Last month, the UNM-Valencia Campus was well represented at the 36th annual Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Conference in San Diego, Calif.

At the national conference, Dean of Instruction, Laura Musselwhite and Senior Program Manager Veroncia Salcido gave a presentation titled “PASOS: Creating a Peer-Led Resource Center to Empower Hispanic Students,” which described the services provided by the PASOS Resource Center at UNM-Valencia.

“The presentation focused on the wrap-around student services connected to the PASOS grant — our resource center, food pantry, etc. We wanted to spotlight what we were doing on campus to assist our student body with non-academic services,” Musselwhite said.  “It was also a great opportunity to highlight ILEAD (our program for students with some college credit, but no degree) and point out how we are assisting those students with degree completion.”

PASOS, which stands for Pathways to Articulation and Sustainable Opportunities for Students, is a grant that is funded through a five-year, $2.7 million dollar Title V Department of Education.

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Along with Musselwhite and Salcido, the conference was attended by UNM-Valencia Chancellor Samuel Dosumu, Advisory Board Chair, Paul Luna and Secretary Belinda Martinez, and Senior Program Manager, Brittany Padilla, along with three students: Ashlee Harst, Luis Orozco and Miranda Duran.

Last year, Padilla was selected as a Fellow of La Academia de Liderazgo of the HACU, which is a one-year program that prepares the next generation of culturally diverse leaders for executive and senior-level positions in higher education.

HACU represents more than 500 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain and U.S. School Districts.