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CSU Pueblo Associate Dean Selected to Join Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions Aspiring Leaders Program

Release Date: January 29, 2024

Gena Alfonso

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Dr. Juan Morales

Pueblo, CO - Associate Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (CHASS) Juan Morales is among the fourth cohort of the Aspiring Leaders program developed by the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI). Morales joins 14 other leaders selected from across the country for an intensive two-day leadership forum and 18-month mentorship program.

“I am honored to be selected for the Aspiring Leaders program. This will be a transformative journey that fuels my dedication to growth and lifelong commitment to learning,” Morales said.

The forum brings together leaders from educational, government, private, and non-profit sectors to prepare them to become future Minority Serving Institution (MSI) presidents. Topics discussed during the two-day in-person workshop include fundraising, managing relationships with faculty, fiscal management, student success, and communication. The aspiring leaders are then paired with a presidential mentor for 18-months with benchmarks and growth managed by CSMI.

“Juan is an excellent candidate for this prestigious fellowship and I am confident that his participation will not only enhance his individual capabilities, but that he will make significant contributions to the cohort,” Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Gail Mackin said.

The program is designed to promote diversity in higher education leadership. According to the program information, “MSI Aspiring Leaders hopes to cultivate future MSI presidents by strengthening pathways to leadership and building connections between peers with similar aspirations and abilities.”

“This recognition is a testament to Juan’s contribution to our college and his progressive leadership,” Dean of CHASS Leticia Steffen said. “I look forward to watching the positive impact he will bring back to our academic community.”

About the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions

The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. CMSI’s goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions is part of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity and Justice (Proctor Institute) at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. For further information about CMSI, please visit

About Colorado State University Pueblo

Colorado State University Pueblo is a comprehensive state university with an enrollment of nearly 4,000 students. With 34 percent of its students Hispanic, it is a designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), and a military friendly university. The university is dedicated to interdisciplinary learning and entrepreneurship that elevates its people and community, creates educational opportunities, fosters unique collaborations, and supports inclusion, access, and affordability as a gateway to the world.

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