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University Reps to Attend HACU Capitol Forum

Release Date: April 06, 2018

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo


CSU-Pueblo Educators Attend 23rd Annual Forum on Hispanic Higher Education

PUEBLO –Colorado State University-Pueblo representatives Dr. Donna Souder Hodge, Dr. Derek Lopez, and Michelle Gjerde, will join more than 300 higher education leaders, representing 50 states to take part in the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) 23rd Annual National Forum on Hispanic Higher Education, April 9-10 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Souder Hodge, Lopez, and Gjerde will join congressional leaders, higher education influencers, and policy advocates as they work to shape and promote an agenda for Congress and the country at the HACU Capitol Forum.

 “As a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), it is crucial that CSU-Pueblo be involved in strategic policy-making and national conversations that ensure southern Colorado continues to have a strong voice in higher education and on Capitol Hill,” said Souder Hodge, executive director of CSU-Pueblo’s Center for Teaching and Learning.

As a designated Hispanic Serving Institution and a HACU partner university, CSU-Pueblo will send representatives to join public policymakers, key federal agency leaders, allied organizations, corporate, community and philanthropic representatives at what has become a powerful national platform for winning public- and private-sector support for Hispanic higher education.

During structured conference sessions, keynote and plenary addresses, and organized Capitol Hill meetings, educators and advocates will collaborate in order to offer insights and perspectives on the role of HSIs on the higher education landscape. Participants also will share success stories, campus-wide visioning strategies, and specific interventions applicable across academic and student-life programming. Souder Hodge said the forum also has a direct impact on CSU-Pueblo’s relationship with the Department of Education and with other HSI-designated peer institutions.

For more information on CSU-Pueblo’s role as a Hispanic Serving Institution or about the 23rd Annual HACU Capital Hill Forum, contact Souder Hodge, at 719-549-2290 or at Visit the Center for Teaching and Learning online in order to read more about our programs, faculty, and ongoing advocacy for underserved student populations at                       

About HACU

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) was established in 1986 with a founding membership of 18 institutions. Because of HACU’s exemplary leadership on behalf of the nation’s youngest and fastest-growing population, the Association rapidly grew in numbers and national impact. CSU-Pueblo earned HACU’s Outstanding Member Institution Award in 2008.

Today, HACU represents more than 470 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, and Spain. Although our member institutions in the U.S. represent only 13 percent of all higher education institutions nationwide, together they are home to two-thirds of all Hispanic college students. HACU is the only national educational association that represents HSIs.

In 1992, HACU led the effort to convince Congress to formally recognize campuses with high Hispanic enrollment as federally designated HSIs and to begin targeting federal appropriations to those campuses. Thousands of young Hispanics benefit from HACU with internships, scholarships, college retention and advancement programs, pre-collegiate support, and career development opportunities and programs. For more information, visit

Colorado State University-Pueblo is committed to excellence, setting the standard for regional comprehensive universities in teaching, research, and service by providing leadership and access for its region, while maintaining its commitment to diversity.

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