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Northern Arizona University and Hispanic Heritage Foundation Announce Partnership

Hispanic Heritage Foundation

MOU to Include Academic Achievement, STEM-Industry Pipeline, and Research Supporting Latino Human Capital Development

FLAGSTAFF, AZ. – Today, The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), announced its partnership with Northern Arizona University to promote academic cooperation and human capital development, through research and education. As part of the cooperation, both organizations are committed to:

  • Exchange of materials in education and research, publications, and academic information
  • Development of joint proposals to funding entities (federal, state, institutional) for projects of mutual interest
  • Joint meetings/seminars for training, education, and research
  • Technical assistance, to include strategic development and consulting
  • Student exchange and liaison
  • And conducting research on HHF’s programs across the country including Code As a Second Language (CSL)

“We are thrilled to work with Northern Arizona University, a world-class research institution, which will help us move our mission forward in ensuring Latinos and Native Americans have a stronger path to the STEM fields in education and careers,” said Antonio Tijerino, president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. “Research is critical to better programs, strategies and service in support of our Latino community, who are underrepresented in the STEM fields, not because of talent but because of opportunity. This partnership will work to increase opportunities for Latinos in STEM.”

Recruiting, nurturing and graduating Hispanic and Native American students in the fields of STEM is a priority at NAU.

“The importance of diversity in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math cannot be overstated,” said Northern Arizona University President Rita Hartung Cheng. “STEM skills are critical in the ability of the US to compete in a global economy. As the largest minority group in the public school system, Hispanics are underrepresented in undergraduate and graduate STEM programs and are not sufficiently exposed to STEM subjects at the K-12 level.”

In one effort, NAU launched Center for Materials Interfaces in Research and Applications ¡MIRA! in 2019 as an interdisciplinary materials science research center focused on the development of advanced functional materials through the exploration of materials interfaces.

In Spanish, ¡MIRA! means “look”! ¡MIRA! is an invitation to look at the impact of materials interfaces, look at the impact of NAU, and look at the state of Arizona. ¡MIRA! is also a recognition of the demographics of Arizona, one that is multicultural and a deliberate welcoming to underrepresented minorities to consider education and career paths in materials science and STEM in general. As a group, 50 percent of ¡MIRA! leadership, core faculty and affiliated faculty are in underrepresented groups and/or female, which sets a new precedent for inclusivity among materials research centers across the country.

This year, NAU celebrated 1,357 Hispanic students who graduated this spring or will graduate this summer.

About Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University is a high-research university with a statewide enrollment of 31,000 students. More than 22,000 students attend the Flagstaff campus, with more than 8,000 students enrolled online and at community campuses throughout the state. Research in genetics, forestry and ecology has drawn international recognition to the university, which also is highly regarded for its education, business and engineering programs. NAU’s student population represents 127 tribal nations and is on its way to becoming the nation’s leading university serving Native American/Alaskan and Hawaiian Native cultures. NAU launched competency-based Personalized Learning in 2013, the first self-paced, online education program that cuts the cost and time to an undergraduate degree. For more information, visit Follow NAU on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.

About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is a national nonprofit organization focused on education, workforce, leadership, and culture through innovative, impactful, award-winning programs. HHF is headquartered in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles with satellites workspaces in New York, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Austin and Miami. Visit Follow Hispanic Heritage Foundation on FacebookInstagram , LinkedIn and Twitter.

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