J. Manuel Casas
J. Manuel Casas is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, where he worked from 1991 to 2009.
In his last bio before retiring he wrote: "When I began my undergraduate education at UC Berkeley, like many students, I declared my major, political science (international relations), without a clear picture of what my eventual career goals would be. By my senior year I decided that, given my interest in international relations, I would take steps to enter the foreign service. Was I in for a let down. When I began my inquiries of what I needed to do to join the service I was told very directly that since I was born in Mexico, and at the time had not yet become a citizen of the US, I would have to first become a citizen and then wait ten years to apply. Needless to say, I needed to reconsider my options. Since I enjoyed working with children I decided to spend a portion of those years teaching. I got my secondary teaching credential and began my career as an educator. I have never regretted my decision. I found teaching to be quite rewarding, especially when working from a 'counseling' perspective with children from diverse backgrounds, low income families, and at high risk for failure within the traditional educational system.
"Wanting to bettter understand such children and in turn improve my ability to help them, I eventually obtained an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University with a specialization in the areas of Counseling and Cross-Cultural Psychology. In my present position, a professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, I continue to direct my professional efforts towards improving the plight of such children and their families. More specifically, my most recent research and publication endeavors have focused on Hispanic families and children who are at risk for experiencing educational, health, and psycho-social problems, including tobacco, and other drug abuse. My research in this area gives special attention to resiliency factors that can help Hispanic families avoid and/or overcome such problems. Three published articles that exemplify this research include 'An Examination of Individual Factors Associated with the Academic Success and Failure of Mexican-American and Anglo Students,' 'A Culturally Sensitive Model for Evaluating Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention Programs,' and 'Birth Control and Low-Income Mexican-American Women: The Impact of Three Values.'
"Along with Joseph Ponterotto I am the co-author of the Handbook of Racial/Ethnic Minority Counseling Research and one of the editors of the Handbook of Multicultural Counseling. I have served on numerous editorial boards including the Counseling Psychologist, the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, and the Journal of Hispanic Behavioral Sciences. I continue to work as a consultant on varied health, educational, and drug related projects with a variety of agencies and institutions including Santa Barbara County Mental Health Department, the Loma Linda Medical Center's Diabetes and Pregnancy Program, the Office of Substance Abuse Prevention, and the National Institute of Mental Health."