CTN would like to welcome our new peer mentors to our family- Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, Juan Carlos Cerda, and our first artist peer mentor, Liliana Wilson. Mentors in our program cultivate a community of learning among authors, scholars, and community leaders with community college faculty throughout Texas. Their work inspires, motivates, and encourages our practitioners and ASCENDER students by showcasing their experience as a model of success. Indeed, Catch the Next believes that sharing their experiences of integrating culture with professional success can serve as a source of inspiration to our students, faculty, and administrators implementing the Catch the Next ASCENDER program.

Jessica Herrera-Flanigan is currently the Executive Vice President of Government & Corporate Affairs at Univision Communications, Inc. where she oversees the Washington operations of UCI and leads all of the Company’s government relations, public policy, community empowerment, philanthropic, social impact, and CSR efforts. She is the President of the Univision Foundation and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Safe Sport, the National Association of Broadcasters, and the NALEO Education Fund.

She has extensive experience working on sports, strategy, policy, technology, and media issues, having spent several years as a partner with the government affairs and strategic consulting firm Monument Policy Group, where she led the firm’s technology, media, sports, and crisis communications practices. She represented many of the major Silicon Valley and Seattle technology companies, as well as entities engaged in outdoors and sports and defense, cybersecurity, and intelligence companies. She frequently appeared on television and print discussing public policy, media/tech, and politics.

Jessica also served as the Staff Director and General Counsel of the House Committee on Homeland Security. In that position, she was the first Latina to serve as the top staffer of a Congressional committee. She also spent several years at the U.S. Department of Justice as a prosecutor, focusing on cybercrime, surveillance laws, and intellectual property crimes. She started her career at a D.C. law firm, practicing communications and energy law.

Jessica has received numerous awards, including Multichannel News Wonder Woman Award, Hispanic Heritage Foundation NFL Award, Cablefax’s Most Influential Minorities, Women in Cybersecurity Award, 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S. (three times), and the Congressional Staff Leadership Award.

Juan Carlos Cerda is a DACA recipient and the Director of the Texas Business Immigration Coalition. Prior to joining TBIC, Juan Carlos organized immigrant communities at the Texas Organizing Project and taught kindergarten in Dallas ISD through the Teach for America program. He was also named in 2015 as an ambassador for fwd.us, a bipartisan political advocacy group working for immigration and criminal justice reform, and currently serves on the Bishop’s Immigration Task Force for the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. Juan Carlos graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in history in 2015. He lives in Fort Worth with his wife.  

Liliana Wilson was born in Valparaíso, Chile, and studied law at the Catholic University of Valparaiso. In 1977, she visited the United States and subsequently settled in Austin. She studied drawing at Austin Community College, and painting at Texas State University in San Marcos. She has exhibited throughout the United States, Mexico and Italy.

“My images come from the subconscious. Many of the figures I create appear in ‘other-world’ environments: their outward composure in direct contrast to their inner turmoil. Realities collide on multiple levels as beauty emanates from the subjects.”

“Often my compositions represent single moments in the lives of individuals that serve as metaphors for those lives. Recently my work has shifted to incorporate spiritual aspects of the universe and its surrounding beauty as necessary 

Related Posts

Our Training Has Helped Professors Close the Opportunity Gap

Students taught by CTN-trained faculty earn more degrees and spend less on their education.