TAMIU Students Selected for Latino Leadership Initiative at Harvard
Posted: 6/23/11

TAMIU Students Chosen for Second
Harvard Latino Leadership Initiative Program

With the Latino community expecting to double in size over the next 40 years, the Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI) was developed by the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at the Harvard Kennedy School to support the rising generation of Latino leaders.

Six students from Texas A&M International University have been chosen in a highly selective application process to take part in the second collaborative LLI class convening in Cambridge, MA next week for a weeklong program.

Miriam Abrego, Marcos Dimas, Joel Alexis Jurado, Connie Berenice Lerma, Laura Mendez, and Carlos Pacheco will join other rising seniors from Loyola Marymount University-Los Angeles, University of California-Merced, the University of Houston, the University of Massachusetts-Boston, the University of Texas-Pan American and Miami Dade College in the LLI class.

The TAMIU students will participate in classroom sessions on negotiation, organizing, public narrative, emotional intelligence, and public speaking. The CPL hosted the first LLI class, which included six TAMIU students, in June 2010.

TAMIU students will meet with recognized Latino members of government, nonprofit and business sectors. Andy Zelleke and Marshall Ganz of the Harvard Kennedy School, David Carrasco of the Harvard Divinity School and Bob Bies of Georgetown University will be among the leading faculty teaching LLI classes.

Throughout the academic year, LLI participants will continue their leadership development through regular teleconferences hosted by the CPL. In addition, students from the seven participating universities will work in partnership to design a community service project to be implemented in collaboration with faculty and administration at their home campuses and local communities.

Miriam Abrego Miriam Abrego is a TAMIU junior studying to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology. Abrego is part of the University’s Honors program and is currently conducting research with TAMIU’s Dr. Kyung-Shin Park. In 2009, she was one of a handful of students selected to participate in the Reading the Globe Ambassadors and traveled to Ghana to assist in a service project. In 2011, she joined fellow students and presented at the Lamar Bruni Vergara and Guillermo Benavides Z Academic Conference projects entitled Lifestyle Intervention During Summer Months Improved Body Composition and The Effects of Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs. Her spirit of giving back continues as a teacher and choreographer for the dance studio she enrolled at as a child. Abrego plans to continue her studies after completing her undergraduate career in order to earn a master’s degree and become a physician’s assistant.
Marcos Dimas Marcos Dimas is a TAMIU senior studying to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. An active student, he completed the Leadership TAMIU program in 2011, is a current member of the TAMIU Tennis Club, and serves as one of only five students on the University’s Honor Council. In 2008, Dimas presented at the Department of Mathematical and Physical Sciences’ Fall Conference in a session entitled Interest Rate. He has also traveled to China with TAMIU’s Dr. Haibo Wang to study Global Supply Chain Management. In addition to being an active student, he has been employed for the past three years at Montana Mike’s. After completing his undergraduate degree, Dimas plans to attend graduate school and earn a Ph.D. in finance and economics.
Joel Alexis Jurado Joel Alexis Jurado is a TAMIU junior studying to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. As a young student, Jurado developed a strong interest in medicine through volunteering at local hospitals in México. He has continued to pursue similar opportunities through involvement with the University of Texas Health Science Center’s Med Ed Program, Make it Real Academy, Holiday Fitness Festival, and Laredo Medical Center. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and an undergraduate research assistant working with Dr. Mónica Mendez. As part of his research, he plans to travel to Brunswick, Germany. In 2011 he presented at the Lamar Bruni Vergara and Guillermo Benavides Z Academic Conference. After completing his degree, Jurado plans to attend medical school to become a pediatric medical researcher.
Connie Lerma Connie Berenice Lerma is a TAMIU senior studying to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Lerma first became interested in biology after three years of volunteer service in various hospitals in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, México. At the University, she is a part of the TOMS Campus Club and has participated in numerous events promoting women’s health, healthy living, and children’s education. In 2010, she was a recipient of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Recruitment, Retention, and Graduation Grant, providing her with an opportunity to work alongside TAMIU’s Dr. Mónica Mendez as an undergraduate research assistant with the National Science Foundation’s Rapid Project. In 2011, she presented at the Lamar Bruni Vergara and Guillermo Benavides Z Academic Conference. After graduating from the University, she plans to attend medical school and specialize in obstetrics and gynecology.
Laura Mendez Laura Mendez is a TAMIU junior studying to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. An excellent student, Mendez volunteers at the Lamar Bruni Vergara Environmental Center and the Cigarroa Recreational Center. She is also employed with the University’s Tex PREP program, assisting students and parents and proctoring exams as needed. After completing her degree, she plans to attend graduate school and earn a Ph.D. in counseling psychology with a focus on marriage and family therapy. She plans to open her own practice, combining her knowledge and leadership skills.
Carlos Pacheco Carlos Pacheco, a TAMIU junior, is studying to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology. In 2010, he joined Leadership TAMIU, a University group focused on helping students better their leadership skills. This year, he was invited to participate as a member of the University’s Student Conduct Board and serves as one of two students in this capacity. In addition to his studies and campus involvement, he is employed as a Team Leader with Convergys Corporation. After completing his undergraduate degree, Pacheco hopes to attend and graduate from law school.


Latino Leadership students with Ray Keck

For more information about LLI, visit http://www.centerforpublicleadership.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=352&Itemid=107

For additional information, please contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 326.2180, e-mail prmis@tamiu.edu, or visit offices in Killam Library, 268.

University summer hours are from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and from 8 a.m.- noon on Fridays.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu

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