Two UHD Volunteers To Receive Hispanic Hero Award
By Cynthia Gonzales
The 2018 Comcast Hispanic Hero Award winners were recently announced and two recipients have ties to the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD).
Dr. Mesias Pedroza, lecturer in the Department of Natural Sciences and UHD alumnus Mario Salinas and eight other honorees will be recognized on Friday, Sept. 21 during the annual Hispanic Hero Awards Gala.
At the event, Comcast will pay tribute to individuals from the Hispanic Community who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to making a difference in the areas of volunteerism, mentorship, advocacy and civic engagement. In addition to the 10 honorees, Comcast also will recognize an outstanding Community Business Partner who has played a significant role
in the Houston community.
Pedroza has been involved with his students in community engagement projects for several years with support from the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning.
“This award recognizes all the great work performed by UHD students, high school students, and church volunteers to serve the community," said Pedroza.
Salinas, a civic engagement coordinator at Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, is also dedicated to empowering millennials through civic engagement. He also is thrilled to be a recipient.
“I'm happy and humbled to receive this award. I'm focused on creating true community-based hubs of power, independent of the partisan status quo. At our core, we all want the same things— to feel safe outside our homes, to send our children to quality schools, and to feel like we belong to a true community that is responsive to our needs,” said Salinas.
This year's Hispanic Hero Awards honorees were selected based on their personal impact in the community, helping further the mission of a nonprofit organization and overcoming personal obstacles.
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.