Profile for Jose Rubio-Zepeda

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Jose Rubio‑Zepeda

Assistant Director For Retention
Multicultural Student Services
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

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Specialty area(s)

Academic and Financial Retention, Transnationalism and identity within the context of migration; globalization and its effects; African Diaspora in Central America and the Caribbean, especially in the Dominican Republic and Haiti; critical race theory; cultural studies; masculinity, class, gender

Brief biography

A native of Wisconsin, and Honduran-American, José Rubio-Zepeda is an aspiring urban planner, scholar, and practitioner. Jose’s current research interests focus on the academic and financial retention of minoritized students in higher education. He is also interested in migration, human rights, transnationalism, globalization, intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality within the context of the Caribbean, more specifically the island of Hispaniola, the African Diaspora in Central America, and Latinx communities in the U.S. 

He has worked both internationally and locally in the areas of migration, citizenship, community development and engagement, coalition building, and participatory planning. Central to his work are topics related to social justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, access, community development and outreach.

José holds a M.S. in Community and Regional Planning and M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition, he holds a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish, with a minor in International Studies, Latin American emphasis from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. 

When not immersed in writing or research, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, running, dancing, listening to music, cooking, and planning his next travel destination. 

Current courses at UWL

UWL 299 Special Topics: Hekima Scholars Program


B.A., Political Science & Spanish, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 2014

M.S., Community and Regional Planning, University of Texas at Austin, 2017

M.A., Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 2017 


Professional history

2018-2019: Interim Transfer Retention Specialist, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

2019-2021: Transfer Retention Specialist, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

2021-present: Assistant Director for Retention, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Research and publishing

Rubio-Zepeda, J., Zavala, D. and Henning, M. (2021)."Takeaways from Mentoring Programs at a PWI in the Midwest, 2008-2021." Special Issue. The Chronicle of Mentoring and Coaching. University of New Mexico Mentoring Institute. Link

Rubio-Zepeda, J. (2016).“Transitory Ghosts: Haitians and Dominico-Haitians in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.” Portal Magazine,  Vol. 11. Link

Sletto, B. (ed)., Rubio-Zepeda, J., et al. (2016). "Entrelazando miradas: Hacia una nueva visión de la infraestructura socio- comunitaria" (Reimagining Community Infrastructures). Link.



Dina Zavala, Diversity & Inclusion; Jose Rubio-Zepeda, Multicultural Student Services; and Margaret Henning, Student Affairs Administration student; presented "Takeaways from Mentoring Programs at a PWI in the Midwest, 2008-2021" at The Mentoring Institute at University of New Mexico's 14th Annual Mentoring Conference on Oct. 20 online.

Submitted on: Oct. 22, 2021