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Dr. Marisa Pierce

Contact: Malcolm Hornsby; mhornsby@dcccd.edu

For immediate release — Aug. 20, 2020​

(DALLAS) — Two lifelong advocates for student success and achievement at Dallas College have been selected as fellows of a leadership development program launched by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).

Dr. Marisa Pierce, vice president of student services and enrollment management at Dallas College North Lake Campus, and Cynthia Aguilar, dean of student resources at the college’s Mountain View Campus, were each chosen by HACU for the second cohort of its Presidential Leadership Academy, La Academia de Liderazgo. Pierce and Aguilar are the only fellows selected from a college or university in the North Texas region.

"It is an honor and privilege to be selected for La Academia de Liderazgo. Our Latin community naturally presents a culture of care and an essence of ‘familia’,” said Pierce. “I look forward to building on this rich experience while learning and growing together as students of leadership."

The one-year fellowship aims to increase the number of talented professionals aspiring for leadership positions with Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and emerging HSIs. The program is also designed to increase Hispanic representation in presidential and leadership positions in higher education.

Cynthia Aguilar

“As a child of immigrant parents, I have a passion for helping underserved populations achieve their educational goals. I understand the concerns and challenges these students face because I was one of them,” said Aguilar. “I believe it is our responsibility as educators to help remove barriers for minority students and to support and encourage their success in college and their future careers.”

Fellows will participate in three seminars, with the first beginning in October 2020, coinciding with HACU’s 34th annual conference, “Fostering Excellence and Social Justice.” The second seminar will lead into HACU’s 26th annual Capitol Forum on Hispanic Higher Education in April 2021. The third seminar will be held in late spring or early summer of 2021, with a focus on international collaborations.

Additionally, the fellowship offers participants the opportunity to network with current and former leaders in higher education who serve on the program’s faculty. Fellows will be tasked with developing a special project designed to impact change at their current institution.

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