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Michele Guzman and others Commended

Fri, June 29, 2007

Aguilera, a faculty member in the accounting department at the University, has been a member of the Association since it began in 1991. She has volunteered for the past 15 years, serving as president of the Association in the 2001-2002 school year.

Guzman has been a member of the association for six years. She also teaches courses in the Center for Mexican-American Studies.

The Association is one of the oldest faculty and staff associations at UT. Since its beginning in 1991, the organization has strived to help Hispanic professionals with career opportunities and serve as a voice for the University in Hispanic cultural issues. As the University works to retain and attract a more diverse faculty, the association is an outlet for Latino faculty and staff to feel comfortable.

The association also awarded Guzman and Aurora Chang-Ross with the Professional Development Award. The two recipients received $500 with the award in order to continue their work.

Guzman will use her award earnings to attend the American Psychological Association convention in San Francisco this summer. Chang-Ross, assistant director of Academic Enrichment Services, plans to use the money to help pay her tuition for a doctoral degree in cultural studies in the fall.

During its operation, the Association has given five scholarships to freshmen or transfer students attending UT. Through the scholarship, the student receives funding for the entirety of their education. The association also began the Leadership Symposium, held annually in May, with the help of the Asian-American Faculty Staff Association as well as the Black Faculty Staff Association. The HFSA's Holiday Fiesta, which features a live and silent auction, is their biggest benefit and finances all other projects.

University President William Powers gave a short introduction and thanked the faculty and staff for their leadership and vision within the Latino community on campus.

"It's different than any other group," Aguilera said. "Being a member helps you grow internally, and it is a good form of networking for Latino people."

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