HISPANIC LEADERS AND ROLE MODELS IN HIGHER EDUCATION


ERNEST LARA
PRESIDENT, ESTRELLA MOUNTAIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE, ARIZONA

Dr. Ernest Lara brought more than 30-years of higher education experience to his role as president of Estrella Mountain Community College. Appointed president on July 1, 2007, Lara’s extensive career reflects a strong commitment to student development and the community college mission. His post-secondary experience includes working at Arizona State University and three of the Maricopa Community Colleges as a faculty member, student services program director, division chair and dean of student services. Lara is a committed community member and serves on the Hispanic Leadership Forum del Oeste Advisory Board, Estrella Rotary, Leadership West and Luke Air Force - Honorary Commanders Program.


STEVEN R. GONZALES
PRESIDENT, GATEWAY COMMUNITY COLLEGE, ARIZONA

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As president of Gateway Community College, Dr. Steven R. Gonzales has more than 17 years of instructional and administrative experience in higher education. From 2011 to 2013, he served as the acting associate vice president of academic affairs and chief academic officer for the Pinal County Community College District that operates as Central Arizona College, a multi-campus college. His professional memberships, committees and affiliations include American Association of Community Colleges Commission on Academic, Student, and Community Engagement; National Community College Hispanic Council, Symposium and Planning Committee; National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, Conference Planning Committee; and Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. 


TERESA LEYBA RUIZ, 
INTERIM PRESIDENT, GLENDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Dr. Teresa Leyba Ruiz has served students, faculty, staff and the community for the past 25 years, positively impacting students through the various positions she has held. She is a committed educator and a first-generation college student.  She has been an educator for 22 years, serving as a mathematics teacher at all levels of education, the last 16 years with the Maricopa County Community College District. In January 2011, she accepted a six-month interim assignment as an academic dean with Glendale Community College where she was involved in the writing of an academic strategic plan and the development of a center for teaching and learning. 


RAÚL RODRíGUEZ, 
CHANCELLOR, RANCHO SANTIAGO COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT

Raúl Rodríguez, Ph.D. has served as the chancellor of the Rancho Santiago Community College District since August of 2010.  As chancellor of one of the largest community college districts in the state of California, Rodríguez oversees a district that covers one quarter of the land area of Orange County.  An educator for more than 28 years, he has over 21 years of experience as a community college CEO.  His previous administrative experience includes serving as superintendent/president of San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton and president of Los Medanos College in the Contra Costa Community College District. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Institute for educational management.


MONTE E. PEREZ
PRESIDENT, LOS ANGELES MISSION COLLEGE 

Dr. Monte E. Perez’s higher education career began as the assistant director of Admissions at Stanford University. Subsequently, he served as the director of the Educational Opportunity Program and Student Support Services at California State University, Los Angeles, while also teaching Political Science and Chicano Studies. He implemented numerous outreach and retention programs at Stanford and California State University, Los Angeles. Selected as a policy fellow for the U.S. Department of Education, he became the secretary’s senior policy analyst with expertise in financial aid, workforce education, TRIO and youth employment. Perez was instrumental in the design and building of National Hispanic University’s library and learning resource center.


MICHAEL A. OLIVAS
INTERIM PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON - DOWNTOWN

Interim President Michael A. Olivas is the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of Houston Law Center and director of the Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance at University of Houston. From 1990-95, he served as associate dean of the Law Center; he once again served in 2001-2004. In 1989-90, he was a visiting professor of law at the University of Wisconsin, and special counsel to then-chancellor Donna Shalala. He has served on the editorial board of more than 20 scholarly journals. In 2011, he served as president of the Association of American Law Schools.


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RICARDO ROMO
PRESIDENT, THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, SAN ANTONIO

Ricardo Romo became the fifth president of The University of Texas at San Antonio in May 1999. Under his leadership, UTSA was named by the Texas Legislature as an emerging Tier One research university and a leader in providing access to excellence in teaching, research and community outreach. During Romo’s tenure, UTSA’s enrollment has grown 68 percent, and the university has added numerous programs and facilities to enhance student life. A native of San Antonio’s West Side, Romo graduated from Fox Tech High School and attended the University of Texas at Austin on a track scholarship. Romo has announced he will retire in 2017. 


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DIANA NATALICIO
PRESIDENT, THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT EL PASO 

Diana Natalicio was named president of University of Texas at El Paso in 1988. During her long and distinguished career with the university, Natalicio has also served as vice president for academic affairs, dean of liberal arts, chair of the modern languages department and professor of linguistics. During Natalicio’s tenure as president, UTEP’s enrollment has grown from nearly 15,000 to more than 23,000 students who reflect the demographics of the Paso del Norte region from which 90 percent of them come. More than 80 percent are Mexican-American. Natalicio was recently named to the 2016 TIME 100 list of the most influential people in the world.


