Diversity and Leadership are Focus of Hispanic Faculty/Staff Association’s 2008 Leadership Symposium

April 30, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas — The passion that stirs people to become better leaders will be discussed during the 2008 Leadership Symposium presented by the university's Hispanic Faculty/Staff Association May 6 at The University of Texas at Austin.

Beverly Kearney, head coach of the university's women's track and field team, and Art Acevedo, chief of the Austin Police Department will be keynote speakers for the 8:30 a.m. symposium in the Santa Rita Room of the Texas Union, said Luis Guevara, chairman of the HF/SA Leadership Symposium Committee.

Guevara said the 2008 Leadership Symposium, titled "Diversity & Leadership: Bridging Action with Passion," will provide innovative ideas and tools to help people become more effective and efficient leaders. He said information-sharing, skills development and networking opportunities at the symposium are designed to help empower participants and motivate them to assume leadership roles to make positive difference in society.

The symposium is open to the public but seating is limited and registration is required. On-site registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. on May 6 in the Santa Rita Room (3.502) of the Texas Union. A $15 fee will be assessed for on-site registration. Event information is available online.

The 2008 Leadership Symposium features four sessions addressing the themes of the symposium. Linda Medina, founder and president of Young Hispanic Professional Austin Association, will talk about "taking action in the community." Dr. Magdalena de la Teja, dean of student services at Austin Community College, will discuss professional development in a variety of contexts. Sylvia Acevedo of CommuniCard LLC will address the issue of leadership development in the 21st century. Dr. Dnika Jones Travis, assistant professor in the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin, will propose a method for improving dialogue in a diverse setting.

Kearney was a standout student-athlete at Hillsborough (Fla.) Community College where she earned National Junior College All-America honors. She then moved to Auburn University where she once again earned All-American honors. At Auburn, she earned a bachelor's degree in social work. She earned a master's degree at Indiana State University, where she began her coaching career. She has been a coach at the University of Toledo, University of Tennessee and the University of Florida. She became head coach of The University of Texas at Austin's women's track and field team in 1993, and since then the Texas Longhorns have claimed six national championships and 19 league championships. Prior to the 2008-2009 track and field season, she became the sixth Longhorn inducted into the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Acevedo migrated to the United States with his family in 1968 in search of freedom and the opportunities to be found in America. He earned his bachelor's degree, with departmental honors, in public administration from the University of La Verne, and began his professional career in law enforcement with the California Highway Patrol in 1986. Acevedo serves as the eighth police chief in the 84-year history of the Austin Police Department and is the first Hispanic to lead the city's police force. With more than two decades of law enforcement experience, he oversees a department that employs about 2,000 sworn officers and civilian personnel and has been designated a national model "flagship agency" in its most recent review by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

The 2008 Leadership Symposium is sponsored by the Hispanic Faculty/Staff Association, the Office of the President, the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, the College of Education, the College of Communication, the Cockrell School of Engineering, the School of Architecture, the Center for Mexican American Studies, the Center for Women's and Gender Studies, UTemps/Human Resource Services and the University Federal Credit Union.

For more information, contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of the President, 512 475 7847.