Posted: 6/21/12

Six TAMIU Students Head to Harvard’s Latino Leadership Institute



This week, six Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) students will join a select group of 41 students from across the nation selected by The Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard Kennedy School’s (HKS) third installment of its Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI), taking place at Harvard University.

The TAMIU students join a diverse group of students, more than 70% of whom are the first in their families to attend college.  The students, all TAMIU seniors, were chosen after a highly selective application process, are: Rafael Contreras, Sarah Gomez, Agar Hernandez, Stephanie Hernandez, Guadalupe “Lupita” Osoria and Victoria “Tori” Rose Young.

LLI students attend a weeklong program with students 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; Miami Dade College, and the City University of New York’s Macaulay Honors College.

While in Cambridge, they participate in LLI classes on public narrative, community organizing, negotiation, moral leadership, innovation, arts and activism, and public speaking. LLI participants also have opportunities to build relationships with respected Latino mentors from the government, nonprofit, and business sectors.

This year’s faculty includes Andy Zelleke of Harvard Business School; Marshall Ganz of Harvard Kennedy School; Harvard Divinity School professor Davíd Carrasco; and Georgetown University professor Robert Bies.

Among guest speakers will be Dr. Robert Sackstein, a Harvard Medical School professor who specializes in bone marrow transplants and stem cell research who visited TAMIU earlier this year; Gustavo Arnavat, executive director of the Inter-American Development Bank; Laura Nieto, senior manager of community affairs and grassroots at Southwest Airlines; and Johnny Marines, manager of the Romeo Santos/Aventura music group.

After their week in Cambridge, students will work in teams with faculty and administration from their home university to design and implement a community service project.

For the past three years, TAMIU’s community project has been a mentoring program that has served more than 300 undergraduates and led to the creation of a leadership minor. TAMIU students will be accompanied by TAMIU president, Dr. Ray Keck.

Dr. Keck said the LLI has been a profound experience for TAMIU students and their University.

“This has been a remarkable experience for our three University student groups selected for the LLI and prompted our development of our leadership minor, which is growing in popularity among our students,”  Keck explained.

Andy Zelleke, LLI faculty director and senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, explained the program’s creation and growth.

“Entravision cofounder and chairman Walter Ulloa’s hope and commitment brought LLI into being three years ago,” Zelleke said.

“Since then, the program has grown in so many vital ways: the number and diversity of students it serves, the depth of the academic experience, the number of participating colleges and universities; the amount of support from outside organizations, and especially—as we’re seeing from the service projects—in the impact the students are having in their home communities. We here at Harvard are deeply gratified by the strength and breadth of the network we and our partners have been able to build,” Zelleke concluded.

Coca-Cola is the lead sponsor of this year’s initiative. Other supporters include seed donor Entravision Communications; third-year sponsors TAMIU, Univision, Farouk Systems, Southwest Airlines, and the Surdna Foundation; as well as the Walt Disney Company, the Knight Foundation, the Hispanic National Bar Foundation, Time Warner Corporation, Miami-based entrepreneur and philanthropist Gus Machado, and former Harvard professor and Purpose Prize Fellow Diana Barrett, founder of the Fledgling Fund.       

Established through a generous gift from the Wexner Foundation, the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School seeks to advance the frontiers of knowledge about leadership through research and teaching. It is equally committed to broadening and deepening the pool of leaders for the common good through cocurricular activities that include skill-building workshops, public service fellowships, and programming in leadership for social change. For more information, go to: www.hks.harvard.edu/leadership

To learn more about TAMIU’s Latino Leadership Institute participation, call the TAMIU Office of Student Affairs at 956.326.2282, email studentaffairs@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Student Center.

To find out more about the LLI, go here: http://www.centerforpublicleadership.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=352&Itemid=107

To find out more about the TAMIU students selected to attend the program, click here.

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