Cecilia Santiago, coordinator of the Cesar E. Chavez Center for Higher Education, has been accepted to the E. (Kika) de la Garza Fellowship program in Washington D.C. this summer.
She is the second Cal Poly Pomona representative to receive this prestigious U.S. Department of Agriculture fellowship. Daniel Hostetler, chair of the Plant Sciences department, went last year.
“I am very honored to have been selected as one of fellows,” Santiago says. “I am particularly excited about bringing resources back to campus and sharing those with students and the entire campus community.”
The E. (Kika) de la Garza Fellowship was established in 1998 by the USDA-Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Leadership Group to advance the USDA's relationship with participating institutions. The program is designed to enhance fellows' professional growth while fostering workforce diversity and strengthening the nation's capacity to provide high-quality education and increased opportunities for Hispanic-Americans.
Santiago will experience first-hand the education policymaking process. In addition to meeting with USDA personnel, she and the other fellows will connect with federal agencies and organizations such as the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“Through this fellowship, I hope to gain knowledge and a better understanding how federal policies and programs can address the complex needs of the growing Latino population in the United States and particularly how they attempt to address the educational gaps that exist in this community,” Santiago says.