Dr. Luis Ponjuan, associate professor of higher education administration, was recently invited to a Hispanic Heritage Month event at Vice President Joe Biden’s residence in Washington, D.C. Ponjuan was recognized for his outstanding work within the male Latino community.
Ponjuan previously had the opportunity to present his research to politicians and scholars at a roundtable discussion in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House in Washington, D.C. on Friday, January 10th. Through presenting his research at the roundtable discussion, Ponjuan was chosen as a voice of the Latino community for Hispanic Heritage Month.
While in Washington, D.C., Ponjuan had the chance to meet and briefly share his research agenda with President Obama and Vice President Biden on Monday, September 22nd.
“They were impressed with our work,” said Ponjaun. “President Obama thanked us for aligning our work with the national initiative, My Brother’s Keeper (MBK).”
Similar to the MBK initiative, a new white house strategy to empower boys and young men of color, Ponjuans’ research seeks to create a strong educational, social and economic foundation for young Hispanic males.In addition, Ponjuan was able to speak with Dr. Lorelle Espinosa, Assistant Vice President who is over the Center for Policy Research and Strategy at the American Council of Education. Espinosa expressed an interest to co-sponsor an event with the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University during the 2014 Association for the Study of Higher Education National Research Conference. Espinosa hopes to create a space for UT-Austin and TAMU in shaping the Texas higher education policy agenda.
“One of the responsibilities that I have is to represent a voice that has not traditionally been a part of the discussion,” said Ponjuan. “As an immigrant who was undocumented until age 15, having an opportunity to create awareness of the Latino community is a lifelong passion of mine.”
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