Press Releases

February 2, 2017

Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions Names First Cohort of Latino Scholars on the Pathway to the Professoriate

February 2, 2017

In the next five years, 90 undergraduates from Hispanic Serving Institutions will be supported by the $5.1 million program to train more Latinos for academic careers.

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Jeff Frantz       (215) 898-3269/

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The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) has named the first 30 scholars that will receive unprecedented support and mentoring as part of a program to increase the number of Latino professors working in the humanities at U.S. colleges and universities.

The undergraduate students selected for Pathways to the Professoriate, a program supported with a $5.1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, attend one of three Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs).

Beginning this summer, these HSI Pathways Fellows will take part in intensive summer research programs and cross-institutional conferences, while also receiving mentoring, and support for applying to and enrolling in graduate school.

The program kicks off as colleges and universities across the United States are trying, and often struggling, to develop a faculty that reflects the nation’s growing ethnic and cultural diversity. The scarcity of Latino professors is especially stark, as Latinos make up only 4.1 percent of the professoriate in the United States, but 20 percent of the population aged 18-44.

“We aren’t doing enough to diversify the professoriate – either through recruitment or retention and the fact is that we have the tools available to us, we just need the will,” said Marybeth Gasman, Penn GSE professor and CMSI director. “With HSI Pathways, we are showing that we have the will and role modeling what should be taking place throughout the nation. No excuses.”

During the five-year program, CMSI will partner with three HSIs — Florida International University; the University of Texas El Paso; and California State University, Northridge — and five majority research institutions — New York University; University of California, Berkeley; University of Pennsylvania; Northwestern University; and University of California, Davis. Faculty from these majority institutions will be featured at summer sessions and cross-institutional conferences. They will also offer fellows advice and support as they apply to graduate school.

2017 HSI Pathways Fellows

California State University, Northridge

  • Shawntel Barreiro
  • Elizabeth Calzada
  • Jared Diaz
  • Elizabeth Hernandez
  • Gema Ludisaca
  • Carla Martinez
  • Brian Mercado
  • Yaquelin Morales
  • Hermes Rocha
  • Eryn Talevich

Florida International University

  • Maria Ahumada
  • Gabriela Diaz
  • Jason Fontana
  • Michael Garcia
  • Amanda Gonzalez
  • Stephanie Janania
  • Francisco Lopez
  • Faraji Miller
  • Janie Raghundan
  • Valeria Salerno


University of Texas at El Paso

  • Carla Aldrete
  • Star Flagel
  • Jasmin Flores
  • Nerea Hernandez
  • Victor Hurtado
  • Johanna Lopez
  • Alejandra Lozano
  • Lyandra Sanchez
  • Mario Sanchez
  • Elizabeth Vigil

About the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions

 The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. Based at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, the Center’s goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. For further information about the Center, please visit 

About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

 Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. For more information, please visit