Provost Carmen Coballes-Vega Honored During ASPIRA’S 50th Anniversary Celebration

Hostos Community College Provost Carmen Coballes-Vega Honored

During ASPIRA’S 50th Anniversary Celebration

Monday, May 23, 2011 (New York) – Dr. Carmen Coballes-Vega, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Hostos Community College, was among the honorees of ASPIRA’s 50th anniversary celebration held last Thursday in downtown Manhattan.

“It is an incredible honor to receive this award from ASPIRA,” said Dr. Coballes-Vega. “The work of ASPIRA is even more important today as Latino youth in this country continue to struggle to achieve their educational dreams and become the leaders of tomorrow. My role at Hostos Community College complements ASPIRA’s vision as we work toward educating, guiding and inspiring the next generation of Latinos.”

The event brought together corporate leaders, national and state policymakers, prominent Aspirantes and community leaders for an evening to recognize the achievements of ASPIRA during the past half century as well as the successes of 50 Latinas from across the country.

Hostos President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said the ASPIRA award to Dr. Coballes-Vega is richly deserved. “ASPIRA could not have selected a more worthy recipient to honor as part of its 50th anniversary gala than Carmen Coballes-Vega,” said President Matos. “She has touched the lives of countless students and continues to inspire many young people through her work. She is an incredible asset at Hostos and to the greater New York City Latino community.”

About Provost Coballes-Vega

Dr. Coballes-Vega also serves as the chief academic officer of the college and is a member of President Matos Rodríguez’ management team.  Her responsibilities include advancing Hostos’ academic agenda, overseeing the integrity and excellence of academic programs, and working closely with the Hostos community, research centers, institutes, external regulatory agencies, and CUNY Central Office. The role also includes encouraging and supporting scholarship, engaging in interdisciplinary collaborations across the university and beyond, and implementing changes in policies and practices that affect academic life at the college.

Dr. Coballes-Vega has more than 30 years of experience in higher education.  She also served as dean of the College of Professional Studies and professor of education at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Earlier in her career, Dr. Coballes-Vega served for five years as associate dean and dean of the College of Education and Human Services at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.  She served as chair of the elementary education department at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and was a member of the faculty (1988-1998).  The American Association of State Colleges and Universities named Dr. Coballes-Vega a millennium leadership fellow.

Dr. Coballes-Vega holds a master’s degree in Humanities Education/School of Education, New York University; and a doctorate in Reading and Linguistics from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.


ASPIRA, the nation’s largest Latino nonprofit organization and the only one dedicated exclusively to the education of Latino youth, will salute the organization’s achievements and the leaders who have made a difference in Latino communities. For 50 years, ASPIRA has been at the forefront of providing educational opportunities to Latino youth. More than 500,000 young Latinos and Latinas have benefited from our youth development, guidance counseling and mentoring programs.

Dr. Antonia Pantoja, a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, and a group of Puerto Rican educators and professionals in New York City created ASPIRA (which means aspire in Spanish), to address the exceedingly high drop-out rate and low educational attainment of Puerto Rican youth. Since 1961, ASPIRA has been working at the grass-roots level to provide programs that encourage Latino students to stay in school, prepare them to succeed in the educational arena, develop their leadership skills, and to serve their community.

ASPIRA is organized in eight states and Puerto Rico and has extensive national presence through its partnerships with hundreds of regional, state and local education CBOs. It currently serves over 85,000 students each year through its ASPIRA Clubs in schools and its after-school education and guidance programs.  ASPIRA is a very diverse organization working with substantial numbers of Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Central Americans, Mexicans, and Cubans, as well as with African Americans, non-Hispanic whites, and Haitians, among others.

About Hostos Community College

Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, part of the City University of New York system, was founded in 1968.  Located in the South Bronx, the college currently serves more than 7,000 students.  In addition to associate degree programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions, Hostos also has an award-winning Continuing Education and Professional Studies Department that offers courses for professional development and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. In four decades, Hostos has grown from a class of 623 in the fall of 1970 to the spring 2010 enrollment of over 6,000 students.  The college also serves an additional 10,000 students through its Continuing Education and Professional Studies Department. For more news and stories about Hostos Community College visit