Street), NYC
October 28, 2017
Download PDF Program

Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans PRSA will bring together stateside Puerto Rican academics to examine and gain a broader understanding of the economic, fiscal, and unfolding humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. Papers will be considered for publication in a special issue of the Centro Journal on Critical Perspectives on Puerto Rico.


8:30 –12:00 noon       Registration

9:00 – 10: 15 a.m.       Puerto Rican Studies Association Business Meeting

9:00 - 10: 15 a.m.        Rebuild Puerto Rico Volunteer and Cultural Ambassadors Training

10:15 -10:30 a.m.        Coffee break

10:30-10:45 a.m.         Welcome

William Vélez, President of the Puerto Rican Studies Association, and Professor Emeritus of Sociology, College of Letters and Science, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (WI)

José Luis Cruz, President of the Herbert H. Lehman College, City University of New York (NY)

Sen. Gustavo Rivera, SD33, New York State Senate (NY)

Masters of Ceremony

Carlos Vargas-Ramos, Research Associate at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, City University of New York (NY)

Charles R. Venator-Santiago, Associate Professor, Political Science and El Instituto: Institute for Latino/a, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies, University of Connecticut (CT)

10:45 – 11:15 a.m.       Introductory Remarks: Rebuild Puerto Rico

Edwin Meléndez, Director, Center for Puerto Rican Studies; Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning, Hunter College, City University of New York (NY)


11:15 - 11:30 a.m.       Room Change

11:30 - 12:45 p.m.       Concurrent Panels: Rebuild Puerto Rico Session 1 (In person and via Zoom)

1.  Energy

Moderator:  Prof.  Jorge E. Gonzalez, Ph.D. FASME, NOAA CREST Professor of Mechanical Engineering, the City College of New York (NY)


Efrain O'Neill-Carrillo, Ph.D., P.E., Director, Power Quality & Energy Studies Laboratory, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (PR)

Gelvin Stevenson, Ph.D, Greentech Investors Forum, Pratt Institute (NY)

Armando Santiago Pintado, Puerto Rico Campaign Coordinator, VAMOS4PR (NY)


2.  Health

Moderator:  Suzanne Gutierrez Teissonniere, MD, Assistant Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; Dept. of Neurology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Assistant Professor, PM&R, Weill Cornell Medical College (NY)


Co-Coordinator: Maria Cancio, MD, Assistant Professor, Pediatrics Hematology and Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medical College (NY)

Co-coordinator: Veroushka Ballester, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Gastroenterology (NY)

Irwin Redlener, MD, Director, National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Earth Institute, Columbia University; Clinical Professor of Health Policy and Management and Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center; and President and Co-founder (with singer song-writer Paul Simon) of Children's Health Fund (CHF) (NY)

Jodie G. Roure, J.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Latin American and Latina/o Studies Department; JJC RHB Director & Project Investigator, Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program at St. John's University School of Law, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York (NY)

Sarah Schuyler, Director of Operations, the Afya Foudation (NY)


3.  Education

Moderator: Luis O. Reyes, Ph.D., At-large Member of New York State Board of Regents (NY)


Ana María García Blanco, Executive Director, Instituto Nueva Escuela (PR)

Angelica Infante-Green, Deputy Commissioner, P-12 Instructional Support, New York State Education Department (NY)

Adriana O'Hagan, Assistant to the Vice President for Education, United Federation of Teachers (NY)

Sonia Gonzalez-Cruz, Program Director of Head Start Programs, Puerto Rican Family Institute (NY)


4.  Environment

Moderator:   Brenda Torres-Barreto, Executive Director at San Juan Bay National Estuary Program (PR)


Anamar Carrión-Silva, Development Director, Para la Naturaleza (PR)

Ruth Santiago, J.D., L.L.M., Comite Dialogo Ambiental Inc (PR)

Adrian Cerezo, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Social Ecology, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (CT)


5.  Food and Agriculture

Moderator: Ramon Borges-Mendez, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Coordinator Community Development and Planning, Clark University. Worcester (MA)


Luis M. Falcón, Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Massachusetts-Lowell (MA)

Josiemer Mattei, Assistant Professor of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (MA)

Gladys Rodriguez-Parker, Senior District Representative, Office of Congressman James P. McGovern, Worcester (MA)

Katherine Tucker, Professor and Director of Center for Population Health, University of Massachusetts-Lowell (MA)

Alex Borschow, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Semillero Ventures (PR)

Camille Collazo, President of Visit Rico and Co-organizer of the Farmer's Fundraiser: Regrow Puerto Rico.


