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Hispanic leaders list includes ASU connection

October 03, 2007

More than a dozen ASU alumni and staff will be recognized during the upcoming “40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40 Awards” presented by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (AZHCC).

The inaugural event drew hundreds of community leaders from different sectors to celebrate the accomplishments of young Hispanic leaders in Arizona.

“We’ve become accustomed to recognizing certain people over time,” says Alberto Rodriguez, director of marketing and public relations for AZHCC. “We wanted to recognize the efforts that others are doing in the fields of nonprofit, arts and culture, business and education. These are the people we recognize as future leaders.”

The top 40 list included the following ASU alumni and staff:

• Yesenia Puente, parent involvement coordinator for the Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) at ASU's Center for Community Development and Civil Rights was recognized for her work teaching parents how to be partners and advocates for their children's education. Puente, an ASU graduate (B.A. BLE/ESL elementary education) is also a partner in Lola y Lola, a fashion design company.

• Diana Bejarano-Medina, director of marketing and communications for University Student Initiatives. Bejarano-Medina has been recognized by her peers as one of the most successful Hispanic communicators in Arizona. Bejarano-Medina earned her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from ASU in 1991, and she plans and develops many of ASU’s high school student recruitment materials, including strategies to increase the number of first-generation college students.

• Jaime Casap, project manager for Google-Phoenix. Casap, who earned a master’s degree in public administration in 1993, has worked in various sectors across the country. After graduation, Casap was accepted into the state of New York’s public management internship program.

He joined New York’s Department of Social Services as part of a high-performance welfare reform team. Before joining Google, he worked as a senior manager for Charles Schwab’s technology services organization. Casap also works as faculty for ASU’s College of Public Programs.

• Fred Amador, chief executive officer of Peak Insight Coaching, was recognized for his work with several organizations, including the Arizona College Scholarship Foundation (ACSF), Valley Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Phoenix College Alumni Association (PCAA). Amadour earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1991, followed by a master’s degree in counseling four years later. He also has served as faculty and in the counseling department at Phoenix College since 2000. He also was part of the team that captured a gold medal award for Phoenix College in “Best Practices in Alumni Relations” from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

• Rebeca Ronstadt-Contreras, senior coordinator for MTBI/SUMS Institute programs at ASU, has served in various capacities on numerous committees, from the Hispanic Women’s Corp. to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, and most recently with the American Cancer Society. Ronstadt-Contreras earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from ASU in 2001, and she coordinates all aspects of logistics for the Math-Science Honors Program and the NSF-funded Computer Science Engineering and Mathematics Scholarship Program at ASU.

• Maria Elena Coronado, a student success coordinator with ASU Multicultural Student Services, is best known for her work as an advocate for minority students. She served as the director of Hispanic programs at ASU, including oversight of Hispanic Convocation and the Cesar E. Chavez Leadership Institute (CCLI). Coronado, who earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast management from ASU in 1993, coordinates the Latinos Interested in Networking & Knowledge at ASU (LINK@ASU), a summer transition program to help first-year students maneuver through the university and become familiar with the resources available at the university.

• April Bojorquez, the adult programs coordinator for the Arizona Science Center, has made a name for herself at the age of 26 by being a Latina leader, and for spearheading a number of Hispanic community efforts in the fields of arts and culture. She started a bilingual museum program at the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archeological Park. Bojorquez is implementing a global climate change series that will start in October. She earned her bachelor’s degree in anthropology in 2003, and she has returned to ASU this fall to begin her graduate work at the School of Human Evolution & Social Change.

Other ASU graduates that made the 40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40 list are Lydia Aranda, vice president of diverse growth segments for Wells Fargo; Milton Dellosier, assistant vice president, regional emerging markets manager for Wells Fargo; and Stephanie Ribodal, Phoenix’s public information officer.

For more information on the 40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40 gala, visit the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Web site at