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President’s Fall 2022 Lecture Series Kicks Off Sept. 19

The President’s Lecture Series returns! The Fall 2022 inaugural event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, Sept. 19. Presentations and discussion will center around the topic Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) Past, Present, & Future. 

UHD President Loren J. Blanchard’s special guests will include two luminaries in the area of Hispanic student success (bios below). More information is available online.

The entire campus community is invited to attend this important event. Register online.

Dr-Anne-Marie-Nunez-photoDr. Anne-Marie Núñez, Executive Director, Diana Natalicio Institute for Hispanic Student Success, The University of Texas at El Paso

Dr. Núñez is the inaugural Executive Director of the Diana Natalicio Institute for Hispanic Student Success at the University of Texas at El Paso. She has studied HSIs and Hispanic student success for two decades. As a national expert on HSIs, her book Hispanic-Serving Institutions: Advancing Research and Transformative Practice was the first book ever to focus on HSIs as organizations, and it won an International Latino Book Award. In 2021, she was identified in the Stanford Elsevier Scholar Index as being among the top 2% of scientists in the world. The American Educational Research Association (AERA) also recognized her as a 2022 AERA Fellow, an honor awarded to top scholars in educational research with sustained exceptional research contributions. Dr. Núñez’s research has extensively addressed equity in science, as she has collaborated on several NSF grants with budgets totaling over $10 million to build inclusive environments in geoscience and computer science disciplines in HSIs. This work includes research with the Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI), an alliance of over 60 HSIs that aims to raise Latinx attainment in computing fields. In advancing understanding of the institutional diversity and organizational culture of HSIs, Dr. Núñez’s work has generated knowledge about how HSIs can apply the concept of Hispanic “servingness” to promote culturally affirming experiences that foster positive outcomes for Hispanic students in computer science and other fields. As a policy-engaged scholar, she also has served as a National Academy of Sciences Committee member to co-author and disseminate the report, Minority Serving Institutions: America's Underutilized Resource for Strengthening the STEM Workforce.


Dr. Patrick L. Valdez, Former Chancellor and Professor of Education, The University of New Mexico–Taos

Dr. Valdez is an accomplished higher education executive with 25 years of experience in developing and executing academic and student success programs. Dr. Valdez is currently serving as a Visiting Professor at the University of Kentucky’s College of Education and Program Chair of the Senior Diversity Officer Certificate Program. He is a former Chancellor and Professor of Education at The University of New Mexico–Taos, and he has held senior-level positions at the College of Mount St. Vincent in New York City, The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and Lehman College, CUNY—developing and executing academic and student success programs—and is a recipient of the Rackham Merit Fellowship from the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education (CSHPE) at the University of Michigan. Dr. Valdez has conducted research and practice on the challenges and obstacles of first-generation college students, given presentations on executive leadership, African American faculty experience at a tier one university, increasing the number of underrepresented students in STEM, and bridging the gap between higher education and the community. His current research focuses on the policy formation of Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) legislation and the role that HSIs will play in educating the nation’s fastest growing student population. He is a graduate of St. Edward’s University with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies, a master’s degree in student personnel administration from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a doctorate in higher education administration from The University of Texas at Austin. 

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.