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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue:  March 25, 2002
Volume 37, Number 17

Torres aims to increase minority leadership in higher education

By Carolyn Gonzales

Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Eliseo “Cheo” Torres was recently named chair of the Minority Undergraduate Fellows Program (MUFP) advisory board. MUFP is a program of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), the voice for student affairs administration, policy and practice.

The purpose of MUFP is to increase the number of ethnic-minority members or individuals with disabilities in student affairs and higher education. “UNM is a major player in MUFP,” Torres said. “We need more minorities in university administrative positions.”

Eight UNM staff will each mentor one or two students, or fellows, providing them with a chance to see what a career in student affairs or higher education would be like.

Torres has personally worked with one or two fellows annually since 1997. “The fellows go with me to conferences, shadow me, attend meetings, and generally get exposed to the field,” Torres said.

Another MUFP initiative is the Summer Internship Program. Fellows participate in paid internships at another institution to broaden their experience and perspective. “Twenty institutions are active in this eight-week program. We will have two fellows coming to UNM to work with the Summer Bridge Program, LOBOrientation and more. We also have UNM fellows who will go to work at another campus,” he said.

Fellows are also invited to participate in Summer Leadership Institute, to be held this year at Duke University and next year in Hawaii.

“The advisory board will work with our peers and NASPA at other universities to expand MUFP,” said Torres.

He said that Congress recently awarded NASPA $250,000 to enhance MUFP to allow the program to include more fellows and mentors.

Torres said the board will be conducting surveys of MUFP’s effectiveness as well as marketing the program and looking to high schools to get students interested earlier.