The University of Colorado Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus became the first research university in the state to attain status as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), according to an October 2021 designation by the U.S. Department of Education. To qualify for this status, a university must have undergraduate full-time enrollment that is comprised of at least 25% Hispanic/Latiné students and demonstrate a high concentration of students who are eligible for Pell Grants.

The HSI Advisory Committee for CU Anschutz is comprised of members who represent faculty, staff and students from a variety of units on the Anschutz Medical Campus.  Members volunteer time and effort towards our goals.  Much of the work is dividing into two focus areas and subcommittees, one with a faculty and staff focus and one with a student focus.  The larger committee meets monthly, and the subcommittees meet as often as twice per month depending on need.  The committee is on a path to increase inclusion and advancement for Latiné students, faculty and staff.

If you would like more information or have questions, please fill out this form and someone from the committee will get back to you soon.

Our mission is advising on how to to address inequities and foster a responsive, inclusive, and identity-safe climate for University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus students, faculty, staff, trainees and community members from Latiné and other minoritized groups by advocating for programs that improve social, emotional, academic, and career development and that are linked to systems of accountability.  These include, but are not limited to, efforts in the following areas:  

  • Fostering a sense of belonging, inclusion and well-being
  • Implementing evidence-based practices for advancing success
  • Providing holistic, evidence-based academic and professional development opportunities to build asset-based mindsets that are inclusive
The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is a health sciences campus with a responsive, inclusive and identity-safe climate through the fostering of a sense of belonging and inclusion for students, faculty, staff, trainees and community members. Our campus community members thrive when they are valued holistically and their individual culture is respected, visible and elevated.
HSI Advisory Committee Members
Professional headshot of Adela Cota-Gomez, she smiles wearing a yellow blazer in an outdoor setting.

Adela Cota-Gomez, PhD

Dr. Cota-Gomez is Assistant Director of Education Administration of the University of Colorado Cancer Center. She oversees a continuous portfolio of cancer-focused Pathways Programs from Middle School to Junior Faculty to realize the research education and training mission of the Cancer Center and diversify the cancer workforce. 

Professional headshot of Patricia Alvarez Valverde; she smiles and wears a light blue top with a bright, colorful necklace.

Patricia Alvarez Valverde, PhD, MPH

Patricia Alvarez Valverde is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health of the Colorado School of Public Health. Dr. Valverde is the interim director of the Latino Research and Policy Center, which focuses on improving the health of Latino communities in Colorado. Dr. Valverde is director of the Patient Navigation and Community Health Worker Training Program. She is the vice chair of the Tobacco Review Committee, the state committee that oversees the distribution of $22 million per year for Colorado tobacco control. She is the board secretary and research committee chair for the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking, a Colorado non-profit that administers the human trafficking hotline, and conducts research and training to eliminate labor and sex trafficking. Dr. Valverde works toward achieving health equity through patient-centered approaches. 

Professional Photo of Karely Villareal Hernandez; she smiles and wears a black top in front of a red wooden door

Karely Villareal Hernandez, MPH

Karely Villarreal Hernandez is a Professional Research Assistant for the Center for Health Work and Environment of the Colorado School of Public Health. As a Professional Research Assistant at the Center for Health Work and Environment of the Colorado School of Public Health, Karely is actively involved in conducting research projects that focus on the intersection of health and work. Her work extends to advocating and co-leading trainings in worker health, particularly within the Latino community, emphasizing the importance of creating safe and supportive workplaces. 

Professional photo of Tony Olivia; he wears a grey suit and smiles in an outdoor setting

Tony Oliva, MD, PhD

Dr. Oliva grew up in the small agricultural community of Fort Lupton, just north of Denver. For many summers growing up, he worked in the onion fields with his grandparents along with other migrant workers. His passion for the Latino community is rooted in those early experiences. Later, he became the first in his family to attend and graduate from college. Dr. Oliva’s time at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado, was transformative and solidified his commitment to his Latino community. As a Hispanic Serving Institution, Adams State revealed to Dr. Oliva the enormous effort needed to get people who looked like Dr. Oliva to not only go to college but to graduate with a degree. During medical school, Dr. Oliva created a cross-disciplinary student group focused on creating a community among students from underrepresented backgrounds and to provide educational outreach to local high schools in the Denver area. Concurrently, Dr. Oliva served as the national president for the Latino Medical Student Association and organized its first national conference. Since then, Dr. Oliva completed residency in anesthesiology and began serving as faculty at the University of Colorado Hospital in 2013. In the last ten years, Dr. Oliva served as our residency program director and now serves as our Vice Chair of Education. Issues affecting Latino students, trainees, staff, and faculty at CU remain a top priority for Dr. Oliva.

