What is the MRPI?
Rubén Martinez, Ph.D.
UTSA's Metropolitan Research and Policy Institute (MRPI)
is a multidisciplinary research center that coordinates the resources
of the university to address issues and problems that confront the Greater
San Antonio metropolitan area. This includes networking with the public,
private and non-profit sectors to identify issues and solutions.
Our goal is twofold:
- to be a primary community resource for data collection, research and
policy studies in the areas of health and the environment, governance,
economic development, and social ecology and poverty; and
- to interact with the larger San Antonio community in considering
and evaluating present and alternative metropolitan public policies.
What has UTSA MRPI done for me lately
Issue Briefs -Policy briefs about specific urban issues
affecting metropolitan San Antonio. They appear in sequential order based
on chronology. Most of these briefs are based on original data collection
from surveys conducted in San Antonio by MRPI Faculty Associates.
Downtown Lectures Series
- All Parts from Mexico: Assembled in the U.S.A.
Novelist, Poet, and Writer Sandra Cisneros. April 2001. The lauded and
sometimes controversial novelist, poet and writer of short stories gives
voice to working-class Latino life in America. Her works include "The
House on Liberty Street," "Woman Hollering Creek," "Bad Boys," "My Wicked,
Wicked Ways," and "Hairs/Pelitos." Cisneros' books have been
translated into 10 languages.
While her writings are much celebrated, Cisneros also has been a college
recruiter, an arts administrator and a teacher for high school dropouts.
A San Antonio resident for several years, Cisneros received an undergraduate
degree in 1976 from Loyola University in her native Chicago and an M.F.A.
from the University of Iowa two years later.
- Welcome to the New World Racial Order.
Howard Winant. Professor of Sociology. Temple University. Philadelphia,
PA. Nov 2000.
- A New Century in Latino Politics: Finding our Voice in Year 2000.
Tony Affigne. Political Science, Providence University, Providence,
RI. October 2000.
- Gender Identity Politics in Bexar County.
Christie Lee Littleton. Gay Pride Week. October 2000.
- Borderlands: The Socio-Political Dimensions of Gay Latino Community
Formation in Greater Los Angeles.
Dr. Lionel Cantú. Assistant Professor. Dept. of Sociology, UC Santa
Cruz. Sep. 2000
- How are Recent Reduction Reforms Impacting Latino Students?
Valerie Martinez-Ebers. Associate Professor. Dept. of Sociology. TCU,
Dallas. July 2000.
- En esta comunidad ¿Quién es bien educado?
Graciela Sanchez. Director and Co-founder of "The Esperanza Center."
- The Wisconsin Idea: How Universities can work with Communities
Create Better Jobs.
Dr. Laura Dresser, Director COWS, Wisconsin University. June 2000.
MRPI Lectures in Academic Year 1998-1999
- October 1998, William S. Koski and Henry M. Levin
"Twenty-five Years after Rodriguez: What have we learned?"
San Antonio, TX.
- April 6-7, 1999, Luis R. Fraga, Associate Professor, Stanford
University, Department of Political Science
- April 30, 1999, Cherrie Moraga, Poet, University of California
- May 1999, Adela De la Torre and Aida Hurtado, Mexican
American Studies forum.
- June 8, 1999, Herbert H. Richardson, Director, Texas Transportation
Institute; Regents Professor and Distinguishing Professor of Engineering,
The Texas A & M University System, Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. "Transportation and the Texas Transportation
- July 30, 1999, Josephine Mendez-Negrete,
San Antonio Leadership Forum Series.
"The San Antonio Community Information System"
And Overview and Analysis of the Development vs. Preservation Debate:
Focus on the San Antonio Metropolitan Area. December 2000.
Planning Grant. Richard Harris, Principal Investigator.
With Alamo Area Council of Government.
Dr. Francine Sanders-Romero, Assistant Professor, Public Administration,
Report on Resource Assessment and Profile of Kendall County Service
Providers. June 2000. Individuals from agencies providing services
to Kendall County residents were surveyed as part of a three-part evaluation
commissioned by the Kendall County Advisory Board. A survey of the general
population and a series of focus group/workshops were a part of the process.
Funding for the evaluation was provided by a grant from the Kronkosky Charitable
Foundation. Surveys from agencies were completed between May 2 and May 5,
2000 and preliminary results were used to develop the focus group/workshop
portion of the evaluation. Principal Investigator and Author of Report,
Dr. Juanita M. Firestone, Ph.D. Co-Investigators, Dr. Arturo Vega, Ph.D.
and Dr. Richard J. Harris, Ph.D.
