AAHHE Mildred García Founders' Award

The AAHHE Mildred García Founders’ Award is given in the spirit of the extraordinary leadership, stewardship, and courage evidenced by the founding members of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education. This award honors an individual or organization demonstrating an exemplary commitment to advancing access and success of the Latinx population in higher education; evidencing a pioneering spirit in forging transformational avenues and inclusionary opportunities that support and promote Latinx issues; and achieving outstanding accomplishments aligned with AAHHE’s mission. The AAHHE Founders' Award is now named after Dr. Mildred García. You may see Dr. García's biography and photo here.

Founding Members (January 2003) include:

William Aguilar, California State University, San Bernardino; Norma V. Cantú, School of Law, University of Texas at Austin; Dr. Jaime Chahin, Texas State University; Dr. Mildred García, American Association of State Colleges & Universities; Mr. Dave Gonzales, State Farm Insurance Companies, Western Zone; Dr. Juan C. Gonzales, College of Education, University of Texas at Austin; Dr. Virginia Gonzalez, North Hampton Community College; Dr. Alfredo de los Santos Jr., Hispanic Research Center, Arizona State University; Dr. Estela López, Connecticut State University System; Dr. Loui Olivas, Professor Emeritus, WP Carey School of Business, Arizona State University; Dr. Eduardo Padrón, President, Retired, Miami Dade Community College; Mr. Jesus Rangel, Anheuser-Busch Company; Dr. Ricardo Romo, President, Retired, The University of Texas – San Antonio. 

2023 AAHHE Mildred Garcia Founders' Award Recipient



The Campaign for College Opportunity
Michele Siqueiros


Michele Siqueiros was the first in her family to graduate from college. She is passionate about the power of college to change lives, and the ability of policy making to expand opportunity. Since 2008, she has served as the President of The Campaign for College Opportunity, and has led historic higher education policy budget and legislative reforms in California that make it easier for students to transfer from community college to a four year university, access college level courses and financial aid. The Campaign has successfully secured millions of additional state dollars to expand student enrollment and improve student outcomes and championed efforts to increase access to Pell Grants, protect Cal Grant funding, support undocumented students, and reform community college pathways. Prior to joining the Campaign in 2004, Michele worked for the City of Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, she helped co-found Public AlliesLos Angeles in 1998, and worked for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).

Michele has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pitzer College and a Master of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In 2019 she was appointed by Senate Pro Tem Leader Atkins to the Student Centered Funding Formula Oversight Committee. In 2020 Governor Newsom asked her to serve on the California Higher Education Recovery with Equity Taskforce. She previously served on the California Student Aid Commission as a gubernatorial appointee and on the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners as a Mayoral appointee from 2005-2010. 

List of past recipients of the previously known Founder's Award:

  • 2022 Adela de la Torre, PhD
  • 2021 Joe I. Castro
  • 2020 Monica C. Lozano
  • 2019 Mari-Luci Jaramillo
  • 2018 Gary Francisco Keller