Interim Dean Louie Rodriguez hosted the Chancellor’s Watch Party to celebrate the Seal of Excelencia certification earned by UCR. This certification recognizes our institutional commitment as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) to serve Latinx students and support their success.
Excelencia in Education, the organization that certified UCR with the Seal of Excelencia, focuses on accelerating Latinx student success in higher education by promoting Latinx student achievement and changing the narrative about what it takes to be an HSI. UCR participated in an extensive application process and was one of just 10 colleges and universities to earn the Seal for 2021.
As a member of the team who led the Seal application, Rodriguez reflected, “It was inspiring to collaborate with campus colleagues and learn about the ways the campus is serving Latina/o/x students on campus. This is truly a reflection of UCR’s long history and a signal that we are moving in the right direction.”
Arlene Cano Matute, co-chair of the UCR HSI Committee, assistant director of Chicano Student Programs at UCR and SOE Ph.D. candidate, also served on the application team. “I’m honored to have elevated our legacy to the national level, recognizing the incredible over 50-year history of UC Riverside Chicanx/Latinx student success. This prestige belongs to all of us who have committed ourselves to nurture scholars, invested in transformative programming and initiatives, led by example, and understand que Todos Somos Highlanders (we are all Highlanders),” Arlene said. “To have participated in writing our story is a privilege that further fuels my praxis and scholarship, la lucha continua we still have work to do”. Arlene and members of campus leadership were in attendance in Washington D.C. to receive the award on behalf of UCR.
The watch party was held on October 29th, 2021 at the Alumni and Visitors Center, and included members of the Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Committee, Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for Chicano Latino Affairs, UCR Chicano Latino Alumni Association Chapter Leaders, UCR Alumni Association Board of Directors, campus leaders, and community partners.
The event began with introductions by Rodriguez, followed by Land of Acknowledgement by Vice Chancellor Brian Haynes, and a Seal of Excelencia overview by Rodriguez. Members of the community watched the live broadcast as they announced the institutions earning the Seal of Excelencia.
In his letter to the community announcing the honor, Chancellor Wilcox wrote, "UCR has long championed the importance of access along with the other schools receiving certification. For decades, hundreds of staff and faculty have worked to build programs and an environment where Latinx students—and all students—can thrive in their educational pursuit and post-graduation lives. Thank you to the individuals whose efforts are directly responsible for Seal certification as well as all employees, past and present, who made today’s milestone possible."
UCR also received the U.S. Department of State Fulbright HSI Leader recognition last week.
The Seal is part of Excelencia’s systemic approach to close the education equity gap, meet a goal of 6.2 million Latino students attaining college degrees by 2030, and support America’s civic and workforce needs by effectively preparing Latinos.