Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program Announces new Cohort of Ricardo Salinas Scholars

September 9, 2020

17 Scholars awarded the Ricardo Salinas Scholarship to participate in Aspen Institute programs, bringing unique perspectives to address challenges facing our global communities.

Contact: Maria Samaniego
Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Senior Program Manager

Washington, DC, September 9, 2020–– The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program announces scholarship awards to 17 outstanding candidates to participate in the Aspen Institute’s leadership, seminars and public programs. The scholars represent fourteen cities across the United States from an array of sectors, including social work, writing, education, and entrepreneurship.

The new recipients will participate in eight different Institute policy and public programs including: Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship; Henry Crown Fellowship; Aspen Words; College Excellence Program’s Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship; Executive Seminar; Socrates Seminar; Science and Society Program; and, the ASCEND SOAR Fellowship. All will follow the footsteps of the awardees before them and continue to diversify the Institute’s programming and leadership.

Thanks to generous support from Ricardo Salinas and Grupo Salinas, since the scholarship program’s inception in 2015, the Aspen Institute has awarded a total 309 Ricardo Salinas Scholarships enabling Scholars from 73 different cities to participate in more than 84 unique Institute programs. “We live in tumultuous times requiring agile leaders, critical thinkers dedicated to solving the complex problems we face. The Ricardo Salinas Scholarship provides Latino changemakers entry into the Aspen Institute’s influential fora to advance learning, innovation, and cross-sector collaboration. Our mission is to elevate these Latino leaders’ insights and voices to new heights,” said Domenika Lynch, Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program, Executive Director.

The Aspen Institute fosters leadership based on enduring values and provides a nonpartisan venue for exploring critical issues. With the creation and implementation of the Ricardo Salinas Scholarship, The Institute aims to increase the participation of emerging and established American Latinos and Mexican citizens in the Aspen Institute’s public events, policy roundtables, leadership seminars and other convenings. In doing so, it provides participants access to leadership development opportunities and to networks that help build social capital. Scholars are able to engage with convene scholars with world-renowned thought leaders, content, and cross-sector networks of influencers and decision makers.

Mayra Olivares-Urueta, Ph.D. attests “through my participation in this fellowship I am engaging with leaders who are leading intuitions during this massive world crisis. I am actively learning as I work with my cohort. Additionally, the access I have to a top-of-the-line cohort of colleagues and leaders has already rendered some benefits to my specific college and students…One of the most powerful lessons I have learned from my experiences as a [Salinas Scholar] is to not waste a good crisis…The call to lead is daunting but the support of the Aspen Institute is giving me the wings to rise above the chaos to do the best and most for our students and our communities,” regarding her participation in the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship.

The Latinos and Society Program is proud to uplift scholars such as Olivares-Urueta and increase Latino involvement in all levels of society.

Scholars from the 2020 cohort are:
Richard Beemer, Corps Member, Teach for America
Catalina Bode, MFA Candidate, University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers Program
Emilio Carrero, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Arizona
Gabriela Garcia, Lucie Brock-Broido Teaching Fellow, Columbia University
Vivian Garcia Cruz, Student, Fontbonne University
Dr. Susan Guzmán-Treviño, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Temple College
Dr. Paul Hernandez, Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs, Mount Wachusett Community College
Lorena Marez, Chief Military Law, Military Intelligence Readiness Command
Ashley Murguia Topete, Student, University of Arkansas
Mayra Olivares-Urueta, Ph.D., Vice President of Student Development Services, Tarrant County College’s Northeast Campus
Rodrigo Pérez Ortega, Freelance Science Journalist
Ángela Posada-Swafford, Science Writer and Motivational Speaker
Elena Ramirez-Gorski, MFA Candidate, University of Minnesota
Briana Robles, Student, Webster University
Helen Torres, Chief Executive Officer, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality
Diana Williams, Deputy Director, Mesa County Public Health
Claudette Zepeda, Founder, Viva La Vida LLC

For more details on scholarship eligibility and nomination process, please visit or contact Pamela Cervera at

The Aspen Institute founded the Latinos and Society Program in 2015 to provide a place for Latinos and non-Latinos to learn about their shared future and jointly explore solutions to the challenges of our times. Its vision is to provide a non-partisan, unbiased platform for shared learning across communities of influencers on the critical obstacles preventing greater Latino achievement and jointly come up with new, innovative and actionable solutions for a more prosperous future for all Americans. This policy program convenes diverse audiences and subject matter experts to champion the important policy area of, economic advancement. The program is also connecting a pipeline of Latino leaders to Institute programs, fostering collaboration, and strengthening their networks. To learn more, follow @AspenLatinos, or visit

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit During the COVID-19 crisis, the Aspen Institute is adapting to address the challenges of the pandemic. Learn more about some of the solutions we’re proposing, the actions we’re taking, and the changemakers we’re supporting.


View Comments