Invited Speaker Presentations


The Seal of Excelencia: Certifiying Intentionality in SERVING

Presenters: Deborah Santiago, Co-Founder and CEO, Excelencia in Education

This session will provide an overview of the Seal of Excelencia for 2020 and the opportunity for participants to engage in a discussion about the purpose, intent, and initial impact of the certification and process. 

About Deborah Santiago

Deborah A. Santiago is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Excelencia in Education. For more than 20 years, she has led efforts from the community to national levels to improve educational opportunities and success for all students. She co-founded Excelencia to inform policy and practice, compel action, and collaborate with those committed and ready to accelerate student success with a Latino lens. Among her contributions, Deborah has worked in federal government as a policy analyst at the Congressional Research Service addressing legislative issues in higher education and at the U.S. Department of Education informing program and budget efforts in the Office of Postsecondary Education. She also served as the Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans working with federal agencies and communities across the nation to improve awareness and education opportunities for Latinos. Among Deborah’s community efforts, she has provided program design and implementation for the ASPIRA Association and translated data for community engagement as the Vice President for Research and Data at the Los Angeles Alliance for Student Achievement. Deborah has been cited for her work in numerous publications, including The Economist, New York Times, Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and Diverse Issues in Higher Education. She serves on the Board of Visitors for the University of Mary Washington, the advisory board of TheDream.US, and the board of directors for Higher Achievement.


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About the Conference

The annual AHSIE Best Practices Conference provides practitioners from current and emerging Hispanic Serving Institutions a forum through which they can share ideas, build partnerships, and influence the development of policies designed to increase student success and institutional effectiveness.

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Session Types for Everyone

Session types for this year’s conference include: Featured Topic Institutes; High Impact Practices Presentations; Community of Practice Workshops; Special Topic Sessions with Invited Speakers; and Keynotes.

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