José Candelaria is in his fifth year in the PhD program. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame. After almost 17 years in the private sector, Candelaria enrolled in post baccalaureate courses on art history at the University of Houston focusing on Italian Gothic art where he co-edited and contributed several articles and catalog entries for the Sacra et Profana exhibition of medieval musical manuscripts in the Houston area. At Rice, Candelaria has served as department representative at the Graduate Students Association and curated the exhibition of Rice's collection of medieval objects for the 2016 Vagantes Conference held at Rice University.
His research interests are centered on the transnational and transcultural cultural exchanges involving medieval Iberia in the middle ages, especially as manifested in the arts, architecture, and urbanism of Seville in the decades before and after the turn of the sixteenth century.