2013 Distinguished Alumni - October/November 2013 Alumni of the Month
Yara Alma Bonilla:
Rodolfo Anthony De Leon:
Assistant General Counsel, Office of the General
Counsel, FBI Laboratory
William Ayala (Founding Secretary):
Deputy Political-Economic Counselor
Guatemala, Department of State
Director of Civil Rights, Department of Labor
Executive Director, White House Initiative on
Educational Excellence for Hispanics
Assistant Secretary for Legislation and
Congressional affairs, Department of Education
Miguel Gonzalez (Founding President):
Spokesman/Senior Press Officer, National
Miryam Granthon-Gerdine (Founding Vice President):
Analyst at Office of Legislation, HRSA,
Department of Health and Human Services
Associate, Strategic Insight
1. Why did you feel it was important for CHCI to establish an alumni association?
William Ayala: I felt that it was of extreme value and importance to create an association, or mechanism, to ensure that CHCI fellows stayed connected.
Naomi Barry-Perez: The Alumni Association served to define our commitment to the community; it allowed us to recognize the pioneers who came before us and reach forward to assist subsequent classes of Interns and Fellows. We knew that the impact of our Latino community would flourish, and the Alumni Association reflected the community's commitment to public service in Washington, D.C. and throughout the country.
Gabriella Gomez: The alumni association grew out of [the desire to provide support and feedback to one another as we navigated the next phase of our careers] and commitment to not only our class but to the spirit and mission of CHCI.
Miguel Gonzalez: We sought to institutionalize the unofficial relationship that already existed between fellows who had graduated from the program and new fellows coming to Washington to take part in the CHCI fellowship…we wanted to tap into this vast network of untapped potential. The alumni association seemed the right vehicle with which to do that.
Paloma Santiago-Adorno: My fellowship had such a profound effect on me that I couldn't imagine just leaving it all behind after 9 months.
2. How have you been able to benefit from being a member of the association?
Yara Alma-Bonilla: I keep looking at what some of my younger and older peers are doing and it keeps reaffirming the worth of dedicating time to thinking about our people and how to keep contributing to making our people's lives go better.
Alejandra Ceja: The Alumni Association network has grown in numbers and influence. I have been able to access the network for professional development and also use the network to identify Latino candidates for employment opportunities.
Miguel Gonzalez: We are Hispanic professionals who sit on prominent boards and have achieved leadership positions in our respective careers. From time to time, I tap into this network of professionals for advice about my career and personal life. Personally, I still count as my dear friends many of the alumni I have met since I graduated from the program - I consider many of them close and personal friends. They are my family in my ways.
Miryam Gerdine: [I feel] my affiliation with the CHCI Alumni Association has contributed to my credibility that accompanies my established record of serving our Latino community.
Naomi Barry-Perez: The Alumni Association facilitates our ability to stay connected, to support one another, to form coalitions, and promote the advancement of the Latino community. Being a member of the Alumni Association is like a credential in and of itself!
3. What do you see the association doing in the next ten years?
Alejandra Ceja: In the next ten years, the association will be poised to make key financial investments in the future of CHCIs programs. The next step for the association is to demonstrate its staying power by cultivating its fundraising capacity and ensuring that alumni are also giving back financially.
R. Anthony De Leon: In the coming years, I hope that the newer members continue to use it as a resource to advance in the DC area and beyond. I’m a truly amazed how much the association has already grown and enjoy getting updates about the newer fellows and interns advancing across the country. It makes me proud to have been a part of something so special.
Gabriella Gomez: The greatest benefit of the association is the ability to help tell the story of individuals such as myself, who benefited tremendously from my fellowship experience. The more we are able to tell our story, the more that individuals and organizations will support CHCI because it is in everyone’s interest to support a growing number of Latinos to enter leadership positions.
Miguel Gonzalez: Over the next ten years, I’d like the association to mature into a full grown alumni association resembling a college or university’s alumni association. I’d like the association to become the premier alumni association for Hispanic professionals.
Naomi Barry-Perez: As the number of alumni continue to grow in size, our influence on politics and public policy will also increase. No longer tokens, CHCI alumni will serve in increasingly prominent positions. I believe the Alumni Association will support more alumni in their pursuit of elected and appointed positions in DC and throughout the country.
Past 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