MSU approves Cuellar as director of Julian Samora Research Institute

Contact: Terry Denbow, Vice President for University Relations, (517) 355-2262,

Sep 21, 2001

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State University Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Israel Cuellar as director of the Julian Samora Research Institute (JSRI), Department of Psychology, at MSU at its meeting today.

Before coming to MSU Cuellar was a professor of psychology at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg. A licensed psychologist, Cuellar researches areas including acculturation of Latinos. He developed one of the first and most widely used acculturation measurement tools in the United States, measuring the extent to which Latinos are integrated into their heritage as well as the mainstream cultures.

The focus of the JSRI 's work, Cuellar said, will be to address the needs of the Chicano/Latino community, particularly health disparities such as diabetes mellitus.

"I hope the work at the institute will help promote a sense of empowerment over their own health among Latinos," Cuellar said. "It is also important that we focus on the economic and educational opportunities for the community."

The new director said the institute also has plans to develop a cadre of Latino scholars to continue research efforts to benefit the Latino community.

"MSU has greater resources and depth of experts, and the opportunities for involvement here are great," he said.

Cuellar received a doctorate from the University of Texas-Austin and his master's in clinical psychology and bachelor of arts in psychology at North Texas State University. He is the author and co-author of numerous publications. His recent awards include the Outstanding Contribution to Science award presented by the Texas Psychological Association and an Outstanding Faculty Award from the University of Texas-Pan American for excellence in achievement.

The JSRI, located in the Nisbet Building, is the premier Latino research center dedicated to the generation, transmission and application of knowledge to serve the needs of the Latino communities in the Midwest.