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Kristen S. Valencia

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Kristen S. Valencia was born and raised on the United States-Mexico Border in Nogales, Arizona/Sonora. As an undergrad, she believed her career path should encompass the challenges and fulfillment that her education had relayed through textbooks. In 2003, she completed her Bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona in Retailing and Consumer Sciences, with a minor in Business Administration. After working for three years in a cutthroat marketing industry, her career experience left her dissatisfied and with much to be desired. She left her position in search of a career change that yielded results more valuable than a corporation's bottom line. Kristen completed the requirements for her Master's degree in Mexican American and Raza Studies at the University of Arizona in the spring of 2009. The encounters she faced throughout her Master's Degree work led her to a higher level of cultural consciousness, as well as research focus in historical trauma, border theory, bicultural celebrations and binational identity, specifically related to the horizontal lives on the United States-Mexico Border. Her master's thesis focused on the Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Ambos Nogales and the components of the fiesta, including a beauty pageant, that commemorate the camaraderie and interdependence between the U.S. and Mexico on a local level. Kristen just completed her PhD comprehensive examination in the American Studies Department at UNM and intends to elaborate on her Master's thesis research for her dissertation, scheduled to be complete in May of 2013.