Miguel Lopez - CHCI Alumnus July 2011
Hometown: Oxnard, CA
Current City: Washington, D.C.
Current Job: CHCI Policy and Research Manager
CHCI Program: 2010-11 CHCI Higher Education Graduate Fellow
What have you been doing since you finished the CHCI program(s)?
Since finishing the Graduate Fellowship Program, I made a seamless transition to my new role at CHCI as the new Policy and Research Manager. As such, I will be working closely with the V.P. of Programs to develop, manage, and report on all aspects of CHCI's policy and research initiatives.
What impact did your CHCI experience have on your career and development as a leader?
Tremendous. Even though our fellowship was only nine-months, it seems like it gave me years on my career and development as a leader. I had the opportunity to work with the dedicated team at the White House Initiative and leaders at Department of Education. For my second placement, I was presented an offer to lead efforts on the CHCI Board resolution to increase educational attainment level of Latinos in the United States. This led to our inaugural Keeping the Promise: Partnerships for Latino Educational Success education forum launched by CHCI in April 2011, in conjunction with, Excelencia in Education, NALEO, and Univision to address challenges and promising practices for improving Latino educational outcomes. My CHCI experience helped me to envision and bring together leading education experts, advocates, local elected officials, and practitioners—all with a critical role to play to increase Latino education success. The forum met its objective and examined the unique education challenges facing young Latinos, defined the barriers to higher education attainment, and discussed promising practices for addressing these. My CHCI experience helped facilitate key partnerships which have helped yield success to our efforts. I will be working with CHCI in the coming year and leading efforts to expand the conversation beyond the education community and further discuss the roles of other important stakeholders, including philanthropic foundations, corporate America, small businesses, media and entertainment, among others—all who will be critical in increasing Latino college completion rates and working to achieve the 60 percent national college completion goal.
How have you stayed engaged in community service?
I have made an effort to reconnect and help those back home. The next generation is not far behind us, and I have focused efforts to help our youth and young adults navigate both the college and graduate school process. We need to continue to strengthen the pipeline and need to continue to open doors of opportunities and bring others up with us every step of the way.
What advice would you give current and future CHCI participants?
All you can do is your best at everything that you do. With every task or project you are given or assigned—big or small—you never know who is watching or will see your final product—and what personal and professional opportunities might come as a result. Take pride in your work, and the final product will speak for itself.
What do you think is the most ample concern or obstacle for Latino/as today in higher education?
In today's economy, I would say the increasing cost associated with attending, persisting, and ultimately completing their higher education. You see many states slashing support to colleges and universities, and as a result, institutions of higher education are forced to off-set such cost with corresponding raises to student fees and tuition increases. With the myriad of other factors serving as obstacles, the rising cost associated with attending is only compounding the problem of completion for all students, but especially out Latina/os in higher education today.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?
I am not certain what path my life will take and what opportunities may come my way, because you never know who is watching you. However, I am reminded of the oft quote, "of whom much is given, much is expected," and in that same spirit, I know that I see myself working to empower people and communities, and working to improve the lives and opportunities of people in this country and around the world.
Past Alumni of the Month
Martha L. Bahamón - February 2015 Alumni of the Month
2013-14 CHCI Alumni Executive Board - January 2015 Alumni of the Month
Mariana Kihuen - December 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Henry Fernandez - November 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Ricardo Zavala - September 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Miryam Catherine Granthon-Gerdine - August 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Angelica Reza Wind - July 2014 Alumna of the Month
Ray Mateo - June 2014 Alumni of the Month
Hayde Calderon - May 2014 Alumni of the Month
Arnoldo Avalos - April 2014 Alumni of the Month
Elizabeth Cedillo - March 2014 Alumni of the Month
Marvin Figueroa - February 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Cris Garza - January 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Jaden Felix - December 2013 Alumni of the Month
2013 Distinguished Alumni - October/November 2013 Alumni of the Month
Fabiola Carrion - September 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Juan C. Otero- August 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Norma Dominguez - July 2013 Alumni of the Month
Francisco Heredia - June 2013 - Alumnus of the Month
Raymond Rico - May 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Alejandra Castillo - April 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Yara Lorenzo - March 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Antonio E. Sandoval & Milagros “Mimi” Aledo-Sandoval - Alumni Couple of the Month
Abel Herrero - January 2013
Jessie Mosqueda - December 2012
Kenia Seoane Lopez - CHCI Alumnus November 2012
Hon. Liza Rodriguez - 2012 Distinguished Alumnus & October 2012 Alumnus
Melissa Chabran - CHCI Alumnus June 2012
Jessie Ulibarri - CHCI Alumnus May 2012
Congressional Staff-CHCI Alumni April 2012
Anthony Alcoser-CHCI Alumnus March 2012
Diana Mendoza-CHCI Alumnus February 2012
Betsaida Alcantara-CHCI Alumnus December 2011
Orson Aguilar - CHCI 2011 Distinguished Alumnus & September 2011 Alumnus
Cynthia T. Cruz-CHCI Alumnus August 2011
Miguel Lopez - CHCI Alumnus July 2011
Alejandro Becerra - CHCI Alumnus June 2011
Staff Members for the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy - CHCI Alumnus May 2011
Happy 30th Anniversary CHCI Fellowship Program!
Raul Magdaleno - CHCI Alumnus March 2011
Carlos Elizondo -- CHCI Alumnus December 2010
Ana M. Polanco -- CHCI Alumnus April 2010
Sami Hamed -- CHCI Alumnus March 2010
Couple Edition -- CHCI Alumnus February 2010
CHCI Alumni Association Chapters' Special Edition - October 2009
Edith Rocío Robles -- CHCI Alumnus August 2009
Silvia Inéz Salazar--CHCI Alumnus July 2009
Francisco J. Uribe CHCI Alumnus June 2009
Heidy Servin-Baez CHCI Alumnus April 2009
March 2009: White House Edition
William (Bill) Arce CHCI Alumnus February 2009
Stephanie Valencia CHCI Alumnus January 2009
Miguel Ayala CHCI Alumnus December 2008
Eric Rodriguez-CHCI Alumnus November 2008
Sonia Ramirez CHCI Alumnus October 2008
Mildred Otero CHCI Alumnus September 2008
Juan Ciscomani CHCI Alumus August 2008
Leo Prieto CHCI Alumnus July 2008
Octavio Saenz CHCI Alumnus June 2008