September 2, 2021

2021-22 Fellows of HACU’s Leadership Academy/La Academia de Liderazgo announced

SAN ANTONIO – The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities is pleased to announce the 25 fellows who will be part of the third cohort of its Leadership Academy/La Academia de Liderazgo. The program is designed to increase diverse representation in executive and senior-level positions in higher education.

The Leadership Academy/La Academia de Liderazgo seeks to increase the number of talented individuals who aspire to leadership positions at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Emerging HSIs. Fellows participate in an array of leadership development activities to prepare them for leadership roles in the full spectrum of institutions of higher learning with an emphasis on HSIs and Emerging HSIs.

The one-year fellowship program will include three seminars with the first taking place in October 2021, in conjunction with HACU’s Annual Conference, "35 Years of Championing Hispanic Higher Education Success." The second seminar will lead into HACU’s Annual Capitol Forum on Hispanic Higher Education in April 2022. The third seminar will be held in late spring or early summer of 2022, with a focus on international collaboration.

More than a dozen nationally recognized current and emeriti presidents and senior-level administrators serve on the faculty. Mentorship with a university president is a key component, as well as the development of a special project designed to have an impact at the Fellow’s current institution.

Additionally, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has awarded Crystal López, a scholarship to participate in the Leadership Academy.


The Fellows and their home institutions are:

Alamo Colleges District, Ruth Dalrymple
Caldwell University, Crystal López
California State University, Bakersfield, James L. Rodríguez, Ph.D.
Cañada College, Manuel Alejandro Pérez, Ed.D.
Central New Mexico Community College, Philip Lister, Ph.D.
Central New Mexico Community College, Melanie D. Viramontes
Cypress College, Yanet G. Padilla
Cypress College, AnnMarie Ruelas
Cypress College, Gisela Verduzco
Dallas College Mountain View Campus, Esteban Sosa
Dallas College Cedar Valley Campus, Maya Thomas Fernández, Ed.D.
Kean University, Carlos L. Nazario
Kean University, Carlos E. Rodriguez
Loras College, Sergio Pérez
Mesa Community College, Nora Amavisca Reyes, Ed.D.
New Jersey City University, Andrés Acebo, J.D.
Palo Alto College, Erron González
Texas A&M University, Luz E. Herrera, J.D.
Texas A&M University System, John E. Hurtado, Ph.D.
The City College of New York, Vanessa K. Valdés, Ph.D.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Nikolasa Tejero, DMA
The University of Texas at San Antonio, Juan Manuel Sánchez, Ph.D.
University of California, Davis, Luis Carvajal-Carmona, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh, Ariel Carlos Armony, Ph.D.
Utah Valley University, Yudi Lewis

More information about the HACU Leadership Academy/ La Academia de Liderazgo is available here.

About HACU
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, founded in 1986, represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Latin America, Spain and school districts throughout the U.S. The mission of HACU is to Champion Hispanic Success in Higher Education. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The Association’s headquarters are in San Antonio, Texas, with regional offices in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, California. More information is available at


Norma Jean Revilla-Garcia
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
Phone: (210) 576-3206 E-Mail:

Christopher de Hoyos Assistant Director of Communications and Social Media
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
Phone: (210) 576-3242 E-Mail: