Back to news
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Mail

Assistant Dean of Residence Life and Conduct Crystal Lopez has been selected as a fellow for The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’  third cohort of its Leadership Academy/La Academia de Liderazgo. The program is designed to increase diverse representation in executive and senior-level positions in higher education.

The Leadership Academy/La Academia de Liderazgo seeks to increase the number of talented individuals who aspire to leadership positions at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Emerging HSIs. Fellows participate in an array of leadership development activities to prepare them for leadership roles in the full spectrum of institutions of higher learning with an emphasis on HSIs and Emerging HSIs.

Lopez says it will be an honor to represent Caldwell University.  “What is so special about this program is that it focuses around developing the fellow for future leadership roles…I am most excited about networking with my fellow colleagues and learning how to best continue to serve students while further developing my leadership profile.”  She is looking forward to learning from others and bringing her perspective coming from a smaller institution and being one of a few student life administrators who were selected.   “I do believe we have a unique perspective and I am also hoping to learn from my fellow colleagues about best practices to implement here at CU.”

Lopez was awarded a scholarship for the program from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).    “I am beyond grateful to have received a scholarship from AFT. It hits home for me as my mother is a retired teacher and I feel as if I am walking in my purpose in serving students as she did.” 

The one-year Leadership Academy will include three seminars with the first taking place in October 2021, in conjunction with HACU’s Annual Conference, “35 Years of Championing Hispanic Higher Education Success.” The second seminar will lead into HACU’s Annual Capitol Forum on Hispanic Higher Education in April 2022. The third seminar will be held in late spring or early summer of 2022, with a focus on international collaboration.

More than a dozen nationally recognized current and emeriti presidents and senior-level administrators serve on the faculty. Mentorship with a university president is a key component, as well as the development of a special project designed to have an impact at the Fellow’s current institution.

In addition to Lopez the other fellows and their home institutions are:

Alamo Colleges District, Ruth Dalrymple

Caldwell University, Crystal López

California State University, Bakersfield, James L. Rodríguez, Ph.D.

Cañada College, Manuel Alejandro Pérez, Ed.D.

Central New Mexico Community College, Philip Lister, Ph.D.

Central New Mexico Community College, Melanie D. Viramontes

Cypress College, Yanet G. Padilla

Cypress College, AnnMarie Ruelas

Cypress College, Gisela Verduzco

Dallas College Mountain View Campus, Esteban Sosa

Dallas College Cedar Valley Campus, Maya Thomas Fernández, Ed.D.

Kean University, Carlos L. Nazario

Kean University, Carlos E. Rodriguez

Loras College, Sergio Pérez

Mesa Community College, Nora Amavisca Reyes, Ed.D.

New Jersey City University, Andrés Acebo, J.D.

Palo Alto College, Erron González

Texas A&M University, Luz E. Herrera, J.D.

Texas A&M University System, John E. Hurtado, Ph.D.

The City College of New York, Vanessa K. Valdés, Ph.D.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Nikolasa Tejero, DMA

The University of Texas at San Antonio, Juan Manuel Sánchez, Ph.D.

University of California, Davis, Luis Carvajal-Carmona, Ph.D.

University of Pittsburgh, Ariel Carlos Armony, Ph.D.

Utah Valley University, Yudi Lewis

More information about the HACU Leadership Academy/ La Academia de Liderazgo is available here.

About HACU

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, founded in 1986, represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Latin America, Spain and school districts throughout the U.S. The mission of HACU is to Champion Hispanic Success in Higher Education. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The Association’s headquarters are in San Antonio, Texas, with regional offices in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, California. This year HACU celebrates the 35th Anniversary since its founding. More information is available at