Distinguished Speakers Series hosts author Denise Chávez March 25
Posted: 03/10/2008
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Award-winning author, playwright and actor, Denise Chávez will be the final speaker Tuesday, March 25 in the 2007-2008 Distinguished Speaker Series at The University of Texas-Pan American.

Drawing upon her Hispanic roots and upbringing, Chávez is the author of the novels "Loving Pedro Infante," Face of an Angel," a short story collection "The Last of the Menu Girls," and most recently "A Taco Testimony: Meditations on Family, Food and Culture," a memoir of food. She has authored many plays and as an actor has performed in her one-woman shows, "Women in the State of Grace," and "El Muro/The Wall: A Chorus of Immigrant Women's Voices," throughout the United States.

- Denise Chávez
"Denise Chávez is one of the most important contemporary Mexican-American authors. She is also an exciting and dramatic performer who will both entertain and inspire her audience," said Dr. Steven Schneider, director of New Programs and Special Projects in the UTPA College of Arts and Humanities.

Chávez has served as a professor at several universities and has presented readings and workshops for multicultural, multigenerational audiences of all ages. Among her many honors and recognitions is the 2003 Hispanic Heritage Foundation Award in Literature given to an Hispanic role model for professional achievement and contributions to the national culture as well as their community. She has also won the Premio Aztlán, awarded to an outstanding novel written by a Chicano/Chicana and 1995 American Book Award.

Her appearance will coincide with 2008 FESTIBA (Festival of International Books and Art) being held March 24-29 at UTPA. FESTIBA is comprised of a weeklong series of activities celebrating the arts and humanities and literacy culminating in a Community Day March 29 for family members of all ages. A complete list of FESTIBA events can be found at

Chávez' appearance, which will be held in the Student Union Theater, is free and open to the public, however seating is limited. UTPA students, faculty and staff will be admitted with a valid University ID at 7 p.m. while the general public will be allowed to enter at 7:20 p.m.

The series is underwritten by student fees and the speakers are chosen by a Distinguished Speakers Series Committee made up of students, faculty and staff, who strive to select presenters of the highest caliber representing a variety of worldviews and backgrounds.

For special accommodations or more information, contact the Student Union office at 956/316-7989.