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Notre Dame honored as 'bright flame' for Hispanic community

by Carol Elliott

August 2, 2010

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The Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame has been selected as a winner of a 2010 Brillante Award for Excellence in recognition of its work to support the educational advancement and recognition of Hispanics and Hispanic communities across the nation.

The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) considers the annual “Bright Flame” award, created in 1989, to be its most prestigious honor. The Mendoza College will be recognized during the organization’s annual Conference and Career Expo, which will be held this year in Chicago, October 21 and 23.

“The Brillante Award is very meaningful for us, because it recognizes the long relationship that Notre Dame has fostered with the Hispanic community,” said Carolyn Y. Woo, the Martin J. Gillen Dean. “As a business school, we especially share NSHMBA’s mission to develop business leaders who have a concern for the greater good of society as well as their organizations.”

“The presentation of the Brillante Award to the Mendoza College of Business is a significant recognition of the increasing emphasis that the University of Notre Dame has placed on the importance of Latinos to the future of our country,” said Gilberto Cárdenas, assistant provost and director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies (ILS). “The University recognizes that this future can only be fulfilled if we focus on increasing the educational opportunities for the growing number of young Latinos, and so it is notable that this award is being given to one of the colleges that has most actively sought to engage this community.”

NSHMBA selected six Brillante Award winners in all. The list includes:

  • Educational Excellence (Academic) – University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business
  • Educational Excellence (Individual) – U.S. Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas)
  • Corporate Excellence – State Farm Insurance
  • Corporate Executive Excellence – Raymond Arroyo, chief diversity officer at Aetna Inc.
  • Entrepreneurial Excellence – Murray Mann, co-founder of Global Diversity Solutions Group
  • Member Services – America Baez, co-chair of the NSHMBA National Leadership Task Force

“This list of winners serves as a beacon to both the public and private sectors, and sets the stage for our future winners – knowingly or unknowingly – already doing great things within our community,” said Steven Ramos, interim CEO of NSHMBA. “They are selfless in their goals and in return they should be recognized selflessly, and it’s our job and honor to do so.”

Notre Dame has enjoyed a longtime relationship with the Hispanic community, which includes the establishment of the ILS to support interdisciplinary research initiatives and the activities of the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR), a national consortium of university-based centers dedicated to the advancement of the Latino intellectual presence in the United States. Notre Dame also launched a task force in 2008 dedicated to improving the educational opportunities available to Latino children by doubling their enrollment in Catholic schools. Hispanic Magazine consistently ranks Notre Dame on its list of the top 25 colleges for Latinos.

The Mendoza College is a member of the NSHMBA University Partner Program, helping to increase the number of Hispanic students completing master’s degrees, and also offers the Notre Dame MBA/NSHMBA Merit Fellowship for qualified candidates. Other collaborations between the College and the Hispanic community include a recent partnership with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to provide executive education to Chamber leaders, as well as the Cicero Youth Task Force, a certification program that provides executive training to nonprofit leaders in Cicero, Ill.

Notre Dame also is the lead academic sponsor for the NSHMBA 2010 Conference and Career Expo in Chicago, an event expected to draw more than 8,500 Hispanic MBA professionals and students, and 250-plus corporations, nonprofits, government agencies and academic institutions.

The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) was created in 1988 as a non-profit organization. NSHMBA serves 32 chapters and more than 8,000 members in the United States and Puerto Rico. It exists to foster Hispanic leadership through graduate management education and professional development in order to improve society. NSHMBA works to prepare Hispanics for leadership positions so that they can provide the cultural awareness and sensitivity vital in the management of the nation’s diverse workforce.

Contact: Patrick Perrella, director of career development, 574-631-1722, pperrella@nd.edu