Professional headshot of Theresa Nino; she leans against a brick wall and smiles in a bright yellow top

Theresa Nino, she/her/hers/ella 

Theresa is a Senior Instructor for the College of Nursing at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Theresa has over 30 years of clinical expertise in critical care, trauma, and nursing education. Ms. Nino received both her Bachelors and Master of Science in Nursing at the California State University at Dominquez Hills. Theresa serves through participation in shared governance as well as the DEI Advisory Council at the College of Nursing. Theresa is engaged in DEI work for the AMC campus and is a part of the Chancellor’s Council for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement. She is a member of the Hispanic Serving Institute Steering Committee and participates in community work for the LGBTQ Hub. She serves local professional nursing organizations and is engaged in the education and recognition of our community of excellent nurses. Theresa strives to promote inclusivity and promotes health equity in the learning spaces and planning for our next generation of providers. 

Headshot of Montelle Tamez; she smiles and wears a black top with a floral pattern

Montelle Taméz 

Montelle Taméz is the Deputy Director of Community Engagement and Health Equity at the University of Colorado's Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. Ms. Taméz has 20 years of experience addressing health disparities and the social determinants of health through public health program development, implementation and management, health education and promotion, community engagement and community engaged research. Her career spans multiple sectors, including community-based non-profit organizations, state and local public health, and academic research institutions. 

Cartoon image of a mountain with blue sky and sun behind it.

Samantha Lopez

Samantha is a Research Services Professional working with the Department of Community & Behavioral Health and the Latino Research & Policy Center.

Professional headshot of Tania Reis; she smiles in an outdoor setting and wears a read shirt.

Tânia Reis 

In 2011, Tânia began her research program with the goal of discovering ways that organs communicate with each other to maintain organismal energy balance. After 20 years of living in the U.S., Tânia is aware that many scientists face specific obstacles that have nothing to do with scientific merit. As a mom, immigrant, and scientist with an accent who is often misidentified as Latina, Tânia constantly faces all the positive and negative biases associated with the stereotypes linked to these intersectionalities.  Work and advocacy towards belonging, equity, and inclusion are closely intertwined with Tânia's research, because one cannot exist without the other. 

Professional image of Dionisia de la Cerda leaning against a pillar in an indoor setting, smiling, and wearing a black top

Dionisia de la Cerda, MPA

Dionisia de la Cerda has worked for the University of Colorado for almost 2 decades. She began as a community college transfer student working as a student tutor in the Math Learning Center at the Colorado Springs campus. She has worked in Student Success, Corrections, and K12 STEM education research. She came to the Anschutz campus in 2015.  Her passions are data and community.  

Professional headshot of Regina Richards who is smiling at the camera

Regina Richards, PhD, MSW

Dr. Regina Richards serves as the Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement for the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, where she is focusing on expanding CU Anschutz initiatives both on the campus and in the community with primary drivers of health equity, outreach and support. Dr. Richards has developed longitudinal partnerships with Office of Admissions and Student Life, Faculty Affairs, hospital systems, facilitating trainings and workshops anchored in best practices for organizational positive changes in the areas of recruitment and retention practices, equitable and inclusive climate and culture using strategic data-driven approaches for initiatives and measurable outcomes. She's highly skilled in developing, managing and sustaining pipeline programs using equity framework. Dr. Richards' service to the community includes but is not limited to, national, regional and local presentations, mentoring and coaching of professionals across disciplines and at various institutional levels. Regina has served CU Anschutz for more than two decades. Since 2009, she has served as the inaugural director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in the CU School of Medicine. Regina also holds an appointment as an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine. Her previous roles in higher education and healthcare included positions with Children's Hospital Colorado and CU Medicine. Regina is a co-founder of the Faculty Department Diversity Leadership Group, and diversity retention program University of Colorado Organization for Racial and Ethnic Support, and previously co-chairs the SOM Dean's Diversity Council.  Currently in her new role, she is the chair of the Chancellor's Diversity Equity Inclusion and Community Engagement Leadership Council and serves on several community boards, and is a faculty mentor for student, staff, and faculty affinity groups. 

Professional headshot of Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina, who is smiling at the camera

Deborah Parra-Medina, MPH, PhD

Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina is Executive Director of the Center for Health Equity and Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She has over 25 years of research and program experience in chronic disease prevention with underserved groups, including women, Hispanics, immigrants, youth and financially disadvantaged populations in diverse geographic and community settings. Her research portfolio includes 20 grants funded for over $22 million over the past 25 years. Dr. Parra-Medina has disseminated her research in over 120 published articles, presented extensively at national and international conferences, and received awards for research, teaching, and service. In 2016 she was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior. She received the 2013 American Public Health Association Mayhew Derryberry Award for outstanding contributions to research in the behavioral sciences. Dr. Parra-Medina currently serves as Editor for the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Science and is an editorial board member for several scholarly journals. 

Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Community Engagement

CU Anschutz

Fitzsimons Building

13001 East 17th Place

Suite CG001

Aurora, CO 80045


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