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ÁNGEL CABRERA
PRESIDENT, GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

Dr. Ángel Cabrera was selected in the top 200 of the Academic Ranking of World Universities and has been named one of the top 50 universities under 50 years old by the “Times Higher Education.” Born in Madrid, Cabrera is the first native of Spain to lead an American university. Prior to becoming president at George Mason in 2012, he served as president of the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona and as dean of IE Business School in Madrid. Cabrera earned his Ph.D. and Master of Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology, which he attended as a Fulbright Scholar.


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WADED CRUZADO
PRESIDENT, MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY 

Since January of 2010, Dr. Waded Cruzado has served as the 12th president of Montana State University, and during that time, she has significantly reshaped the face and future of the state’s first land-grant institution. Montana State University has set new student enrollment records under Cruzado’s leadership, becoming the fastest-growing and largest university in the state. During Cruzado’s tenure, Montana State University has competitively won more than $650 million for sponsored research projects. Cruzado has consistently reaffirmed the importance of a campus environment that places student success as the top priority. During the last two years, Montana State University has also registered the highest retention and graduation rates in the state.


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JULIO FRENK
PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI

Dr. Julio Frenk, born in Mexico City and a noted leader in global health and a renowned scholar, holds an academic appointment as professor of public health sciences at the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and a secondary appointment as professor of health sector management and policy in the School of Business Administration. He also served as the minister of health of Mexico from 2000 to 2006. There he pursued an ambitious agenda to reform the nation’s health system and introduced a program of comprehensive universal coverage, known as Seguro Popular, which expanded access to health care for more than 55 million previously uninsured Mexicans.


EDUARDO PADRÓN
PRESIDENT, MIAMI DADE COLLEGE 

An American by choice, Eduardo Padrón arrived in the United States as a refugee at the age of 15. Since 1995, he has served as president of Miami Dade College, the largest institution of higher education in America with more than 165,000 students. In 2011, The Washington Post named him one of the eight most influential college presidents in the U.S. Also in 2011, he was awarded the prestigious 2011 Carnegie Corporation Centennial Academic Leadership Award. In 2009, TIME magazine included him on the list of The 10 Best College Presidents.He has been featured in People magazine as one of the world’s most influential Hispanics.


JANE K. FERNANDES
PRESIDENT, GUILFORD COLLEGE  

Jane K. Fernandes is the first deaf woman to lead an American college or university. A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Fernandes is a graduate of Trinity College in Connecticut and the University of Iowa. Born deaf to a deaf mother and hearing father, she learned American Sign Language as a graduate student. In Boston she became acting director of American Sign Language Programs at Northeastern University and then to Washington, D.C., as chair of the Sign Communication Department at Gallaudet University. She became vice president of the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center in 1995 and served as provost of the university 2000-06. 


MILDRED GARCÍA
PRESIDENT, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY FULLERTON

Mildred García is president of California State University, Fullerton, the fourth largest university in the state, serving nearly 39,000 students and with an operating budget of almost half a billion dollars. Since her arrival in 2012, the university has seen a 24 percent improvement in six-year graduation rates and a significant drop in the achievement gap between underrepresented students and their campus peers. García previously served as president of CSU Dominguez Hills as the first Latina president in the largest system of public higher education in the country. Prior to CSU, García served as the CEO of Berkeley College where she was the first system-wide president for all six campuses.


TOMÁS D. MORALES
PRESIDENT, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY SAN BERNARDINO

Dr. Tomás D. Morales is the university’s fourth president since it opened in 1965.  Previously, Morales was president of the College of Staten Island, The City University of New York (CUNY), since 2007. Having served as an educator and administrative leader in higher education for 41 years, he is one of the few higher education administrators in the United States who has held senior administrative positions at the three largest public university systems in the nation: The California State University, The State University of New York and CUNY. He also previously served on the board of directors of the American Council on Education.


EDUARDO M. OCHOA
PRESIDENT, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY MONTEREY BAY 

Eduardo M. Ochoa California State University, Monterey Bay grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, before moving to Portland, Oregon, with his family while in high school. He has earned degrees in physics, nuclear science and economics from Reed College, Columbia University and the New School for Social Research. He has worked as an engineer, as a faculty member and academic administrator, and as assistant secretary for postsecondary education in the Obama Administration. In 2012, he brought that wide range of academic, professional and personal experience to the position of president of California State University, Monterey Bay.


