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For Immediate Release: 3/9/2018    

12 SUNY Leaders from Nine Colleges & Universities Selected for Inaugural Class
Group to Be Recognized at the 31st Annual Bienvenida at the SOMOS El Futuro Conference

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the inaugural class of Fellows at SUNY's Hispanic Leadership Institute which is charged with developing and supporting the next generation of executive-level Hispanic/LatinX leaders across the SUNY system. The group will be recognized in Albany this weekend at The 31st Annual Bienvenida at the SOMOS El Futuro Conference.
"In New York, we know that diversity is our greatest asset and this groundbreaking program will ensure that the leadership at SUNY will reflect the strength of New York's diverse communities," Governor Cuomo said. "This fellowship will give New York's future leaders the tools and training necessary to succeed and lead the SUNY system."
The HLI offers six and 12-month fellowships to SUNY Hispanic/LatinX faculty and staff in leadership positions throughout SUNY, including provosts, chief academic officers, chief business officers, and others. Over the course of the program, fellows will participate in individualized mentoring and assessment and development programs to support their success. The SUNY HLI will also work with the SUNY Chief Diversity Officer to help ensure that search committees are trained to successfully recruit top Hispanic candidates to leadership positions within the university system.
The 2018 HLI Fellows are:
Jeanette Altarriba, University at Albany
Alfredo Medina, University at Albany
Dr. Marla Lujan, SUNY College of Human Ecology at Cornell University
Janice Rivera, Farmingdale State College
Carmen S. Rivera, SUNY Fredonia
Alfredo Balarin, Hudson Valley Community College
Miguel Alonso, Nassau Community College
Liz Iglesias, Nassau Community College
Genette Alvarez-Ortiz, Nassau Community College
Andre Melendez, SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Phil Ortiz, SUNY System Administration
Sergio Garcia, SUNY Upstate Medical University
SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall said, "There is a considerable amount of excitement in the work that will come forth from the Hispanic Leadership Institute, and we are pleased to celebrate the inaugural class of fellows from across SUNY. SUNY is continuing to build on its diversity of students and faculty, and through the fellowship and other targeted programs, we will support and provide opportunities to more leaders from the Hispanic and LatinX communities. My congratulations to the first class of fellows."
SUNY Chancellor Dr. Kristina Johnson said, "There are mentors and there are role models. All individuals can be mentors, but role models are individuals that look like us - they make it possible for us to see ourselves in their role. The Hispanic Leadership Institute is an example of SUNY's commitment to becoming the most inclusive university in the country by providing Latino role models at the highest levels of leadership."
Dr. Ricardo Azziz, Chief Officer of Academic Health and Hospital Affairs at SUNY, and Director of the SUNY HLI, said, "This is an exciting and transformative time to be a Hispanic or LatinX leader in higher education. I look forward to working with our inaugural cohort of fellows to foster the development of emerging leaders for SUNY and the State of New York."
Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Chair, Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force said, "Governor Cuomo and I know that diversity is New York's greatest strength and that our institutions, particularly those in leadership positions, should reflect the diverse nature of the rest of the state. These fellows are an important step towards making New York an inclusive state that works for everyone in order to build a better future for all New Yorkers."
About HLI
The HLI serves as a resource for those requiring information regarding the challenges and opportunities for Latino leaders in Higher Education in New York State and nationally; and will undertake and sponsor research in the area of Hispanic leadership development, retention, and success.
About The State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. In 2015-16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit