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CSU Pueblo Develops People with Community Engagement

Release Date: December 17, 2021

Haley Sue Robinson

Director of Communication/PIO

Marketing, Communication and Community Relations


Dr. Derek Lopez

PUEBLO—Colorado State University Pueblo is proud to announce Derek Lopez, executive director of Hispanic Serving Institutions, as the new President of the Board of Directors of the Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation (PHEF).  Lopez’ term is a one year presidency, with re-elections occurring next December.  Lopez formerly served as Vice President of the Board prior to this appointment.

PHEF helps students turn their educational dream into goals and those goals into reality by providing scholarships for higher education to students in need from all backgrounds from Pueblo and Southern Colorado to assist them in achieving lifelong success. Although PHEF is not directly associated with CSU Pueblo, many students at CSU Pueblo receive scholarships provided by PHEF.

“It is an honor to have been elected to serve as the President of the Board of Directors of the Pueblo Hispanic Education,” said Lopez. “The goal of the foundation is to provide funding for students of all backgrounds from the community of Pueblo to pursue higher education. I believe it is directly related to my role at CSU Pueblo, which is to help support students, faculty, and staff to make the pursuit of higher education accessible for all.”

Lopez has continues to flourish in his work at CSU Pueblo through his passion to champion education specifically for Hispanic students and for his passion at his alma mater.  Lopez, ’96 Psychology alumnus of CSU Pueblo, returned to the same institution he attended as a first generation college student after earning his Ph.D. from Stanford University from the School of Education, Psychological Studies Department. 

As the Executive Director of HSI Programming, Lopez reports to Vice President of Operations and Advancement, Donna Souder Hodge, in order to elevate and secure capacity-building grants, external funding, and support for campus initiatives in Denver and beyond.

 “We are incredibly delighted to support Dr. Lopez in his term as the President of the Board of Directors for the Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation,” said Souder Hodge. “PHEF’s work in closing the statewide educational attainment gap has made a significant and positive impact to the socioeconomic realities of students and their families across Pueblo. As a regional comprehensive and Hispanic Serving Institution, CSU Pueblo is committed to serving our community; our partnership with PHEF, and Dr. Lopez’s expanded role, is a natural extension of our mission to become the people’s university for the state of Colorado and the southwest United States.”

PHEF has been in existence for 33 years and continues to advocate for the Pueblo community serving all student, while still fulfilling the mission of serving underserved Hispanic/Latinx students. Since 1988, over $4.1 million dollars in scholarships have been awarded by PHEF. For more information about PHEF visit or call 719-320-5596. 

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