HSI Summit Making Conexiones April 26 2023 Western Oregon University
Western Oregon University hosted its 2nd Annual Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Summit.

This year’s Summit, Making Conexiones, provided a space for our university community, including our state and national partners, to provide multiple perspectives and help us learn from each other. The list included the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), Excelencia in Education, Chemeketa Community College, Portland State University, University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, and many more. 

The Summit morning session and two concurrent sessions were recorded and are available for review in the schedule section below. Follow the links provided. 


HSI Summit Schedule

HSI Summit Program (PDF)

Time Activity & Location Presenter(s)
8:15am-9:00am Check-in & Networking (Pacific Room, Werner University Center, (WUC))

Welcome (Pacific Room, WUC)

Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) Overview (Pacific Room, WUC)

WOU Student Panel (Pacific Room, WUC)

Keynote Presentation (Pacific Room, WUC)

Recording: http://www2.wou.edu/nora/woutv.home?pid=1834

Jesse Peters, President, Western Oregon University

Osvaldo Avila, Inclusion and Equity Specialist, HECC

Moderator: Moshe Martinez

Panelist: Jesus Emmanuel Villa, Estela Miranda, Diana Valdovinos, Jullieta Alarcón

Jennifer Gomez-Chávez, Ed.D., Vice President for Institutional Engagement, Excelencia in Education


12:00pm-12:50pm Lunch and Entertainment Los Conquistadores de WOU

Concurrent Sessions

1) Becoming an HSI (Richard Woodcock Education Center 101, Pastega Room)

Recording: http://www2.wou.edu/nora/woutv.home?pid=1836

2) Columbia Gorge Community College’s Trajectory as HSI: Scaling to Serve (Columbia Room, WUC)

Recording: http://www2.wou.edu/nora/woutv.home?pid=1835

3) Student Round Table (Willamette Room, WUC)


1) Kathy Espino-Perez, Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, & Alicia Ibaraki, Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences, Western Oregon University

2) Lisa AbuAssaly George, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, & Sara Mustonen, Director of Advising and Title III, Columbia Gorge Community College

3) Julisa Chavez, Student, Chemeketa Community College & Priscila España, Student, Western Oregon University

2:00pm-2:50pm Student Presentations and Round Table Discussions (Pacific Room, WUC)

Presenters: Julisa Chavez, Chemeketa Community College, Priscilla España, Western Oregon University

Facilitators: Vivi Caleffi Prichard, Chief Diversity Officer, Chemeketa Community College, Luanne Carrillo-Avalos, Interim Director, Multicultural Student Services & Programs, Western Oregon University

2:50pm-3:00pm Closing Remarks (Pacific Room, WUC) Jerry Ambris, Board of Trustees-Western Oregon University & Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Willamette Valley
3:00pm-3:30pm Networking/Dessert (Pacific Room, WUC)


Keynote Biography

Jennifer Gomez Chavez

Jennifer Gomez-Chávez serves as the Vice President for Institutional Engagement for Excelencia in Education.  In her role, she supports the advancement of institutional transformation to intentionally serve Latino students through engaging with institutions and their leaders to connect them to Excelencia’s programs, services, resources and research. She facilitates a network of affiliates through outreach strategies, engaging them in learning communities, keeping them informed about policy issues, and ensuring that they receive support to advance their efforts. Portfolio includes: Presidents for Latino Student Success, Affiliate Engagement in the network, Policy, Liaison for Institutional programs and practitioners, and Liaison for Emerging HSIs.

Jennifer is a native New Mexican born and raised in Hagerman, a small rural farming community. Jennifer has 30 years of experience working with low-income, and students from underrepresented backgrounds through her positions with the LULAC National Educational Service Center and the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque. She holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice, a Master’s in Counseling, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Jennifer retired from the University of New Mexico where she spent 27 years in various roles that include: Special Assistant to the Associate Vice Chancellor for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UNM Health Sciences Center and main campus, Executive Director of the Unidos Project, Central Region Director for ENLACE New Mexico, Director of Collective Impact Initiatives and an adjunct faculty member. She led the first Title V grant at UNM main campus and was named as the inaugural Director of Student Success for the university.


Independence Hotel

The Independence Hotel is located just three miles east of campus in downtown Independence. 

