Contact: Alex Lyda;
For immediate release — Sept. 2, 2021
(DALLAS) — Two administrators from different functional areas at Dallas College, but both committed to student success, have been selected as fellows of a leadership development program run by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).
Esteban Sosa, dean of e-learning program development at Dallas College, and Dr. Maya Fernandez, director of the Employer Resource Center, are among the 25 fellows named to the third HACU Leadership Academy cohort.
The program is designed to diversify representation in executive and senior-level positions in higher education through one-year fellowships that increase the number of talented candidates aspiring to leadership positions, particularly at Hispanic-Serving Institutions or HSIs.
As newly minted fellows, both Dallas College administrators will participate in an array of leadership development activities designed to prepare them to lead institutions of higher education, with an emphasis on HSIs.
“I am very honored and excited to be a member of the third cohort for this fellowship,” Fernandez said. “It means so much to me, being a minority woman in Dallas, to pave the way for other minority women to serve in a leadership position in higher education. My parents immigrated to the United States in the early 1970s from India to live the American dream. I am thrilled to learn from other leaders and to bring back what I learn to improve our own practices at Dallas College."
In leading Dallas College’s Employer Resource Center, Fernandez works directly with employers to bring job opportunities to students and to open doors to in-demand careers that provide a living wage and a ladder for students to climb, she said.
Upon hearing news of his selection, Sosa echoed a similar sentiment about the importance of serving the Dallas College community and the benefit that participating in the fellowship will ultimately provide students.
“Ensuring that we provide an education that is a viable product in terms of entering the workforce with marketable skills and experience is a challenge that community colleges must embrace,” Sosa said. “In developing new online programs that lead to in-demand occupations and living wages, we are preparing our students for a bright future, just as the HACU fellows program is preparing the next generation of leaders at HSIs. I am honored to have been selected for this year’s cohort and look forward to bringing best practices back to Dallas College for the benefit of our students.”
In his current role at Dallas College, Sosa leads the development of innovative signature online programs focused on educating students and preparing them for in-demand jobs and living wages in partnership with academics, student affairs, workforce, operations, and external vendors and partners.
The one-year fellowship program will include three seminars with the first taking place in October 2021, in conjunction with HACU’s Annual Conference, “35 Years of Championing Hispanic Higher Education Success.” The second seminar will lead into HACU’s Annual Capitol Forum on Hispanic Higher Education in April 2022.
The third seminar will be held in late spring or early summer of 2022, with a focus on international collaboration.
More than a dozen nationally recognized current and emeriti presidents and senior-level administrators currently serve in HACU’s program to develop future university presidents. In conjunction with these leaders, each fellow will complete a special project designed to have an impact at each fellow’s current institution.
View a complete list of all fellows selected for the 2021-2022 program.
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About Dallas College
Dallas College, formerly the Dallas County Community College District, was founded in 1965 and consists of seven campuses: Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland. Dallas College offers online learning and serves more than 83,000 credit and 25,000 continuing education students during the fall and spring semesters. Dallas College also offers dual credit for students in partner high schools and early college high schools throughout Dallas County. Dr. Joe May, the college’s seventh chancellor, has established the Dallas College higher education network in partnership with area school districts, colleges and universities, businesses, community organizations and others to support student success and college completion by removing barriers and providing services that help them earn a college credential and start their professional careers.
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, founded in 1986, represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Latin America, Spain and school districts throughout the U.S. The mission of HACU is to champion Hispanic success in higher education. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The association’s headquarters are in San Antonio, Texas, with regional offices in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento, Calif. Visit the