While there have been encouraging developments over the past decade or so, Latinos remain underrepresented and underserved across virtually all post-secondary education sectors due to the many barriers they face to higher education attainment.
With that in mind, the Latino Professionals Association of Greater Madison will be hosting a Leadership Forum on Higher Education tonight from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at DreamBank, 1 N. Pinckney St. in downtown Madison with three very special guests in the higher education field.
“The Leadership Forums for the Latino Professionals Association are a place for our members to be engaged with the community issues and to learn about important topics that have to do with their career growth and professional development,” Latino Professionals Association Marketing VP Yuly Osorio tells Madison365. “At tonight’s event, we will be talking specifically about access to higher education. Right now, because of the environment we find ourselves in the country, along with the economic feel, we thought it was important for us to talk about the state of higher education in this country and what the possibilities are for us in higher education to advance in our careers.”
The Latino Professionals Association’s mission is to recognize and enhance the lives of Latino professionals through leadership development, professional growth, civic and public engagement and personal enrichment. Their Leadership Forum on Higher Education will be a chance to learn from three distinguished LPA members about their perspectives for career advancement and access to higher education.
The special guests are:
◆ Dr. Gerardo Mancilla is the director of Education Administration and Leadership in the School of Education. Prior to working at Edgewood College, Mancilla was working for the Madison Metropolitan School District where he was a Dual Language Immersion teacher at Cherokee Heights Middle School. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses at Edgewood College.
◆ Dr. Salvador L. Carranza is a senior policy advisor in the UW System Office of Academic Programs and Educational Innovation. He is the University of Wisconsin System liaison to the Hispanic/Latino community and also serves on the Executive Committee of the Latino Faculty and Staff Association (LAFSA) and on the board of the University of Wisconsin Academic Staff Professional Representation Organization (ASPRO).In addition, he is the current chair of the Madison/Tepatitlán de Morelos, Jalisco Sister Cities committee. Dr. Carranza is president of the Latino Education Council and serves on the board of the Wisconsin Advanced Placement Council, the Latino Academy for Workforce Development steering committee, and the Boys and Girls Club Education Committee.
◆ Lucía Nuñez is currently the vice president of Equity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement for Madison College. She has 30-plus years of experience in the public, non-profit, social service, and education sectors. Nuñez served as the director of the City of Madison Department of Civil Rights. She was the Equal Rights Division Administrator for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and she also served as the Deputy Secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. From 1999-2003, she was the executive director of Centro Hispano of Dane County.
“We have three incredible guests and I will have a set of questions for them,” Osorio says. ” We will have two sessions and after the first session we will let the participants ask some questions of the guests,” Osorio says. “Guests will be able to ask questions after the second session, too.”
Osorio, who emigrated from Colombia to Wisconsin 16 years ago, has been involved in LPA for almost three years now and she says it has been very helpful for her. Osorio, who is a marketing account manager at the Division of Continuing Studies at UW-Madison, enjoys being a part of LPA’s executive team.
“LPA has been very helpful for me. When you start working in non-profit organizations you have two goals – one is to be involved in the community and to help the community and you also have personal motives to grow in your professional career,” she says. The LPA has helped me with both. Because we partner with so many other organizations, I have had the privilege to be able to work with them and be involved in community issues with my fellow Latino groups and other Madison-area groups.
“I’ve also been able to learn a lot to improve my career skills and take them to the next level and take advantage of the potential I have to be a good leader,” she adds.
Events like tonight’s Leadership Forum on Higher Education are great opportunities to learn, she says, but to also network. This particular event is open to everybody in the community and will start at 5:30 p.m. at DreamBank. Register online here.
“The goals for the event are to promote and to motivate our members and community members to seek higher education opportunities because we really need to harness the potential of our minority groups to seek education to improve their careers and then they will be able to help others and to help the community,” Osorio says. “We all know that education is the best way to acquire skills that are going to help us to do that.”