November 20, 2023

HACU Webinar: Partnerships to Champion Student Success

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities is hosting a webinar titled, “Partnerships to Champion Student Success,” on Dec. 6 at 11:30 a.m. CT.

This webinar will discuss how colleges must increase the number of students who graduate with post-secondary credentials to ensure economic opportunity. A focus will be on the Catch the Next's Campaign for College Completion and Economic Development through its ASCENDER program that has created partnerships with Hispanic-Serving Institutions to provide a holistic approach to student, faculty, and institutional engagement. It is a program created to engage faculty and staff in culturally responsive professional development while working with a cohort of underserved students at their home campuses to ensure academic success.

To register for this webinar, click here.

Presenters include:

Maria Martha Chavez Brumell, Ph.D. is president and CEO of Catch the Next, Inc. A data-driven organization focused on closing the equity gap in higher education. By creating and sustaining a network of equity-minded educators, she has informed the teaching practice of hundreds to improve the outcomes for thousands of students in community college and beyond. The professional development she provides to instructors, advisers, and administrators supports the work of partner institutions to ensure the success of their most vulnerable students. Her flagship program, Ascender, which Chavez created in 2012 with a group of stakeholders, directly addresses the academic, social, and emotional needs of marginalized students in higher education. She earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Kansas State University and a doctorate from Yale University. 

Erin Doran, Ed.D. is an associate professor of higher education at Iowa State University, where she teaches master’s and doctoral courses on community college leadership, equity in higher education, the history of higher education, and qualitative research methods. Her research agenda encompasses Latina/e/o/x student success, faculty professional development, and Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Her work has been published in various academic journals, including The Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, and Race Ethnicity and Education. In 2022, she was named the Barbara K. Townsend Emerging Scholar by the Council for the Study of Community Colleges. She earned a bachelor’s master’s and doctoral degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio. 

Mario Morin, Ph.D. is a full-time faculty member and program chair in the mathematics department at South Texas College. He has served in various roles at the college, including managing director of a U.S. Department of Education College Cost Reduction and Access Act grant, Academic Grants and projects officer, coordinator of the University Relations, Transfer and Articulation Center. Morin serves on the 17 Executive Board of the Rio Grande Valley Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Executive Board as the immediate past president of the Texas Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges and as CTN’s Director of Professional Development for Mathematics. He earned a bachelor’s master’s and doctoral degree from the University of Texas–Pan American.

Rafael Castillo, Ph.D. is a professor of English at Palo Alto College and Catch the Next co-editor of the Journal of Ideas and Creativity. Castillo was selected as the first English faculty at Palo Alto College in 1985 and became its first chairperson the subsequent year. He inaugurated and founded the student-centered Palo Alto Review, which later morphed into the broad-based academic journal, The Palo Alto Review. Castillo has served on the Editorial Board of Publications of NCTE, the National Council of Teachers of English. and is listed in Who's Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, and Poets; Men of Achievement; and Who's Among Scholars. In 2019, Oxford University Press published his "Chicano Literature" essay in Oxford Bibliographies. and in 2023, Peter Lang International published his collection of literary essays, "Dostoevsky on Guadalupe Street: Writings from the Edge."

Debra McBeath is the Catch the Next Inc. director of communications and engagement and managing editor of the CTN newsletter. She is a former adjunct professor at Palo Alto College in San Antonio. She taught the Ascender Integrated Reading, writing, and English Composition I sequence. She was part of the activity planning committee at Palo Alto College and received the Star of Appreciation from the Palo Alto Ascender Club. She was a member of the committee that brought the program to its campus. Prior to her current role she was an adjunct professor at Southwest Texas Junior College (Eagle Pass Campus). She earned her bachelor’s degree from Angelo State University and a master’s degree from Sul Ross State University.