It is with extreme pleasure that Centro Hispano announces Benjamin “Ben” Rodriguez as the recipient of the 2009 Roberto G. Sánchez Award for promoting educational opportunities in the Latino community.
Throughout his life, Mr. Rodriguez has been an essential link between the Latino community and institutions of higher education. His outreach to local high schools and low income neighborhoods has inspired Latino engagement in public service initiatives and built leadership.
Mr. Rodriguez has an impressive list of accomplishments. He created the UW-Student Job Center, helped found the First Wave Spoken Word program, and was not only the Director of the Academic Advancement Program but also the Madison Mentor Program. As cofounder of LAFSA (Latina/o faculty, staff, and graduate students) Mr. Rodriguez has promoted recruitment and retention of many first generation college students.
As an assistant dean at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Mr. Rodriguez has been an integral part of the lives of the students he advises, assisting them with their finances, personal issues, and overcoming racism. His ability to build community is further demonstrated by the admiration of the students he serves. As nominator Assistant Dean Consuelo Springfield states, he has “enabled young people to feel good about themselves and their ability to pursue education.”
Centro Hispano Executive Director Peter Muñoz adds, “Each year Centro recognizes an individual in honor of UW-Madison Prof. Emeritus Roberto Sanchez for his life-long dedication to help students realize a bright future through academic achievement. To this end, we are pleased that Ben Rodriguez has been selected as the recipient of this year’s Award for his work to help students achieve their higher education goals.”
Mr. Rodriguez has always been a leader in initiatives for Latino opportunity in higher education. His continued work for Latinos in education makes Ben Rodriguez a highly deserving recipient of the 2009 Roberto G. Sánchez Recognition Award.
Ben Rodriguez will receive the Roberto G. Sánchez Award at Centro Hispano’s Annual Banquet on November 6th 2009 at the Concourse Hotel.
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