Robstown native awarded doctoral degree


Jonathan Cortez, a Robstown native, was awarded his Doctor of Philosophy degree in American Studies at Brown University’s commencement ceremonies earlier this month in Providence, Rhode Island.

Dr. Cortez is the son of the late Jesús Tranquilino Cortez Sr. and Aida Garcia Cortez of Robstown.

Dr. Cortez attended Lotspeich Elementary, where his teachers and administrators made a large impact on his life. He is a class of 2011 Robstown High School graduate.

He received a Master’s degree in Public Humanities in 2017 also from Brown University and the Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Mexican American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2015. While at the University of Texas in Austin, he was a member of the famous University of Texas Longhorn Marching Band and also a College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Distinguished Graduate. Upon his doctoral graduation from Brown University, Dr. Cortez also received the distinguished recognition of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching and the George E. Pozzetta Dissertation Award. His dissertation topic was “The Age of Encampment: Race, Migration, Surveillance, and the Power of Spatial Scripts, 1933-1950.” Following his doctoral degree, Dr. Cortez has been awarded a two-year (2021-2023) academic appointment as a César Chávez Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

While at Brown University, Dr. Cortez served as a Teaching Assistant and Instructor of various courses in American and Ethnic Studies and made several professional presentations at various national conferences throughout the United States. He also served as a Curatorial Assistant at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. and served in various student committees at Brown University. Most recently, he published an article in the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era; 20, No. 4 (October 2021): “1898 and Its Aftermath: America’s Imperial Influence.”

Dr. Jonathan Cortez awarded doctoral degree