6.  Nonprofit Sector and Grassroots Advocacy

Moderator: Betty Medina Lichtenstein, Executive Director, Enlace de Familias Inc. Holyoke (MA)


Federico A. de Jesús, Principal, FDJ Solutions (DC)

Jaime Farrant, LL.M., Jaime Farrant, Board Member, National Puerto Rican Agenda (DC) Doctrine of force majeure under Puerto Rico, New York and international law.

Jim Carr, Immediate Past Chair of the Executive Advisory Board of the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy (MA)

Tania Rosario, Executive Director of Taller Salud (PR)


12:45- 1:45 p.m.           Lunch


1:45-3:00 p.m.              Concurrent Panels: Rebuild Puerto Rico Session 2 (In person and via Zoom)


1.  Economic Development

Moderator:   José Luis Rodríguez, CEO Campo Rico Group, Inc, CRG Communications (NY, PR)


William “Bill" Alicea, Founder and President of Urban Visions  

Javier De Jesús Martínez, Director of the Innovation Center at University of Sagrado Corazón. Nuestro Barrio: Distrito Cultural de Santurce (PR)

Edwin Salas, President and Founder of Salcare Home Health Services, Inc. (NY)

Edilberto Berrios-Pérez, CEO of Integra Wireless (PR)


2.  Diaspora Engagement and Media

Moderator:  Federico Subervi, Ph.D., Latino Media Scholar and Consultant (OH)


Dr. Harry Franqui-Rivera, Professor, Bloomfield College (NJ)

Marlena Fitzpatrick, Music Journalist, Latino Rebels, Uforia Música, Huffington Post and Enclave Magazine (NY)

Erika G. Abad, PhD, Professor-in-Residence, University of Nevada (NV)

Sandra Rodriguez Cotto, Columnist and Blogger (PR)


3.  On-site Psychosocial interventions in interdisciplinary teams

Moderator: Blanca Ortiz-Torres, Ph.D.; J.D., Professor, Secretary General, Interamerican Society of Psychology, Inc. (PR)


Leonell Torres-Pagán, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist at SR Psychological Services, P.C. and Research Associate, Hunter College, CUNY (NY)

Dr. Patricia Noboa - Associate Professor University of Puerto Rico-Cayey (PR)

Dr. Domingo Marqués - Associate Professor University Carlos Albizu (PR)

Francisco Aquino, J.D.; Doctoral Psychology Student University Carlos Albizu (PR)

Yésica Nieves-Quiñones, PsyD, Clinical Psycologist, Gouveneur Health, NYC HHS (NY)


4.  Housing

Moderator: Lymaris Albors, Vice President Business Development, Acacia Network Inc. (NY)


Raul Russi, Chief Executive Officer, Acacia Network, Inc. (NY)

Ivis García Zambrana, Assistant Professor, City & Metropolitan Planning, University of Utah (UT)


5.  Faith-Based

Moderator: Efrain Agosto, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament Studies, New York Theological Seminary (NY)


Lucila J. Santana, Public Relations Coordinator, Springfield Public Schools (MA)

Rev. Dr. Damaris Whittaker, Senior Minister of Fort Washington Collegiate Church (NY)

Teresa Delgado, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Iona College, and author of “A Puerto Rican Decolonial Theology: Prophesy Freedom” (NY)

Robert Rivera, Assistant Professor of Theology at St. John's University (NY)

Eli Valentin, Pastor of Iglesia Evangelica Bautista in the Lower Eastside (NY)


6.  Creativity to Reimagine Puerto Rico for Sustainable Prosperity

Moderator: Dyanis De Jesús, Co-Founder, Creatives Mean Business (DC)


Michelle Perez Kenderish, Co-Founder, Creatives Mean Business (DC)

Pedro Adorno Irizarry, Director of the theatre company, Agua Sol y Sereno (PR)

