Dr. Robert Nelson, president of the University of Texas-Pan American, attended the Nuestro Futuro Latino Education Conference that was hosted by Latino Magazine in Washington D.C.
At the conference, he told attendees about the advantages festivals like HESTEC and FESTIBA have on the community. Attendees of the conference were all very receptive about what Nelson had to say.
“It went extremely well,” he said. “People were excited about it and by the time we were finished people were volunteering to come to HESTEC on their own. One person in particular was so excited to come down and talk to Latinas about her own experiences and what it meant to succeed to education.”
Nelson was invited by Congressman Ruben Hinojosa to the event so that he could get UTPA’s word out to various industry leaders, government officials and other people in the education business.
“He made the connection through HESTEC,” Nelson said. “The congressman has been involved with HESTEC all the way through and the congressman has been very involved with health care and within the health care bill there is funding with HSIs. He had been speaking with Latino Magazine about it and then they contacted me.”
Nelson was able to connect with Exxon Mobile and reconnect with IBM for funding for HESTEC. Nelson also connected with Latino Magazine to write a column in the publication.
“We were able to meet with Latino Magazine and they’re going to do an op ed piece that I’ll write and which will get the name of the university out to the Latino community,” Nelson said. “I described HESTEC and I described the purposes of it. There was a lot of discussion about stem there and how we can increase the number of Hispanics in STEM education.
That was the theme of the conference so we were giving them the model of HESTEC as the perfect pipeline model. And other people were sharing other models. The models always involve the parents in some way or another. HESTEC has been extremely brilliant in connecting with the parents.”
Another word that Nelson was able to get out at this conference was the fact that UTPA is the second largest Hispanic institution. Florida International comes in at first in that category.
Nelson made a point about his job that he realized and by talking with him there’s a proud man at the helm of the university.
“Part of the president’s job is to tell the wonderful story of their university,” he said. “I’ve got a better story than most presidents.”