Report on Kendall County Survey of Population. May 2000. The
survey reported in this document constituted one phase of a larger evaluation
commissioned by the Kendall County Advisory Board. The purpose of this survey
was to gather information and opinions from a probability sample of adults
living in Kendall County related to the impact of commercial and residential
development and rapid growth. Principal Investigator and Author of Report
Dr. Juanita M. Firestone, Ph.D.
SACIS (San Antonio Community Initiatives Services) Survey.
April 2000. UTSA, AACOG (Alamo Area Council of Governments), United Way
and many other organizations worked together to create an information system
to make it easier for the community to locate agencies and services. Principal
Investigator Dr. Richard Harris.
"San Antonio Health District Disaster Preparedness
September 10, 1999., Conducted for Metropolitan Department of Health-Environmental
Division, September 1999, in conjunction with the City of San Antonio's
Metropolitan Health Dept. Regional Public Health Natural Disaster, Preparedness
Conference - Flood 98 --, Focus group research and analyses of regional
crisis response teams involved in the Flood of 1998. Faculty Associate,
John Bretting, principal investigator, with Richard J. Harris, Juanita
Firestone and William Vega.
"Community Needs and Services-A Report to the Department
of Community Initiatives, City of San Antonio"
April 1999. Juanita Firestone, Richard J. Harris and past-Director William
"Community Revitalization In San Antonio-A Report
to Community Revitalization Action Group, City of San Antonio"
February 16, 1999. Richard J. Harris, Juanita Firestone, principal investigators,
with Arturo Vega and John Bretting.
Publications by MRPI Faculty Associates:
- J.M. Firestone, R.J. Harris, M. Bollinger.(2000). "Changes
in Sex Role Ideology Among Native Americans," Free Inquiry in Creative
Sociology, 2000: 63-76
- L. C. Lambert, J. M. Firestone. (2000). "Economic Context
and Multiple Abuse Techniques,” Violence Against Women: 6(1):49-67,
- Vega, William A., Kolody, Bohdan, Aguilar-Gaxiola, Sergio, and
Catalano, Ralph. (1999). "Gaps In Service Utilization by Mexican
Americans with Mental Health Problems."
- Vega, William A., Alderete, Ethel, Kolody, Bohdan, Aguilar-Gaxiola,
Sergio. (1998). "Illicit Drug Use among Mexicans and Mexican
American in California: the Effects of Gender and Acculturation."
- Vega, William A. and Gil, Andres G. (1999). "A Model for
Explaining Drug Use Behavior Among Hispanic Adolescents." Drugs
and Society. 14: 57-74; also in Conducting Drug Abuse Research with
Minority Populations: Advances and Issues (ed. Mario R. De La Rosa,
Bernard Segal, and Richard Lopez) The Haworth Press, Inc. 57-74.
- Vega, William A., Kolody, Bohdan, Aguilar-Gaxiola, Sergio, Alderete,
Ethel, Catalano, Ralph and Caraveo-Anduaga, Jorge. (1998). "Lifetime
Prevalence of DSM-III-R Psychiatric Disorders Among Urban and Rural
Mexican Americans in California," Arch. Gen. Psychiatry. 55:771-778.
- Lambert, Linda. C. and Firestone, Juanita. M. (1999). "Economic
Context and Multiple Abuse Techniques, Violence Against Women.
- Firestone, Juanita M., Lambert, Linda. C. and Vega, William. A.
(1999). "Intimate Violence Among Mexicans Americans: Correlates of
Abuse," Journal Of Gender, Culture And Health.
- Firestone, Juanita M. and Harris, Richard J. (1999). "Predictors
of High Risk Sexual Behavior among Individuals Living with HIV Disease
and AIDS," Sociological Practice.
- Prindeville Diane-M. and Bretting John G. (1999). "Environmental
Justice and the Role of Indigenous Women Organizing their Communities."
Latina Gender Consciousness and the Environmental Movement in New Mexico.
- Prindeville Diane-M and Bretting John G. (1999). "Indigenous
Women Activists and Political Participation: The Case of Environmental
Justice," UTSA Hispanic Research Center Working Papers Series; WP-10.
- Shoho, Alan. R.(1999). Preface to "Twenty-five Years after
Rodriguez: What have we learned?" By William S. Koski and Henry
M. Levin). San Antonio, TX.
- Shoho, Alan. R., Katims, David., Meza, P. (1998). "The Alienation
of Special Education Teachers." ERS Spectrum, 16, 18-23.
- Shoho, Alan. R., Katims, David., Wilks, D. (1997) "Perceptions
of Alienation Among Students with Learning Disabilities in Inclusive
and Resource Settings." The High School Journal, 81, 28-36.
