Manuel G. Aviles-Santiago is an associate professor of communication and culture at the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, and Director of the Office of Veterans and Military Academic Engagement (OVMAE). He obtained his doctorate in media studies at the Department of Radio-TV-Film at the University of Texas-Austin. His most recent book "Puerto Rican Soldiers and Second-Class Citizenship: Representations in Media," examines the cultural history of the imaginary of the Puerto Rican soldier, from representations in traditional media to self-representations in digital/social media. His research interests are within the areas of Media Studies, Latinx Studies, Puerto Rican Studies, and Veteran Studies. Born in Mayaguez and raised in Aguada, Puerto Rico, Aviles-Santiago holds a bachelor's degree in communications and a master's degree in research in communications from the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras.
In 2007, Aviles-Santiago was awarded the Ford Foundation predoctoral awards administered by the National Research Council (now the National Academies of the Sciences, Engineering and Medicine). He has worked for several research centers such as Center for Communication Research and the Center for the Study of Latino Media and Markets. He also has worked as a research assistant and project manager for the Voces: Latino and Latina Oral History Project under the advisory of Professor Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez. He was invited by the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good, funded by the Carnegie Foundation, to conduct research on undocumented students in higher education. He has presented his works at conferences such as the International Communication Association, Race and Media, Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Latino Studies, and the Latin American Studies Association conferences.
In 2016, Avilés-Santiago was awarded the Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. During this research leave, he conducted archival research in Puerto Rico for his upcoming book project that explores the tropicalization of the Cold War in Puerto Rico's TV comedy. His work has been published in journals like Communication, Culture and Critique, Journal of Latin American Communication Research (JLACR), Caribbean Studies Journal, Flow TV, and Revista Cruces. He is also an editorial columnist for El Nuevo Dia newspaper.