The Adaljiza Sosa-Riddell Mentor Award is presented annually by the APSA Committee on the Status of Latinos y Latinas in the Profession to recognize the exemplary mentoring of Latino y Latina students and junior faculty each year. The award is named in honor of Adaljiza Sosa-Riddell, the first Latina to earn a PhD in political science.
Valerie Martinez-Ebers is a University Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science and Director of the Latina/o and Mexican American Studies Program at the University of North Texas (UNT). She is a former Vice-President of the American Political Science Association and a former President of the Western Political Science Association. From 2012-2016, she served as Co-Editor of the American Political Science Review. Dr. Martinez-Ebers has published widely on a variety of topics associated with the politics of race and ethnicity, including articles in all the top journals in political science. She is co-author of Politicas: Latina Public Officials in Texas (2008); Latino Lives in America: Making it Home (2010), Latinos in the New Millennium: An Almanac of Opinion, Behavior and Policy Preferences (2012), Human Relations Commissions: Relieving Racial Tensions in the American City (2020) and The American Professor Pundit: Academics in the World of US Political Media (2021). She is editor of Perspectives on Race, Ethnicity and Religion: Identity Politics in America (2009), an anthology that examines the history, dynamics and policy issues of minority groups in the United States. She also was a co-principal investigator for the 2006 Latino National Survey, funded by the Ford, Carnegie, Russell Sage, Hewlett, Joyce, and National Science Foundations.
However, her self-professed proudest accomplishments are her mentees who now have (or are well on their way to having) their Ph.Ds. in political science: Drs. Christina Bejarano and Carmen Orozco-Acosta (former McNair mentees) and Dr. Michelle Ramirez, Dr. Antonio Molinar, Raul Guerrero and Cesar Villegas (former and current graduate students at UNT). Jesus Molinar, a graduate student at UNT, shares, “Dr. Martinez-Ebers guided my research interests to a path where I might satisfy academic curiosity but also that I might find success in academia as a professor to follow in her footsteps. It was she that taught me to think like a Latino scholar and that underlined the critical importance of being a part of the next wave of academics studying and teaching racial and ethnic politics.”
“Dr. Martinez has always made her graduate students feel welcomed at the University of North Texas, regardless of their backgrounds,” writes Jose Raul Guerrero, a PhD student at UNT. “…As a mentor, she has gone above and beyond for her graduate students. She has given numerous car rides, professional advice, and has even helped find housing for graduate students. She always has and makes time for her graduate students. Any concerns or fears I may have, be it personal or professional, Val has always been there for me with solutions and advice. With her as a mentor, I have no doubt about my own success… Dr. Martinez has been the teacher that I always wanted, and the one I hope to become. “
The APSA Committee on the Status of Latinos y Latinas in the Profession once again thanks Dr. Martinez-Ebers for her tireless dedication to graduate students and offers its thanks for her commitment to bettering the political science discipline through mentoring.