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Education professor selected USDA-HSI Fellow

New Mexico State University's Luis Vazquez, head of the Counseling and Educational Psychology Department in the College of Education, has been selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Hispanic Serving Institutions Fellows Program (USDA-HSI) this summer.



New Mexico State University's Luis Vazquez, head of the Counseling and Educational Psychology Department in the College of Education, has been selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Hispanic Serving Institutions Fellows Program (USDA-HSI) this summer. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

xcited and looking forward to learning more about how decisions are made at the national level. As a completely bilingual, first generation college graduate, I bring a motivating energy to the issues that face the Hispanic community," Vazquez said. "I am a firm believer in the concept of 'paying it forward,' and this program will allow me another avenue for forwarding the success of the Hispanic and diverse communities in the state of New Mexico."



Vazquez is one of 18 faculty from across the country who will participate in the USDA-HSI Fellows program from June 27 to Aug. 5.

The USDA-HSI Fellows Program offers faculty and staff affiliated with Hispanic-serving institutions the opportunity to study with the USDA and other government entities during the summer in Washington, D.C. The program allows the fellows to see the policymaking process first-hand and to build links to research funding opportunities. Other agencies the fellows are connected with during the summer are the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Established in 1998 as part of the USDA-Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Leadership Group, the program was proposed to enhance fellows' professional growth while fostering work force diversity and strengthening the nation's capacity to provide high-quality education and increased opportunities for Hispanic Americans.

"This summer fellowship program is a great opportunity for Dr. Vazquez and New Mexico State University," said College of Education Dean Robert Moulton. "Luis has remarkable interpersonal skills and he will be a strong ambassador for us. He will gain a better understanding of federal processes and initiatives and, knowing him, he will enthusiastically share his insights when he returns."

Vazquez serves as a senior faculty senator for NMSU's Faculty Senate; as president of the university's Hispanic Caucus; as a faculty adviser to UNITY, a multicultural graduate student group; as the research chair for the $1.2 million ENLACE project; and as a faculty mentor for the University Teaching Academy. He has served in national leadership positions in the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association and as the lead coordinator for the National Multicultural Summit and Conference.

This past fall he was recognized by the New Mexico Board of Psychologist Examiners and the New Mexico Medical Board for his efforts to work with the state of New Mexico in passing laws and developing programs for New Mexico psychologists to receive prescriptive authority.