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Alumni in Elected & Appointed Office

Luis Ayala
City of Alhambra
Alhambra, CA
1997-1998 CHCI Fellow

Anthony Alcoser
Member- Board of Trustees
Harlandale ISD
San Antonio, Texas
2003 Intern

Ben Cardenas
Member- Board of Education
Montebello Unified School District
Montebello, CA
2002-2003 Fellow

Alejandra Castillo
Member- Board of Trustees
University of the District of Columbia
1992-1993 Fellow

Abel Herrero
State Representative
Texas House of Representatives
1992 Intern

 Andres Quintero
Appointed Governing Board Member
Alum Rock Union Elementary School District
San Jose, CA
2003 Intern

José G. Pérez
City of Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI
1996 Intern

Jessie Ulibarri
State Senator
Colorado Senate
2006-2007 Fellow

Michael Vargas
Secretary, Board of Trustees
San Benito Consolidated Independent School District
2007 Intern

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Octavio Saenz CHCI Alumnus June 2008

Octavio Saenz

1991 CHCI Intern

I was born in Brownsville, TX, on a brisk February night in 1973. For the next seven years, I lived under the tutelage and care of my mother and my maternal grandparents in Matamoros, Tamps. Mexico. Mom remarried and we all moved back to Brownsville.

Fast-forward a few years. In 1991, I graduated from Homer Hanna High School in Brownsville in the top 5% of my class. During that summer I flew to Washington D.C. to fulfill my duties after accepting the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Internship. During this internship I attended Southeastern University and took courses in public policy and public speaking. The CHCI internship was a true learning experience for me, a sort of coming of age and a right of passage. During those two months I collected many experiences that have enriched both my personal and my professional life.

I earned my Bachelors Degree in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin. Currently, I am well on my way to earning a Masters in Business Administration with a focus in finance from the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg.

In October 1992, I started my broadcasting career at KTJN Tejano 106 FM in Brownsville under the direction of Edgar and Hilda Treviño. When I moved to Austin, I continued my work as a DJ for the Tejano station KKLB Club 92.5 FM. While I was in Austin, I worked for several syndicated shows as a voice over talent. I was also the youngest announcer at the Texas State Lottery.

In 1996, shortly after graduation, I moved back to the Valley to work as a production manager for KIWW Puro Tejano. In 1999, the opportunity to work for Univision 48 knocked at my door. During my years at Univision I served as Sports Director, News Director and News Anchor.

The work I have done at Univision has also served as a springboard for world travel. I have been fortunate to earn the Radio Television News Directors Association Fellowship in Germany and Belgium, the Carole Kneeland News Directors Fellowship in Austin and the East-West Center Journalism Fellowship in Hong Kong. Publications, such as the Texas Broadcasters Association Newsletter and the 2007 issue of Hispanic Professional, have honored me by profiling my career.

In January 2007, the opportunity to do something unprecedented presented itself. I was allowed to simultaneously be the anchor for a Hispanic and General Market newscast in the same region. Plus, it was an opportunity to practice what I preach: those who live in this locality have all the tools to become balanced bilinguals.

I am a USFA certified fencing instructor (taught at UTPA for three semesters), a movie buff, an avid reader, inspired writer, an amateur actor and a dedicated husband and a loving father of three.

Past Alumni of the Month

Gladis Molina - August 2015 Alumnus of the Month
Michael Anthony Vargas - July 2015 Alumni of the Month
Desiree Flores - June 2015 Alumna of the Month
Guillermo Raya - May 2015 Alumni of the Month
Nathaly Arriola - April 2015 Alumnus of the Month
Miguel A. Blancarte, Jr. - March 2015 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