Department ofModern Languages and Literatures

Prof. Francisco Jimenez, Ph.D.

Dr. Jiménez has made many contributions through his scholarly, civic, and literary work.   

Recently, he has focused more on his teaching, writing, and outreach activities throughout California and Mexico.  He is the author of three award-winning autobiographical books  The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child,  Breaking Through and Reaching Out, and two illustrated children’s books, La Mariposa, and The Christmas Gift/El regalo de Navidad. All have been well received, winning many national literary awards. Reaching Out has been published in Spanish and The Circuit and Breaking Through have been published in various languages, including Spanish.     

The Circuit, Breaking Through and Reaching Out, are regularly assigned in university, high school, middle school, and elementary classrooms across the country, providing inspiration for a generation of students, especially children of recent immigrants. He is frequently sought after by county offices, districts, and community reading programs like the Silicon Valley Read and the Napa County Read. The Spanish edition of The CircuitCajas de cartón, has been adopted in two Mexican city-wide read programs: San Miguel de Allende and Rosarito, Baja. It is not uncommon for him to spend a week in residence visiting six or seven schools in a county prior to holding a community-wide presentation. When he discusses the significance of his work, the conversation always returns to the transformative power of education—both for individual students and the future vibrancy of our American democracy. 

Dr. Jiménez has just completed the fourth book titled Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood to Columbia University in which he relates memorable and life-changing experiences he had living in New York City while attending Columbia University during the late 60s and early 70s, an era marked by the Vietnam War, university student protests, and the civil rights movement. It will be published in the fall by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Currently, he is collaborating with Dr. Alma Garcia, professor in the Sociology Department, in an oral history research project which consists of oral interviews with Silicon Valley Latino entrepreneurs who have made a difference in the Silicon Valley community.

His work has been recognized by the California State Senate and the Minister of Culture of the State of Jalisco, Mexico, and by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and CASE, which selected him as the recipient of the 2002 U.S. Professors of the Year Award. He has also received an honorary degree from De Anza College and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters,honoris causa, from the University of San Francisco.