Xiomara Melendez, the Office of Student Success’s senior coordinator for access and transition, has been selected to join the Gus Chavez Educational Leadership Institute, a statewide institute dedicated to developing educational professionals that promote social justice and educational equity.
Melendez is one of 36 members across the California education community invited to join the institute, which is sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The institute aims to deepen members’ knowledge and sharpen skills to promote social justice in their work, and foster a professional network that can support members as they advance their careers.
“Being selected to be part of the Gus Chavez Educational Leadership Institute is humbling,” Melendez said. “I’ve been fortunate to have access to services, programs, and mentorship opportunities that I hope to create for future generations. It’s my opportunity to pay it forward.”
Melendez joined Cal Poly Pomona in 2017. In her current position, she plays a key role in Project CAMINOS, a $3 million Title V Hispanic Serving Institution Grant that aims to eliminate the equity gap by preparing students for graduation, life after graduation and supporting a diverse, skilled workforce for the regional, statewide and national economy.
“Xiomara is a visionary leader deeply engaged in collaborating with K-12 public school districts and community colleges,” said Terri Gomez, Associate Provost for Student Success, Equity and Innovation. “She leads with empathy and a set of equity-minded, student-centered core values. We were honored that she was selected.”
Melendez will participate in the institute’s activities through summer 2022. The institute is named for Augustine “Gus” Chavez, an educator and activist who was named an Educational Opportunity Program Trailblazer by the CSU in 2015.