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ASU leaders honored at '40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40' ceremony

October 04, 2010

Four leaders at Arizona State University are being recognized as recipients of the "40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40" awards of 2010.

For the fourth year in a row, the "40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40" Recognition Luncheon paid tribute to 40 Hispanic business and community leaders who are paving the way for future generations through their contributions to communities across Arizona. Univision Radio partnered with Chicanos Por La Causa to celebrate the 40 recipients at a luncheon at the Arizona Biltmore on Sept. 22.

The honorees represent corporate, government, nonprofit, arts and cultural sectors across Arizona and are “working toward building upon the greater good of the community.”

Felipe Ruiz is the Director of Strategic Marketing and Design for the College of Public Programs at ASU. He has created recruitment and development campaigns and is charged with supporting the marketing activities of four academic units and 12 research centers.

Ruiz is also an active volunteer for various organizations and projects around the valley including the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  He is currently serving his second term as the Communications Chair for the ASU Chicano/Latino Faculty & Staff Association. He says it’s an honor to be recognized by his community.

“We live in a state where the Hispanic community struggles to show that there are a lot of honorable, educated people that come to this country to work and offer something good to the American people. This recognition makes us all realize that there are a lot of people doing great things and who represent the high standards of our people,” Ruiz said.

Daniel Rodriguez and Joaquin Rios are students at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, where each is active in Hispanic issues and social justice.

Rios, a third-year law student, is a co-founder of the law school’s new Law Journal for Social Justice, and former Vice Chair for Internal Relations for the Chicano/Latino Law Students’ Association. He has externed for both the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest and for Community Legal Services of Arizona.

Rios also has been active in numerous local campaigns for city council, legislative and congressional races, and is interested in working in public interest or employment law, or Alternative Dispute Resolution following his graduation this May.

“It’s a great honor to receive this award,” said Rios, whose undergraduate degree from ASU is in political science. “Being involved in the community is very important to me, and the idea that somebody actually notices is kind of surprising, and very nice.”

Rodriguez, a second-year law student, took a leave from school this year to work as a policy adviser to the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition, and will return to the College of Law next fall. The Act, which was tacked onto the Defense Department Authorization bill and recently defeated by Congress, would make immigrants who came to the United States as children eligible for temporary legal status under certain conditions.

Rodriguez, a liaison to the Chicano/Latino Law Student Association, has undergraduate degrees in English literature and political science from ASU, and is thinking about working in small business or nonprofit fields, where he can use his law-school degree to affect change.

Like Rios, Rodriguez is 24 and pleased to be in the company of strong Hispanic leaders. “They asked me to name what my favorite song was when I was 25,” Rodriguez laughed. “Since I’m not there yet, I just told them what my favorite song is so far, “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson.”

Lydia Perez is the Project Director for the Upward Bound Program at ASU. Upward Bound is a federally funded college preparatory program for low-income, first-generation college-bound high school students.

“It is an honor to be acknowledged with such a vibrant, committed group of leaders. I am proud to represent Upward Bound, Arizona State University and my community in this honor. I am happy to continue to work to ensure opportunity and empowerment to students who desire an education,” Perez said.

“We are excited to partner with Univision Radio for the fourth annual recognition luncheon that will honor our young, up-and-coming Hispanic professionals. These exceptional individuals will build upon the next generation of talented Latinos. The honorees have undoubtedly demonstrated their commitment to serve and natural born leadership,” said Edmundo Hidalgo, President and CEO of Chicanos Por La Causa.
Dana Berchman,
College of Public Programs

Janie Magruder,
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

Diana Bejarano,
Educational Outreach and Student Services