Cindy Gil, director of Latino Affairs in the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement, will be one of 56 inaugural members of the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) Enlace Mid-Level Leadership Program. The six-month leadership development program for mid-level college and university professionals is designed to increase the number, variety, and quality of Latino/a talent in leadership positions at Hispanic-Serving Institutions and in higher education overall. Gil is the only member named from Indiana.
“I am excited about the opportunity to network with outstanding Latinx professionals in higher education from across the country,” said Gil. “I am looking forward to developing mentorship relationships with other Latinos who have achieved leadership roles within their universities and learn from their experiences.”
Cindy Gil is a speaker, educator, and community connector. Originally from Mexico, she spent half of her life on the West Coast and currently lives in Indianapolis. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Butler University and a Master of Public Affairs from the Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indianapolis. She works as a member of an IUPUI cross-campus leadership team focused on the design and implementation of Latino outreach activities, student and faculty transition and retention services, and educational programs to empower all students to achieve success.
In addition to her role at IUPUI, she works to build understanding of the immigrant experience in the United States. In 2013, she developed and presented the Indiana Immigration Simulation Experience as part of a graduate course assignment. The simulation is a two-hour program that serves to sensitize participants to the realities faced by newcomers, refugees, immigrants, and mixed status families. Organizations such as the Immigrant Welcome Center, Families First Indiana, Indianapolis Public Schools, Butler University, and IUPUI have used this tool to build identification with and empathy towards immigrant communities.
“My objectives are to gain tools to help address Latinx student recruitment and retention, to build a wider support network for the Latinx Affairs work on our campus, and to educate others about the service and programming we have to offers to Latinx communities on our campus and beyond,” said Gil. “While IUPUI has maintained a consistent upward trend in Latinx student enrollment we still struggle with retaining and graduating the students we recruit. I hope to learn strategies to support our retention efforts and work alongside our various units including Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs to support our efforts.”
Enlace members will participate in programming covering academic and student affairs management, regional institutional accreditation, diversity, equity and inclusion, and higher education advocacy issues. The sessions will be delivered through a series of online meetings and also in person sessions that will take place in October 2023 at HACU’s Annual Conference in Chicago and at the National Capitol Forum in Washington, D.C., in April 2024. The program will conclude with a graduation ceremony.