Senior Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Affairs in the College of Engineering, Diana Garza, received a fellowship to the fourth cohort of La Academia de Liderazgo of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.
The fellowship is a one-year program to prepare the next generation of culturally diverse leaders for executive and senior-level positions in higher education.
In higher education, STEM-related fields of study and the workforce do not currently reflect the diversity of the country. For Garza, representation matters.
“Participating in the Liderazgo cohort allows me the chance to get to know other campus leaders and expand my knowledge of institutions invested in serving underrepresented students,” Garza said. “My background in student affairs as a practitioner-scholar has been centered on student success.”
Garza is a first-generation college graduate and understands firsthand the challenges and opportunities faced by college students. A double alum, Garza has served in various roles at Boise State for twenty years. She is passionate about helping students pursue higher education and creating an intentional environment where students succeed. She joined the College of Engineering in 2011 and has focused on providing a collegiate experience for students to cultivate a sense of belonging so critical for retention in engineering in particular for minority students.
La Academia de Liderazgo prepares Garza to better serve underrepresented students, specifically Hispanic students. Garza joins the fourth cohort who is composed of individuals with wide-ranging and substantive experiences.
“Educators create intentional mentoring opportunities for students and I believe we should do that for our own professional development,” she said. “I’m interested in the mentoring component and the opportunities to meet other college executives and presidents with similar intentions in mind.”
The fellowship program is a direct response to the declining rate of Hispanic university presidents, despite growth of Hispanic college student enrollment. The association expects that one in five college students will be Hispanic, but will likely enroll in a college or university without a Hispanic president.
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, founded in 1986, represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Latin America, Spain, and various U.S. school districts. The association is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions.
-by Jamie Fink