- Merrifield, J., (1999). "Implementation Issues: The Political
Economy of Efficient Fishing," Ecological Economics.
- Merrifield, J., (1999). "State Tax Revenue Determinants
Revisited and Expenditure Determinants," Public Choice.
- Merrifield, J., (1999). "Groundwater Resources: The Transition
from Capture to Allocation," Policy Studies Review.
- Merrifield, J., (1999). "Monopsony Power in the Market for
Teachers," Journal of Labor Research 20: 3: 377-391.
- Merrifield, J., (1998). "Regional Policies for Gross Emitting
Vehicles," Planning and Markets 1, #1: electronic, no page numbers.
Other MRPI Research Projects.
- Escuelitas Project: Hispanas Changing the Future. November
Dr. Josephine Mendez-Negrete, Assistant Professor, Mexican American
Studies, principal investigator.
- MC CREELESS Mall Survey. June 2000. This was a scientific poll
regarding retail shopping in the San Antonio area. Principal Investigator
Dr. Michael Gilbert, D.P.A.
- Community Revitalization Survey, November 1999.
This survey sampled 1000 respondents (for a +/- 3.5 sampling error)
assessing residents perceptions of issues and problems associated with
both inner- and outer-410 loop urban living. Richard J. Harris, Juanita
Firestone, principal investigators, with Arturo Vega.
- Spurs I and II Surveys, October 1999 in conjunction with San
These surveys measured consistent voters in Bexar County relative to
their perceptions on building a new arena for the San Antonio Spurs.
Drs. Richard J. Harris, Juanita Firestone and Arturo Vega, principal
- Public Transportation Surveys and Focus Groups, August and
These surveys measured San Antonio residents' attitudes toward public
transportation needs, issues and prospects. Roberto Cavazos, Amy Jasperson,
Richard Harris, Juanita Firestone, Michael Gilbert & Arturo Vega, investigators.
- Leadership Forum-Latina/os in the 21st Century San Antonio,"
in conjunction with KWEX, Channel 41, Univision Affiliate, July 1999.
This forum brought together Latina/o community leaders in a focus group
to identify individuals and events in the last century that left a lasting
impact on defining San Antonio. Faculty Associate Josephine Mendez-Negrete,
principal investigator, with Rodolfo Rosales and Arturo Vega.
- Urban Regeneration in San Antonio: Class of 2010-A Dialogue,
in conjunction with Division of Bicultural and Bilingual Studies, March
Generating a vision for the Latino Community and institutions of higher
education in San Antonio. Drs. Ellen Riojas Clark and Armando Trujillo,
- Chavez Survey, March 1999 in conjunction with San Antonio Express-News.
This survey, conducted over a two and half day period, sampled over
600 respondents (for a +/- 4% sampling error) with reference to renaming
the San Antonio International Airport Cesar Chavez Airport or renaming
a major street after the late, farm labor and civil rights leader. Faculty
Associates Richard J. Harris, Juanita Firestone and Arturo Vega, principal
- Lam Survey, November 1998 in conjunction with San Antonio Express-News.
This survey measured people's attitudes and perceptions about the firing
of San Antonio ISD Superintendent Diana Lam and confidence in the SAISD
school board. Drs. Richard J. Harris and Juanita Firestone, principal
- "Twenty-Five Years After Rodriguez: What Have We Learned?"
William S. Koski, Stanford University School of Law, East Palo Alto
Community Law Project, and Henry M. Levin, Stanford University School
of Education, Center of Educational Research at Stanford. Paper presented
at the Forum on the Challenges and Opportunities for Funding Public
Schools Equitably: Twenty-Five Years after San Antonio Independent School
District v. Rodriguez at San Antonio, Texas, October 15 & 16, 1998.
- The Real City, Fall 1998 in conjunction with San Antonio Express-News.
A probability survey of over 5,000 San Antonio residents conducted during
the Spring of 1998. The sample size allowed for city wide public opinion
comparisons as well as comparisons by each of San Antonio's 10 city
council districts. Seven issue briefs associated with this project Drs.
William A. Vega, Richard J. Harris, Juanita Firestone, Michael Gilbert,
John Bretting and Arturo Vega, co-investigators.
10 Faculty Associates
- John G. Bretting, Ph.D.
- Juanita Firestone, Ph.D.
- Michael J. Gilbert, D.P.A.
- Richard J. Harris, Ph.D.
- Amy Jasperson, Ph.D.
- Josephine Mendez-Negrete, Ph.D.
- John Merrifield, Ph.D.
- Heywood Sanders, Ph.D.
- Francine Sanders-Romero, Ph.D.
- Arturo Vega, Ph.D.