Dr. Refugio Rochin:

Named one of "America's Top 100 Influential Hispanics." 

Latino Speakers Bureau
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See a recent interview with Dr. Refugio Rochin here.

Recently honored as one of the Peace Corps 1962-1964 alumni, Dr. Refugio Rochin has been designated as one of "America's Top 100 Influential Hispanics," by Hispanic Business magazine. He is often quoted by the press on Latino issues and in 2002, was featured in the Latin American Times as Hispanic of the Week.

It is difficult to summarize the journey of this talented individual and his societal contribution because from our Nation’s capital to the West Coast and around the globe. A powerful Hispanic Heritage and education speaker, Dr. Rochin has tirelessly made his mark on the world. As he has done throughout his career, Refugio continues working toward enhancing the effectiveness of programs and policies that improve educational opportunities for under-represented groups, socio-economic conditions for all, and community well-being through teaching, applied research, public speaking, and service through various organizations.

Based on his research and experience, Dr. Rochin's program, Latinos in STEM discusses The Future and Role of Latinos in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), using the latest data on Hispanic Doctorates and insights for advancement to the highest levels of STEM careers. Dr. Rochin has been Executive Director of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Latinos and Native Americans in Science, (SACNAS); Senior Fellow at the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and the Institute's Associate Director for the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR).

Dr. Rochin has also worked nationally with Latino scholars and strengthened the capacity of Latino research centers to generate policy-relevant, Latino focused research. He established the Washington D.C. office of the IUPLR in the University of California Washington Center and taught a course at Notre Dame on Latino Economic Development 
Dr. Rochin was the Senior Associate "pro-bono" of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts in Washington, D.C., developing support for Latino actors, producers, and writers in TV and Film in association with the national Hispanic Scholarship Fund. He was also the Founding Director of the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives and the Latino Initiatives Fund in Washington DC, and established the Smithsonian's acclaimed "Latino Virtual Gallery," sponsoring traveling exhibitions of national renown.


Before joining the Smithsonian Institution, Dr. Rochin was Full Professor of Sociology and Agricultural Economics and the first permanent Director of the Julian Samora Research Institute (JSRI) at Michigan State University, July 1994 through July 1998. Dr. Rochin developed a "Center of Excellence" for research on Latino community development, administered the Midwest Consortium for Latino Research, and established the nation's premier website for research on Midwest Latinos and articles on U.S. Latino history, communities, psychology, arts and culture.

Among other achievements, Dr. Rochin was Principal Investigator in the Experiment Station and Giannini Foundation at U.C. Berkeley and Full Professor of Agricultural Economics and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Davis, titles for which he is Professor Emeritus. He is known for his publications and lectures on Latino contributions to U.S. history, community development, culture, arts, music, and science. Dr. Rochin has also worked abroad on projects for rural reform and economic development. His international experience includes the Peace Corps in Colombia, the Ford Foundation in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Colombia, and consulting for the U.S. Department of State/AID in West Bank and Gaza, Egypt, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and in eight islands in the Caribbean. Dr. Rochin research has spanned China (Ningxia Province), South Korea, Argentina, and Mexico.

His publications include more than 140 articles in books, magazines, and professional journals, and recent books include: The Mexicanization of Rural California, 1998, (with Dr. Elaine Allensworth), and Voices of a New Chicana/o History, 2000, (Edited with D. Valdes) and a co-edited e-Book (with L. Fernandez). U.S. Latino Patriots: from the American Revolution to Iraq: An Overview. Dr. Rochin was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission, Committee for Consumers/Disability; the USDA National Board for Agricultural Research Extension, Education, and Economics and, the California Board of Food and Agriculture. In 2005 he was inducted into the Foundation of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to serve on the USHCC Council of Economic Advisors.

Dr. Rochin serves on the NIH Advisory Board of the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA and the Department of Energy Educational Advisory Committee of the National Renewable Energy Laboratories in Golden, Colorado.He has served on numerous national and international boards for organizations focused on Hispanic issues, education, and advocacy for children. . He is also a member of numerous professional organizations and inducted into Sigma Xi.

Dr. Rochin was born in the barrio of Colton, California a
nd awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Northeastern University, Boston in 2000. He holds a BA degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, (1966); MS degree in Agricultural Economics & Anthropology from the University of Arizona, (1967); MA degree in Communication (1967), and Ph.D. degree in Agricultural Economics (1971) from Michigan State University.

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