- B.A., University of Texas, El Paso
- M.F.A., University of Texas, El Paso
Manuel has devoted his professional career toward building and strengthening opportunities and access to higher education for Chicanos.
Professor Velez received his M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), and also earned his B.A. in theatre arts from the University of Texas at El Paso. The Glory Road has special meaning for this impressive scholar. In 1966 UTEP was named Texas Western College, and a squad of five African-American basketball players beat Kentucky and won the NCAA basketball championship, breaking color barriers in college sports. The film, Glory Road (2006), directed by James Gartner, documents the success of this remarkable team some 40 years ago. Along this same line, then, the "glory road" has led Professor Manuel Velez to San Diego Mesa College.
Manuel Velez leaves a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of English at El Paso Community College (EPCC). At EPCC he taught courses in English composition, Research and Literary Analysis, Chicano/a literature, World literature, and British literature. He established the EPCC Chicana/o Studies Program and has served as the program coordinator. He oversaw the development of a Chicana/o Studies associate degree program. He has also taught as an adjunct professor at his alma mater. He has served as a Project Director for an NEH-funded lecture series hosted by the Chicano Studies Department. Additionally, Manuel Velez is a poet in the traditional sense, and has published a collection of poems in a book entitled, “Bus Stops and Other Poems”.