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Faculty & Staff


Michelle A. Holling, Ph.D.

Program Director, Ethnic Studies
(760)750-8576 | | SBSB 2136

  • Michelle A. Holling Biography
    Dr. Holling has been intimately involved with the Ethnic Studies Program since her arrival at CSUSM. She is Program Director currently (2020-2023). Her areas of expertise are Chican@-Latin@ vernacular discourse; testimonio and gendered violence; womyn of color, academe, and intersectional microaggressions. For a listing of her publications, visit her faculty profile Her course Chican@s-Latin@s in Film and Television supports the Identities and Representation curricular theme.
    In collaboration with Drs. McGuire (former Program Director) and Moon (Steering Committee member), they created the ETST major which was approved for implementation in AY 2017-2018. Previously she served on the Steering Committee (2017-2020), as Co-Coordinator (2013-2017), Member of Advisory Committee (2012-2013), Coordinator (2010-2011), and Co-Coordinator (2009-2010).


Domenique Maj

Administrative Support Coordinator, Ethnic Studies
(760)750-8054 | SBSB 2222

Faculty Photo

Marcelo Garzo Montalvo, Ph.D. (he/they)

Assistant Professor, Ethnic Studies | SBSB 3204

  • Marcelo Garzo Montalvo Biography

    Dr. Marcelo Garzo Montalvo (he/they) is a musician, dancer, and Ethnic Studies scholar-activist. He is a first-generation Chilean-Canadian-American of Mapuche and Spanish descent. They hold a B.A., M.A. and PhD in Comparative Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley, and were a community college transfer student from Mira Costa, Cabrillo and San Diego City Colleges. Their teaching and research focus on comparative and critical approaches to Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Xicanx Studies as well as Dance and Performance Studies. Before coming to CSUSM, Dr. Garzo Montalvo served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Latinx Studies in Harvard University’s Committee on Ethnicity, Migration and Rights, and as the Coordinator of Indigenous Technologies at the Berkeley Center for New Media. They have published articles on abolition, decoloniality and social movements for food, healing and ecological justice. His current book project, Armas Milagrosas/Miraculous Weapons, is a study of embodied knowledge, cultural decolonization and Xicanx indigeneities in the practice of Anahuacan ceremonial dance (Danza Azteca, Danza Mexica, Danza Chichimeca-Tolteca). They are also working on an experimental and collaborative research project called Conversations con Xochipilli, exploring questions of creativity, sexuality, science and consciousness through Queer and Two Spirit ceremonial knowledge.

  • Scholarly and Creative works
    • Garzo Montalvo, Marcelo. “Within and Without the Settler University: Reflections on Decolonization, Spirituality, and Research as Ceremony.” Agitate!: Unsettling Knowledges, Spring 2022.



    • Garzo Montalvo, M. F. (2015). To the American food justice movements: A critique that is also an offering. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 5(4), 125–129.


    • BadAss Visionary Healers (Tieraney Carter, Rico Kleinstein Chenyek, M’kali-Hashiki, Marcelo Felipe Garzo Montalvo, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Jonah Aline Daniel). “A Babe-ilicious Healing Justice Statement: from the BadAss Visionary Healers (BAVH).” nineteen sixty nine: an ethnic studies journal 2.1 (2013): 1-13.



Matthew J. Irwin, Ph.D.

Lecturer, Ethnic Studies  | SBSB 3203

Jason Perez

Jason Magabo Perez, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Ethnic Studies
(760) 750-8258 | | SBSB 3134

  • Jason Magabo Perez Biography
    Dr. Jason Magabo Perez blends poetry, prose, performance, film/video, ethnography, and oral history to investigate Filipina/o/x American histories, state violence, colonization, migration, memory, and intimacy. Perez is the author of two hybrid collections of prose and poetry: Phenomenology of Superhero (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2016); and This is for the mostless (WordTech Editions, 2017). Perez’s writing has also appeared in Witness, TAYO, Entropy, and Feminist Wire. Perez has written, developed, and performed three live multimedia performance works: The Passion of El Hulk Hogancito (2009); You Will Gonna Go Crazy (2011), which was commissioned by Kularts, Inc. and funded by a Challenge America Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts; and Blue Bin Improvisations (2018), which was commissioned and presented by MexiCali Biennial and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. Formerly a featured artist at the New Americans Museum and community scholar-in-residence at San Diego Public Library, Perez has, for over 15 years, performed, lectured, and convened dialogues, panels, and workshops in public libraries, community centers, and K-12, college, and university classrooms. Perez has performed at notable venues such as the National Asian American Theatre Festival, International Conference of the Philippines, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and La Jolla Playhouse. Alumnus of the VONA Writing Workshops, Perez holds an M.F.A. in Writing and Consciousness from New College of California and a dual Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies and Communication from UC San Diego. Dr. Perez previously served as Assistant Professor of English at CSU San Bernardino (2016-2019) and currently serves as Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at CSU San Marcos.



Allison Monterrosa, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Ethnic Studies | SBSB 3202

  • Allison Monterrosa Biography

    Dr. Allison Monterrosa’s areas of specialization addresses racialized gender-based violence, the criminal-legal system, state violence and the health implications of racism. As a community-based researcher who centers the experiences of racial-ethnic marginalized communities, her research emphasizes structural and cultural competence and intersects with community and service work to promote social justice and health equity. Her work has been published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Feminist Criminology and Rutgers Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books.


Phonshia Nie, Ph.D.

Lecturer, Ethnic Studies  | SBSB 3203