Excelencia in Education Co-founder to Speak Jan. 12

Lecture series to consider issues and benefits of diversity in higher education

Deborah Santiago

Deborah Santiago

RIVERSIDE, California – Deborah Santiago, co-founder of a nonprofit that advocates policies supporting Latino academic success, will kick off a lecture series on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, that continues a two-year exploration of issues and benefits of diversity in higher education at the University of California, Riverside.

Santiago, chief operating officer and vice president of policy at Excelencia in Education, will discuss “Serving Post-Traditional Students: Reframing Who and How We Serve” from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in CHASS Interdisciplinary 1113. The event is free and open to the public. Free parking permits are available for those who RSVP with their name and event title to cisevents@ucr.edu.

The lecture series is presented by the Mellon Advancing Intercultural Studies project of the UCR Center for Ideas and Society, and builds on themes that emerged from each of the project’s four seminars over the last two years. The research project was funded by a $208,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a series of seminars that examined changing perceptions of ethnic, cultural and cosmopolitan identities, the practices of immigrant religions, and developments in civic and political engagement at UCR and in Southern California.

“Deborah Santiago’s work changes the discussion about ‘traditional’ vs. ‘non-traditional’ students,” said Georgia Warnke, director of the Center for Ideas and Society. “Her talk will be of interest to educators, parents, students and citizens as we consider the place, purpose and future of higher education in this country.

Warnke said the university is “very grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the generous grant that will allow us to bring eminent speakers to the UCR campus for discussions of the challenges and opportunities of social heterogeneity in education, civic life, religious practice and the arts. With a new administration in Washington, D.C., it is as important as ever that we continue to talk to and engage with one another over these issues in an informed and thoughtful way.”

For more than 20 years, Santiago has led research and policy efforts from the local community to national levels to improve educational opportunities and success for all students. She co-founded Excelencia in Education to inform policy and practice, compel action, and collaborate with those committed and ready to act to increase student success.

Her current research focuses on state and federal policy, financial aid, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, institutional practices, and effective institutional practices for student success in higher education. Her work has been cited in numerous publications, including The Economist, The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Santiago serves on the board of the National Student Clearinghouse, and the advisory boards of thedream.us and Univision’s Education Campaign.

Other lectures in the series are:

  • Feb. 1, “Behind the Hashtag: The Making of Black Lives Matter,” featuring BLM co-founders Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors. The UCR Women’s Resource Center and Center for Ideas and Society are co-sponsoring this event.
  • March 7, Jonathan Walton, Plummer Professor Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church at Harvard University.
  • March 15, Michela Andreatta, University of Rochester senior lecturer in Hebrew and coordinator of the Jewish Studies Program and the Hebrew Language Program.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-7847
E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
Twitter: bettyemiller

Additional Contacts

Katharine Henshaw
Tel: (951) 827-1555
E-mail: katharine.henshaw@ucr.edu

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