WMU News

Latino Leadership Program focuses on educational issues

March 11, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Education will be the focus of Western Michigan University's annual Latino Leadership Program set for Wednesday, March 24.

This year's event will feature a keynote address by Adam Chavarria, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. His talk on "Education and Hispanic Americans," which is free and open to the public, will start at 10:30 a.m. in Rooms 208-209 of the of the Bernhard Center.

During his Kalamazoo visit, Chavarria also will meet with area educators and WMU administrators as well as attend a reception held in his honor.

Chavarria came to the Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans in 2001 as associate director. President George W. Bush appointed him to his current post in 2003.

As executive director, he works to improve educational opportunities for Hispanic Americans and is responsible for ensuring that the Department of Education and all relevant federal agencies are promoting the participation of Hispanic Americans in federal education programs and services.

Previously, Chavarria had been executive director of the non-profit Hispanic College Fund since its founding in 1993 by a group of Hispanic business leaders. Prior to that, he was a consultant and a vice president of SER-Jobs for Progress in Dallas.

The Harlingen, Texas, native, also has been an active member of the advisory committee for the U.S. Senate Republican Conference Task Force on Hispanic Affairs since 1991.

Chavarria has two degrees from the University of Minnesota, a bachelor's in political science and a master's in public administration, and was the first in his family to earn both an undergraduate and a graduate degree.

The Latino Leadership Program is being sponsored by WMU's Division of Multicultural Affairs, Latino Student Alliance and Sigma Lambda Gamma. For more information, contact Miguel Ramirez, assistant director of multicultural affairs, at (269) 387-3329 or <miguel.ramirez@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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