EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The University of Texas at El Paso’s Diana Natalicio Institute for Hispanic Student Success will formally launch this fall with Anne-Marie Núñez, Ph.D., as its new executive director.

Named for UTEP President Emerita Diana Natalicio, honoring her legacy of promoting student achievement, the new institute will also feature Jacob Fraire as the institute’s director of policy and strategy.

The institute is supported by an endowment created in part by the estate of President Emerita Natalicio, by The University of Texas System Board of Regents, and by donations in her memory.

“Under Dr. Núñez’s leadership, the Natalicio institute will study and propagate the high impact practices that lead to Hispanic student success, including many developed here at UTEP,” UTEP President Heather Wilson said. “This institute will help shape the future of higher education in America.”

The Natalicio institute will serve as a national platform for researchers, thought leaders, philanthropists and policymakers to develop and evaluate policy and programs, advance innovation, and develop resources critical to accelerating educational outcomes among Hispanic students.

Núñez will begin her role as executive director Sept. 1, 2022.

“I welcome the chance to join UTEP’s efforts toward the mission of promoting inclusive excellence,” said Núñez, a professor of higher education and student affairs at Ohio State University. “Dr. Natalicio’s visionary leadership and legacy inspired so many. I look forward to extending her approach to advancing equity in higher education.”

Fraire will join the institute July 1, 2022. He will bring 35 years of experience in public policy development at the state and federal levels. Since 2016, he has served as president and chief executive officer of the Texas Association of Community Colleges, where he led public policy advocacy and institutional reforms for the 50 community college districts in Texas.

The son of migrant farmworkers and an El Paso native, Fraire has represented research universities before the U.S. Congress and has served as director of policy analysis for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

“UTEP has a great standing in the public policy space,” said Fraire, who served on the congressionally-created Committee on Measures of Students Success and has received numerous state and national awards for leadership in public policy. “The Diana Natalicio Institute will serve as a national resource for institutions and policymakers across the nation to look to for research, professional development and policy guidance in advancing Hispanic student success.”

For information about the institute’s programing and initiatives, email natalicioinstitute@utep.edu.

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