Hispanic Advisory Council

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The University of Arizona Hispanic Advisory Council provides community input and support to the UA on strategic initiatives and in promoting diversity and inclusion. 

The role of the University of Arizona Hispanic Advisory Council is to support the mission and success of the University of Arizona by strengthening the UA’s ability to serve the Hispanic community. 

We are committed to serving as a communications conduit between Southern Arizona’s Hispanic communities and the UA. We also value and welcome your input. Please email your questions, suggestions, or comments. 

Ivy K. Banks, M.Ed., J.D. 
Associate Vice Provost, Diversity & Inclusion 
Office of Diversity & Inclusion 
Email: ivybanks@arizona.edu 

Denise TrimbleSmith
Program Director, Diversity & Inclusion
Office of Diversity & Inclusion
Email: dtrimblesmith@arizona.edu 

Charlinda Haudley
Program Coordinator Senior, Office of Multicultural Advancement
Division of Equity, Inclusion
Email: chaudley@arizona.edu(link sends e-mail)
T 520-621-8266

Advisory Council Members

Magdalena Verdugo


Council Chair

President/ CEO YWCA

Victor Mercado


Council Co-Chair

Principal, ILLUME Advising

Andra Soria

she/her/hers/ ella

Interim Director, Guerrero Student Center

Honorary Member

Lea Marquez Peterson


Owner, Marquez Peterson Group

Marisela Felix


Sunnyside School District Director of Public Information

Isabel Georgelos


Interim President/CEO Tucson Hispanic Chamber

Melissa Martinez


IT Portfolio Management

Elizer Asunsolo


Commercial Relationship Associate/ AVP, BBVA Compass

Maria Federico Brummer


Director, Mexican American Student Services

Elizabeth Soltero


Ward 1 Chief of Staff

Dominic Ortega

Community Member At Large

Kate Hoffman


President/CEO Earn to Learn

Edgar Soto

Pima Community College Desert Vista Campus Vice President & Director of Student Affairs

Lydia Aranda

Council Member

President, CPLC Southern Arizona & Border Communities

Alexi Marquez

President, UA Hispanic Alumni Association

Honorary Member

Marla Franco

Assistant Vice Provost of HSI Office

Honorary Member

Raul Aguirre

President/CEO of REA Media Group

Adriana Kong Romero

Senior Vice President, Tucson Market President

Andrés Portella, III

Senior Policy Advisor

Community Member


The Advisory Council members are alumni, educators, retirees and community members who are interested in helping the university achieve its goal of embracing our diversity as a strategic source of strength. The council meetings are open to community members. If you are a community member who is interested in joining or attending the Hispanic Advisory Council meetings, please contact Office of Diversity and Inclusion at inclusion@arizona.edu for more information. 

Initiatives 2019-2020

  • Support the UA’s 100% Engagement efforts by uncovering engagement opportunities that are accessible to first-generation students.
  • Collaborate with UA Hispanic Alumni for fundraising and student retention.
  • Collaborate with Student Affairs Enrollment Management to host a Diversity Transfer Day in spring 2016.
  • Support UA legislative priorities by collaborating with UA’s State Relations and Alumni Association to engage the Hispanic and broader Southern Arizona communities in support of UA. 


The Advisory Council also focuses on a number of activities each year that yield significant results. These include:

  • The Advisory Council secured significant additional funding to support student recruitment efforts, bolstered retention programs, and increased the number of students who benefit from UA writing skills programs.
  • Members collaborated with the Division of Student Affairs to increase the capacity of the UA New Start Program. New Start is a summer bridge program that helps students successfully transition from high school to the UA. Both the total number of students and the number of Hispanic students signing up to participate in New Start has increased by more than 30%. 
  • Advisory Council members trained to serve as Parents and Alumni Working With Students (PAWS) Volunteers. PAWS Volunteers help the UA recruit students by sharing their personal undergraduate experiences. PAWS Volunteers can adopt a school to help create a college-going culture, assist with college fairs, and/or sponsor and participate in admitted student/parent receptions.


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