CTN Palo Alto College Alumni, Prisilla Lares, is one of five members who will join the inaugural cohort of Latinas Excelling at Doctoral Degrees (L.E.A.D.D.), which falls under the umbrella of the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice (Proctor Institute).

Prisilla is currently a student at the University of Texas at San Antonio pursuing a degree in Communication with a concentration in Digital Communication. Her research interests are in leadership and organizational behavior. Prisilla’s employment at St. Philip’s College as the Administrative Service Specialist in the Department of Student Life allows her access to student leaders and insight into organizational dynamics. Her approach to leadership is to lead by example and empower students to continue to pursue their goals through higher education. Prisilla’s academic journey began at Palo Alto College, earning her Associate Degree in Business Management and being an active student. Among her activities, she was the chosen representative for the Catch the Next Program at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities conference in Denver, CO.

L.E.A.D.D. is a program intended to equip and empower undergraduate Latina students, strengthen their confidence, validate their research interests, create community, and share resources to combat cultural and academic isolation of Latinas and women of color, before attending graduate school. The L.E.A.D.D. program will include discussions and workshops on topics such as cultural and academic isolation, cultural values and academic expectations, peer support and mentorship, as well as identity, advocacy, and research design. Each workshop is developed to create dialogue and combat the common challenges Latinas face in the academy.

The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice (Proctor Institute) is a national center that focuses on issues of leadership, equity, and justice within the context of higher education. It brings together researchers, practitioners, and community members to work toward the common goals of diversifying leadership, enhancing equity, and fostering justice for all. The Proctor Institute is located at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, in the Graduate School of Education and, houses the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI). For more information about the Proctor Institute, please visit https://proctor.gse.rutgers.edu/.

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