Rubén Martinez

Rubén O. Martinez
  • Professor Emeritus
  • Department of Sociology
  • PhD, University of California, Riverside, 1984
  • 93 Kellogg Center
  • 219 S. Harrison Road
  • East Lansing, MI 48824
  • 517-432-1317


Rubén Martinez


Dr. Rubén O. Martinez became emeritus professor of sociology in the fall of 2023. He had been director of the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University.  He has experience as a senior administrator and as chair of departments and programs at universities where he previously worked. His research interests include neoliberalism and Latinos, diversity leadership in higher education, institutional and societal change, education and ethno-racial minorities, youth development, Latino labor and entrepreneurship, and environmental justice. Dr. Martinez is the editor of the Latinos in the United States book series with the Michigan State University Press. He has numerous publications, including three co-authored books:  Chicanos in Higher Education (1993), Diversity Leadership in Higher Education (2007), and A Brief History of Cristo Rey Church in Lansing, MI (2012); one edited volume, Latinos in the Midwest (2011); and two co-edited volumes: Latino College Presidents: In Their Own Words (2013), and Occupational Health Disparities among Racial and Ethnic Minorities: Formulating Research Needs and Directions (2017).


Several research projects are underway: 1) Factors affecting Latino businesses; 2) Livelihood strategies among Latino farmers; 3) Latino essential workers and the pandemic 4) Latino workers on dairy farms.


  • Julian Samora Research Institute


Martinez, R. Book Series Editor. Latinos in the United States. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Present Press (12 Volumes to date).

Martinez, R., & Avila, B. (2019).  “Motivations for Entrepreneurship among Mexican Americans and White Americans,” International Journal of Social Science and Business, 4(1): 1-12.

Martinez, R. Avila, B., & Lewis. B. (2019).  "Criminal Justice, Disconnected Youth, and Latino Males in the United States and in Michigan."  In Lynn Scott and Curtis Stokes (Eds.), Minorities and the Criminal Justice System. (Pp. 211-156). East Lansing, MI: MSU Press. (w/B. Avila & B. Lewis).

Martinez, R. 2018.  “Neoliberalism and the Context of Public Higher Education for Latinos,” In A. G. de los Santos, L. I. Rendón, G. F. Keller, A. Acereda, E. M. Bensimon, and R. J. Tannenbaum (Eds.), Moving Forward: Policies, Planning, and Prompting Access of Hispanic College Students. (Pp. 95-114). Tempe, AZ: Bilingual Press, Hispanic Research Center.

Martinez, R. & Coronado, J. (Guest Eds.). 2018. “Latinas and Latinos in the Midwest: Historic and Contemporary Issues,” Special issue of Diálogo: Interdisciplinary Journal.20(1).

Coronado, J., & Martinez, R. 2018.  “Hicimos el camino en Michigan: Latino Business Pioneers,” Diálogo: Interdisciplinary Journal. 20(1): 51-64.

Martinez, R., Santiago, O. J., Espino, D. V., & Vélez-Ortiz, D. 2017. “The Relationship of Chronic Pain to Attitudes toward Suicide and Physician-Assisted Suicide among Latino and Non-Hispanic White Elders,” Journal of Palliative Care and Hospice, 1(1): 1-13. 

Tapia, M. & Martinez, R. 2017. “Ethics Review and the Minority Ethnographer: A Case Study in Racialized Invalidation,” Race and Justice, 7 (2): 127-143.

Leong, F. T. L., Eggerth, D., Chang, D., Flynn, M. A., Ford, K., & Martinez, R. (Eds.) 2017. Occupational Health Disparities Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities: Formulating Research Press Needs and Directions. Washington, DC: APA Books.

Martinez, R., & Rocco, R. (Guest Eds.) 2016. Neoliberalism and Latinos, Special Issue of Latino Studies, 14 (1). 

Horner, P., Martinez, R., Vélez Ortiz, D., Kayitsinga, J., & Acosta, S. 2015. “Adapting a Nutrition Education Intervention for Latinos,” Journal of Education and Human Development, 4(4): 84-90 .

Horner, P., & Martinez, R. 2015. “Hay que Sufrir: The Meaning of Suffering among Former Mexican American Migrant Farmworkers.” Latino Studies, 13(4): 523-541.

Erskine, R., Martinez, R., & Contreras, G. A. 2015. "Cultural lag: A new challenge for mastitis control on dairy farms in the U.S," Journal of Dairy Science, 98 (11): 8240-8244 .

Schewe, R., Kayitsinga, J., Contreras, G. A., Odom, C., Coats, W., Durst, P., Hovingh, E., Mobley, R., Moore, S., Martinez, R., & Erskine, R. 2015. “Herd management and social variables associated with bulk tank somatic cell counts in dairy herds in the Eastern United States," Journal of Dairy Science, 98 (11): 7650-7665

Vélez Ortiz, D., Martinez, R., & Espino, D. 2015. “Framing Effects on Resuscitation Preferences among Latino and White Elders,” Social Work in Health Care. 54: 708-724.