WOU has a negotiated room rate of $129 (not including state and local taxes). This rate is for base tier rooms (Deluxe King or Deluxe 2 Queens). HSI Summit attendees may have their reservations prorated at this rate. Please notify Emmanuel Macías (maciase@wou.edu), no later than April 7, 2023, with your reservation confirmation number and contact information. WOU will notify the Independence Hotel that you are a guest of the University; they will prorate your reservation to WOU’s rate. Rate is subject to room availability, Independence Hotel rules and policies, and not guaranteed. It is highly recommended lodging reservations be made well in advance.

Address: 201 Osprey Ave, Independence, OR

Tel: (503) 837-0200, Email: info@theindependencehotel.com

Independence Hotel Building    Independence Hotel to WOU directions.

MaMere’s Guest House

MaMere’s Guest House is located one block away from the campus and offers a bed and breakfast style lodging. 

WOU has negotiated 20% off room rates (not including state and local taxes). HSI Summit attendees may have their reservations prorated at this rate. Please notify Emmanuel Macías (maciase@wou.edu), no later than April 7, 2023, with your reservation confirmation number and contact information. WOU will notify MaMere’s Guest House that you are a guest of the University; they will prorate your reservation to WOU’s rate. Rate is subject to room availability, MaMere’s Guest House rules and policies, and not guaranteed. It is highly recommended lodging reservations be made well in advance.

Address: 212 Knox St N, Monmouth, OR 97361

Tel: 503-917-8745, Email: mameresguesthouse@gmail.com

MaMeres Building    MaMeres to WOU directions.

Additional local lodging is available throughout Monmouth, Dallas, Corvallis, and Salem, OR.


Free on-site parking is available at Lot G (corner of Stadium Dr and Church St), which is a short five minute walk east to the Werner University Center.


WOU Campus Parking Lot Map

WOU Parking Lot Map

Campus Map & Directions

The campus of Western Oregon University is located at 345 Monmouth Ave N, Monmouth, OR 97301. 

Campus Map

Campus Map (PDF)


COVID-19 County Levels & Masks

WOU encourages the campus community to be up to date on the County COVID-19 levels. While masks are always welcome at WOU, masks are highly recommended when COVID-19 community level is medium or high. At this time, Polk County is considered low community level.

For additional information about COVID-19 guidelines and policies at WOU, visit https://wou.edu/coronavirus/.


Background and Purpose

On April 1, 2022, the WOU HSI Summit was held to bring together campus, community, and national partners to discuss what it means to become a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). Three primary goals lead the planning and implementation of the day-long event. 

These were: 

  1. To develop a shared understanding of what it means to not just become a federally-recognized Hispanic Serving Institution, but to become a Hispanic SUCCESS Institution.
  2. To provide opportunities for both our campus community and our external partners to share their perspectives and ideas as to how WOU should proceed in our efforts to become a Hispanic SUCCESS Institution.
  3. To develop and strengthen our network of individuals and organizations that are committed to WOU becoming an HSI, and to develop and strengthen the relationships that network is built upon.

2023 HSI Summit Working Group

Chelle Batchelor, Dean of Library and Academic Innovation | Hamersly Library

Doris Cancel-Tirado, Professor | Division of Health and Exercise Science

Luanne Carrillo-Avalos, Interim Director | Multicultural Student Services & Programs

Sarah Lockwood, Facilities Scheduling Manager | Student Engagement

Anna Hernandez-Hunter, Interim Director | Office of Admissions

Emmanuel Macías, Executive Assistant | Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

Dominique Vargas, Executive Director | Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

2023 HSI Summit Student Staff

Jessica Garibay Ochoa, WOU Student

Alessandra Cervantes Ramirez, WOU Student

Litzy Ku Beiza, WOU Student

Mary Ayala-Velazquez, WOU Student


    The morning Zoom Webinars will have ASL Interpreters and live captioning. If you would like to request additional disability related accommodation(s) to participate in a WOU activity or event, please notify Disability Services (ODS) at 503-838-8250 or ods@wou.edu by April 18, 2023. For ASL interpreting, Typewell transcribing, or captioning services please complete the online request form.


    Valcan cellars logo featuring kissing birds
    Hi-School Pharmacy logo
    Independence Hotel logo
    Mameres Logo
    Roses of the World Wholesale