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JOSE FIERRO
PRESIDENT, CERRITOS COLLEGE 

Dr. Jose Fierro was appointed the president/superintendent of the Cerritos Community College District in 2015. Fierro earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Applied Sciences in Bogotá, Colombia; his Master of Science in Leadership and Management of Educational Programs from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; and his Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Northcentral University in Prescott, Arizona. Fierro has extensive instructional experience in both face-to-face and online environments, having taught undergraduate and graduate courses in multiple institutions. He has developed curriculum for several online and hybrid courses in the natural sciences and authored a number of journal articles. 


MARVIN MARTINEZ
PRESIDENT, EAST LOS ANGELES COLLEGE

The Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees approved the seventh permanent president of East Los Angeles College, Marvin Martinez, on January 31. Martinez was previously the Los Angeles Community College District vice chancellor of Economic and Workforce Development. The LACCD raised more than $20 million in economic and workforce development grants with Martinez heading this area. Before working in the LACCD system, Martinez was vice president for Planning and Development for the Santa Monica Community College District as well as provost for Santa Monica College.  Prior to that, Martinez was dean of business and industry at Cerritos College.


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ELOY ORTIZ OAKLEY
INCOMING CHANCELLOR, THE CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGES 

Dr. Eloy Ortiz Oakley was appointed to his position as chancellor of the California Community Colleges after serving as the superintendent-president of the Long Beach Community College District since 2007. He has provided statewide and national leadership on the issue of improving the education outcomes of historically underrepresented students. Oakley himself is a community college success story. After serving four years in the U.S. Army, he enrolled at Golden West College. He then transferred to the University of California, Irvine where he received his degrees of Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Analysis and Design and Master of Business Administration.


JOANN LA PERLA-MORALES
PRESIDENT, MIDDLESEX COUNTY COLLEGE  

As president, Dr. La Perla-Morales has initiated new academic programs, restructured and increased student services, and developed an honors program for high achieving students. Prior to her appointment at Middlesex, La Perla-Morales was provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn. With overall responsibility for both the academic and student affairs areas of the college, she developed new baccalaureate programs, created the Office of Institutional Assessment, initiated an Office of Instructional Technology, secured $3.2 million in Federal Title V grants and recruited 160 additional full-time faculty members. 


ANTONIO PÉREZ
PRESIDENT, BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE   

Dr. Antonio Pérez, president of Borough of Manhattan Community College since 1995, has 23 years of experience as a chief executive officer. Under the direction of Pérez, BMCC has built an extensive network of partnerships with the business community, meeting corporate needs by providing on-site training and development courses for employees at some of New York City’s largest companies. Pérez maintains a deep personal commitment to community service. He served on the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s World Trade Center Memorial Committee. Crain’s New York Business calls President Pérez one of New York’s top 100 minority business leaders.


DAVID GÓMEZ
PRESIDENT, HOSTOS COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Dr. David Gómez was a longtime senior administrator at Kingsborough Community College before being named interim president of Hostos Community College. He served as interim vice president for academic affairs and provost at Kingsborough after having been vice president for academic administration, program planning and development; dean of instructional services and student support; and dean of instructional services. Gómez earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from SUNY Albany and an master’s degree in Higher Education Administration and an Ed.D. in Higher and Adult Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.


RUBEN MICHAEL FLORES
PRESIDENT, PALO ALTO COLLEGE 

Dr. Ruben Michael Flores came to Palo Alto College – one of the Alamo Colleges – in 1999 and has held all three vice president positions during his tenure. Flores is a leader empowering students for success through a variety of resources on campus, including high impact teaching and learning practices including usage of academic advising, learning communities, new student orientation and problem-based learning. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Center for Mexican American Studies in Spring 2014, the first in the Alamo Colleges and one of only two at the community college level in Texas. 


Renee D. Martinez
PRESIDENT, LOS ANGELES CITY COLLEGE

Dr. Renee D. Martinez had previously spent twelve years as vice president of Workforce Education and Economic Development at East Los Angeles College. Among her duties in that capacity, she oversaw career tech and academic disciplines and was involved in overall strategic planning. Under her guidance, the career tech program at East Los Angeles was first in the district in completion rate. Martinez has been an executive board member for the last six years at Beverly Hospital in Montebello. Her success with Allied Health-related programs at ELAC continues at LACC in nursing, radiological technology and dental programs. 


J. ARTURO REYES
SUPERINTENDENT/PRESIDENT, MENDOCINO COLLEGE

Dr. J. Arturo Reyes was the executive vice-president of academic and student affairs at Solano Community College. Previously, he worked as the interim president/vice president of academic affairs at San Jose City College and the dean of humanities and social sciences at Cosumnes River College. He taught Spanish full-time at Cosumnes River College and Will C. Wood High School in Vacaville, California. His education includes a bachelor’s degree and teaching credential in Spanish and a master’s degree in educational administration from California State University, Sacramento. Currently, he is completing an Ed.D. in educational leadership at the University of California, Davis.