National Forum Researchers Present at AAHHE

Tina Gridiron Smith, John Burkhardt, Chris NellumOn March 8-10, 2012, the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) hosted their seventh annual conference in Costa Mesa, CA.  AAHHE is an organization that focuses on the advancement of Hispanics in higher education and recognizes the achievements of Hispanics within their fields of study.  Last week, the National Forum sent some of our brightest graduate students to attend the conference.  I caught up with Angela Vidal-Rodriguez, a graduate student research assistant at the National Forum, to hear her own interpretation of what AAHHE means and her personal experience at the conference.  Below is a recap of our conversation:

 In your own words, describe what the AAHHE Conference is about.

“AAHHE is a conference that invites and hosts Hispanics or Latinos, who work and study in many different fields of higher education.  Attendees discuss issues involving Latinos in higher education, ranging from STEM, to the arts, to literature, to the structure of higher education itself.”

Who attended the conference from the National Forum?

“I attended the conference with fellow graduate students of the Forum: Noe Ortega, Chris Nellum, Aurora Kamimura, Kimberly Reyes, and the director of the National Forum, John Burkhardt, Ph.D.

What was your favorite part of the conference?

“One of my favorite parts was meeting prospective students for the CSHPE at the University of Michigan.  We also met with previous funders of Forum projects, including Kristin Boyer from the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation (TG) and Tina Giridiron Smith, program officer for the Lumina Convening.  But, I think the overall favorite memory was seeing friends from other universities and listening to the presentations of my co-workers from the National Forum, which was a true honor.”

What would you say are the next steps following the AAHHE Conference?

“There was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm stemming from members of the conference about the National Forum’s uLEAD Network.  Following the conference, the team hopes to reconvene and discuss a possible partnership with those interested in the uLEAD Network.”

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