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June 27, 2014

Lupe Flores

USDA-HACU Leadership Group meets in Washington, D.C.

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) President and CEO Antonio R. Flores presented a Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) update and HACU’s Chief Advocacy Officer Luis Maldonado also provided a HACU policy update to the USDA-HACU Leadership Group which met in Washington, D.C., June 24 - 25, 2014. The leadership group included the participation of five HSI presidents and four USDA members. The following HACU member representatives serve on the HACU-USDA Leadership Group:

President J. Michael Ortiz, Ph.D., California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
President Joseph I. Castro, Ph.D., California State University, Fresno
President Sharon K. Hahs, Ph.D., Northeastern Illinois University
President Steven H. Tallant, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, Kingsville
President José A. Vicente, Ed.D, Miami Dade Community College – Wolfson Campus
President Daniel H. Lopez, Ph.D., New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Joseph I. Castro, Ph.D., president of California State University, Fresno, was appointed as the co-chair for the USDA-HACU Leadership Group. He assumes the post previously held by J. Michael Ortiz, Ph.D., president of California State University, Pomona. Castro will be sharing chair duties with USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics Catherine Woteki, Ph.D.

Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack was the keynote speaker at a Recognition Ceremony for the 2014 USDA E. Kika de la Garza Fellows and USDA Agricultural Ambassadors and celebrating the USDA, HACU & IICA Partnership held earlier on Tuesday, June 24. Congressman Jim Costa (CA), a member of the House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, was also in attendance.

Leadership Group members had the opportunity to meet with the USDA HSI summer program participants that included Kika De La Garza Fellows, Public Service Leadership Scholars, and Junior Agricultural Ambassadors.

Additionally, the USDA recognized that it had accepted 106 HACU National Internship Program (HNIP) interns for the 2014 summer term. This represents the largest single cohort of HNIP interns ever at the department.

The USDA/HACU Leadership Group is a national body of USDA and Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) leaders appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture and the President of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) that recommend policies and programs to strengthen USDA partnerships with HSIs and provides leadership and strategic direction to the USDA Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program Office.

The USDA-HACU Leadership Group will have its next meeting preceding HACU’s Annual Conference in Denver, Colo., Oct. 4-6.


6/12/2014 - USDA Selects 2014 Class of E. Kika De La Garza Fellows