Dr. Benjamín Aceves: What Éxito! Means to Me


Dr. Benjamín Aceves: What Éxito! Means to Me

Dr. Benjamín Aceves wasn’t sure if he wanted to pursue a PhD. He was hesitant about the commitment. He didn’t have a background in academia that many pursuing PhD programs do. But after attending the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training at UT Health San Antonio, Aceves grew his network of scholars and learned about resources that could help him succeed in a PhD program. “My experience at Éxito! was mind-opening for sure,” Aceves said. He went on to earn his PhD and now is a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California in San Francisco, where he researches the intersection of Latino health, chronic disease prevention, and the social determinants of health. Learning About Éxito! Aceves learned about Éxito! from his peers, who encouraged him to ...

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Donají Stelzig: How Éxito! Helped Me Build My Network


Donají Stelzig: How Éxito! Helped Me Build My Network

Like many Latino students, Donají Stelzig was unsure if she should pursue a PhD. She was intimated by the barriers and didn’t think she was capable of doing it, especially since she already had a full-time job and family. But after attending the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training at UT Health San Antonio, the researchers and scholars she met encouraged her to apply and followed up with her even when she was doubtful. Now, Stelzig has a doctoral degree and is a visiting assistant professor and lecturer at the University of Houston, where she also directs the Community Health Worker Training Center at the Honors College. She’s grateful for the Éxito! experience and how it helped her build a network to succeed throughout her career. Learning About ...

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Award Winner: Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training



Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez’s Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program at UT Health San Antonio has been named a winner of Excelencia in Education’s “Examples of Excelencia.” The awards spotlight evidence-based programs that support Latino students in higher education. Éxito! was a finalist in 2018, 2019, and 2021. Excelencia in Education, a national group that promotes Latinos in higher education, announced the winning “Examples of Excelencia” on Oct. 28, 2021, in four categories—associate, baccalaureate, graduate, and community-based organizations. Watch the announcement. Éxito! won in the graduate category. "The four stand out programs are models of culturally responsive, asset-based efforts with evidence of effectiveness in recruiting, ...

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Melawhy Garcia: Éxito! Connected Me to Other Latino Professionals


melawhy garcia exito latino cancer research leadership training

Dr. Melawhy Garcia wanted to elevate her work to improve health among Latinos in California by applying for PhD programs, but she wasn’t sure about it. She wanted to hear from experienced faculty and scholars about what the process would be like. That’s why she attended the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training at UT Health San Antonio. “I actually knew some of the faculty presenting at [Éxito!], so I definitely wanted to hear from them and see what their journey was like going through a PhD program,” Garcia said. Éxito! helped Garcia apply to PhD programs and get accepted to a joint Doctoral Program in Public Health from the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University. Now, Garcia is an assistant professor in the Department of ...

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Inside the U.S. Government’s New Investment in Latino Education


Inside Investment Latino Education

Education is critical in childhood development, yet Latino kids across the U.S. face systemic injustices in their schools and communities. Whether it is living in child care deserts, language issues and immigrant status, unengaged parents, childhood trauma, discipline, segregated school districts, and a lack of state funding in—many Latinos are left behind in education compared to their white peers. That’s why the U.S. government is taking action for Latino education, according to a recent executive order signed by President Joe Biden in September 2021. “We must enable Hispanic and Latino students to reach their highest potential through our Nation’s schools and institutions of higher education,” the executive order says. “The Federal Government must also collaborate ...

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Natalicio Serrano: What Éxito! Taught Me About Latino Representation in Academia


Natalicio Serrano: What Éxito! Taught Me About Latino Representation in Academia

Natalicio Serrano wasn’t sure he wanted to get a PhD. He knew the journey would be difficult, especially as a Latino going into a field with little representation. However, the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training at UT Health San Antonio changed that. “For me, Éxito! painted a clearer picture of what I could do with a PhD. It gave me the energy to want to apply and continue on with this academic journey,” Serrano said. Participating in Éxito! motivated Serrano to apply and get accepted to a PhD program in Public Health with the Prevention Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis. Serrano is now a postdoctoral fellow in the Cancer Education and Career Development program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research focuses on ...

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Ellen Ochoa: The First Latina Astronaut to Go into Space



In 1993, Ellen Ochoa became the first Latina person in space. She logged nearly 1,000 hours in orbit across four space missions, studying the Earth's ozone layer. She would later become the NASA Johnson Space Center’s first Latina director and only its second female director. "At the time, it was really a personal thing," Ochoa told TODAY. "It was something I was very excited to participate in, and I loved working with the team and with my crew and doing work that was important to understanding changes in the atmosphere." "I realized the mission had repercussions well beyond that. I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of student groups, I was featured in children's books, textbooks – I'm just really grateful there was this whole extra dimension to that flight beyond the ...

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Report: Latino College Students Less Likely to Seek Mental Health Services


Latino College Mental Health Services

Many Latino youth face declining mental health amid the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, a racial/ethnic social justice movement, and economic hardships. Sadly, many aren’t getting the help they need, either. About 65% of Latino college students have mental health issues that go untreated, as they are less likely than their white peers to engage with campus mental health services, according to a new study from researchers at University of California, Riverside. “This means counselors can identify a culturally sensitive, value-driven approach to encouraging greater participation in campus mental health services, instead of focusing only on students’ ethnicity in their outreach efforts” said study senior author Kalina Michalska. “Given the increasing diversity among U.S. ...

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