Michael Montoya, Ph.D.
Michael J. Montoya, PhD, is a professor of anthropology, Chicano/Latino Studies, public health and nursing science at the University of California – Irvine. He also is faculty for The Program in Medical Education for the Latin Community (PRIME-LC), in the School of Medicine. He is the director of the Community Knowledge Project, which is an experimental space for communities of all kinds to learn and engage in action together. His award winning research examines the ways life-ways become embodied in individuals and groups. Michael has written about the social causes of chronic diseases and the problems of scientific approaches that exclude the voices of those most impacted by them. His recent book, Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality (2011) explores diabetes sciences as only one among many ways to explain who gets diabetes and why.
Michael is a passionate advocate of community making in all its forms and currently learns with people involved in neighborhood renewal efforts in Southern California. Michael believes that community knowledge is the missing ingredient in almost all formal problem-solving approaches. His work seeks to characterize the ways community knowledge can make academic questions more relevant and research more robust. Equally important, Michael believes that making community is a birthright and that health and wellbeing require it.