Matilsha Marxuach, Founder and Senior Designer at ConCalma LLC (PR)


3:00 p.m.-3:15 p.m.      Room Change


3:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.    Concurrent Panels: Academic Sessions


1.  Humanitarian Crisis

Spatial and Socioeconomic Outcomes among Recent Puerto Rican Migrants during La Crisis Boricua: Implications for Island and Stateside Communities, Marie T. Mora, Alberto Dávila, Ph.D., University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Texas and Havidán Rodríguez, President of the University at Albany, SUNY (NY)

Poverty in Puerto Rico, Hector R. Cordero-Guzman, Ph.D., Baruch College, City University of New York (NY)

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) among Island-based Puerto Ricans adults: Revisiting healthcare access following the Affordable Care Act. Leonell Torres-Pagán, PhD, SR Psychological Services, P.C. and Hunter College, City University of New York (NY)


2.  Economic Crisis and Policy Responses

Some partial evidence on the impact of the Jones Act on consumer prices. Dr. Mario Marazzi-‐Santiago, Executive Director, Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics (PR)

Maritime cabotage in the agricultural supply chain in Puerto Rico Dr. William Suárez II, Bradford Centre for International Development, University of Bradford, UK (UK)

The Repeal of Section 936 Tax Exemption for U.S. Corporations and its Impact on Puerto Rico's Manufacturing, Zadia M. Feliciano, Department of Economics, Queens College and Graduate Center, City University of New York (NY)


3.  Fiscal Crisis and the Debt

Economic Crisis, Juan A. Lara Fontánez, Ph.D., Universidad de Puerto Rico (PR)

The Challenge of PROMESA to the Puerto Rican People, Edwin Melendez, Director, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, City University of New York (NY)

The Self-Inflicted Dimensions of Puerto Rico’s Crisis, Ian J. Seda-Irizarry is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics at John Jay College, City University of New York (NY)


4.  Politics and Government

History of Plebiscites on Puerto Rico’s Status, Charles R. Venator-Santiago, Political Science and El Instituto: Institute for Latino/a, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies, University of Connecticut (CT)

Territories' Pathway to Statehood or Sovereign Free Associated State, Victor Martinez, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, City University of New York (NY)

The 2016 Elections in Puerto Rico, Carlos Vargas-Ramos, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, City University of New York (NY)

Contemporary Congressional Dynamics on Puerto Rico, Dr. José Javier Colón Morera, University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras (PR)


5.  Migration

A New Framework for Understanding Puerto Rican's Migration Patterns and Incorporation, William Vélez, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (WI)

Orlando: Case Study of a 21st Century Puerto Rican Diaspora, Patricia Silver,

Puerto Rican’s as internally displaced persons, Sheila I Vélez Martínez, Jack and Lovell Olender Professor of Asylum Refugee and Immigration Law, Director of Clinical Programs, University of Pittsburgh - School of Law (PA)


6.  Literature and Humanities

Despierta Boricua, Defiende lo Tuyo! Puerto Rican World Making, Karrieann Soto Vega, Syracuse University (NY)

Historical and Contemporary Traumas: Contesting Jameson's Notion of Utopia in Puerto Rico, Keishla Rivera-Lopez, Rutgers University, Newark (NJ)

False Promesa + real Maria = Year of Two Crisis: A Diary of Post-2017 P[erformative] R[e-imaginngs], Ángel L. Matrtínez, Antioch University (CA)

Nelia Olivencia, Director Emerita, Latino Student Programs, UW-Whitewater (WI)


7.  Changing the Language and Visibility of Puerto Rico Anti-Colonial Politics

Aldo Antonio Lauria Santiago, Professor, Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies, Rutgers - State University of New Jersey (NJ)

Zaire Dinzey-Flores, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Rutgers - State University of New Jersey (NJ)

Edgar Rivera Colón, Qualitative Research Methods, Columbia University School of Professional Studies, (NY)

Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas, Professor, Department of Black and Latino Studies at Baruch College and the Department of Psychology the CUNY Graduate Center (NY)


4:30-4:45 p.m.      Room Change


4:45-5:15 p.m.      Rebuild PR Protocol and Closing remarks


5:15-6:15 p.m.      Reception