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, Males of Color in higher education, 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

José Daniel Rubio-Zepeda (he/him/his) is an urban planner, scholar, activist, and practitioner based in La Crosse, WI. 

José is a native of Tegucigalpa, Honduras and immigrated to the U.S. at a young age. His recent research interests focus on the academic and financial retention of minoritized students in higher education. His interests center the experiences of marginalized groups with topics related to migration, human rights, transnationalism, globalization, and their various intersections. He has researched and written about the lives of Dominican and Haitian migrants on the island of Hispaniola.  His interests also focus on the African Diaspora in Central America, Latinx communities in the U.S., and the experience of males of color in higher education.

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 engagement 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. He also 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 (Spring 2023) 


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 


Teaching history

UWL 299 Special Topics: Hekima Scholars Program (Spring 2022) 

Professional history

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

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

June 2022-August 2022: Interim Director, 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