The Eye-Popping Surge of Latino-Serving Colleges, Universities


Latino Hispanic college student studying in a university library

The number of Latino or Hispanic-serving colleges and universities has risen 98% in the past 10 years, from 264 in 2007 to 523 in 2018, according to a new report by Excelencia in Education. A “Hispanic-Serving Institution” (HSI) has 25% or more undergraduate full-time equivalent Latino enrollment. HSIs now constitute 17% of all colleges and universities. The Key Data Two of three Latino undergraduates attend an HSI. 46% of student enrollment at HSIs is Latino. HSIs are present in 27 states and Puerto Rico. That's up from 21 last year. HSIs are very concentrated geographically. 69% were located in three states and Puerto Rico. California has the most, followed by Texas and New York. Most HSIs are located in a city (273) or suburb (163). Fewer were in towns ...

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4 Powerful Tools Governors Can Use to Build Up Public Health


State government

Governors have the opportunity to use state resources and create partnerships to improve the social and economic inequities that cause poor health outcomes, especially among communities of color. But not all governors have the tools to boost public health. That’s why the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) and the de Beaumont Foundation released four big tools to help governors understand what influences public health and how to embed upstream health- and prevention-related plans into the structure of government. “We’re the state that’s going to tear down the systemic barriers to work and education faced by people of color, people with disabilities, veterans and women,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in his inaugural address, according to an NASHP blog ...

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Diana Ballesteros-Gonzalez: Moving Cross-Country for Latino Public Health


GonzalezBDiana Exito 2018 participant

Diana Ballesteros-Gonzalez is motivated to work to prevent chronic disease among Latinos by her family’s health history, her work in the community, and her passion for public health. In fact, with the support of her husband, Ballesteros-Gonzalez bravely packed up and moved from the West Coast of her native California to the East Coast of New York to study public health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences with a certificate in Epidemiology of Chronic Disease. Ballesteros-Gonzalez’s ultimate career goal in public health is to not only become a professor, but also serve her hometown community to improve chronic disease outcomes. To further her potential to reach her goal, Ballesteros-Gonzalez applied for the ...

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Sandra Garcia Camacho: Taking Aim to Boost Latino Health


CamachoGSandra Exito 2018 participant

Thanks to her mother’s hard work, independence, and resilience, Sandra Garcia Camacho is poised to make an impact for Latino health. Garcia Camacho grew up in Yauco "The City of Coffee" in Puerto Rico. She completed her bachelor’s degree in natural sciences with a concentration in biomedicine at the University of Puerto Rico in Ponce. She then pursued her master’s degree in public health with an emphasis in biostatistics at the Medical Sciences Campus in Puerto Rico. She wants to conduct research in chronic disease, and looks forward to addressing research gaps in the study of polycystic kidney disease. To further her experience and education, Garcia Camacho applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The Éxito! program, led by Dr. ...

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Erika Bonilla: Working to Help Latino Families Thrive


BonillaErika Exito 2018 participant

Like the beautiful photo of Erika Bonilla’s tia and father that serve as a reminder of her El Salvadorean roots, Bonilla is on a mission to see Latino families thrive. Bonilla holds bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s of public health degree from California State University, Long Beach. Bonilla is a Research Associate at the CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training. Her research focus includes: maternal and child health, adolescent health, women’s health, cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS prevention, childhood obesity prevention, community-based participatory research, education, and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students of multiple disciplines in health science and human services majors. Having already gained valuable ...

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Carmen Rodriguez: Dancing Toward a Career in Public Health Epidemiology


Rodriguez Carmen Exito 2018 participant

Folklorico. Merengue. Line. Dancing keeps Carmen Rodriguez connected to her Dominican culture and roots. Those roots also gave her a strong foundation when she moved from rural Dominican Republic to New York City, studying mathematics at Bard College. Rodriguez went on to earn her master’s degree of public health in epidemiology and biostatistics at the City University of New York’s School of Public Health and Health Policy. Now she’s hard at work as a project manager for a breast health study among immigrant Latinas. To further her experience and education, Rodriguez applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The Éxito! program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San Antonio with support from the National Cancer Institute, ...

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Genesis Rios: Go-Getter Takes on Latino Public Health


Genesis Rios Exito 2018 participant

With the examples of her hard-working mother and her brother who overcame leukemia as a child, Genesis Rios is a go-getter to the max. Rios dives head-first into tough challenges and new experiences. That includes: applying to programs like Americorps; teaching healthier lifestyles and disease prevention at a free clinic; and examining the health impact and educational potential of peer social networks among Latinos. Rios, born in Moca, Puerto Rico, and raised in Chicago, is currently working on her master’s degree in public health in community health sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Because of her work in underserved Latino communities, Rios became interested in reducing health disparities and barriers in access to healthcare that U.S. Latinos face. To ...

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Veronica Landa: Following a Dream to Prevent Cancer Health Disparities


LandaVeronica Exito 2018 participant

With boundless encouragement from her mother, Veronica Landa displays bold determination and curiosity to explore and follow her dreams. Landa is already turning dreams into reality in her work as a research coordinator for clinical trials and as a specialist to refine family health services programs in California. Originally from San Antonio, Landa attended Stanford University and earned an MPH from the UT School of Public Health. Her work has centered on health disparities, with particular interest in Latinos and cancer. She also was the research coordinator for a minority clinical trials project at UT School of Public Health. Landa knows the critical value of prevention when it comes to cancer health disparities. To further her experience and education, Landa applied for ...

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Fernando Juarez: Overcoming the Odds to Promote Health


GarciaIsela Exito 2018 participant

Like Han Solo, never tell Fernando Juarez the odds. Juarez grew up playing the Loteria, but real life isn’t a game of chance for him. He’s certain he will overcome any challenge and achieve success in anything he puts his mind to. He is one who will take on any challenge, no matter how daunting, using a fantastic blend of his mother’s compassion and his father’s stubbornness. Juarez is taking on the challenge of studying for his master’s degree in health and kinesiology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. And he puts into practice what he learns. When Jaurez participates in class courses and research projects, he implements his findings to his life. As a health advocate, Juarez aims to inspire and teach people how to make lifestyle modifications to improve ...

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