2023 HLI Fellows

2023 HLI Fellows

Hector Aguilar-Carreño headshot
Hector Aguilar-Carreño
Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology,
Cornell University

Dr. Aguilar-Carreño (publication name Hector C. Aguilar) is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Cornell University since July 2017. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemical Engineering from Instituto Tecnologico de Tepic, Mexico. He then immigrated to the USA and obtained a Master of Science degree in Biology from California State University, Los Angeles, and a PhD degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of Southern California. He received post-doctoral training in Virology at the University of California, Los Angeles under the mentoring of Dr. Benhur Lee, and then became an Assistant Professor at the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health at Washington State University (WSU). At UCLA he helped identify the cell receptors for Nipah virus (NiV) and Hendra virus (HeV) and began to establish important tools to study NiV and HeV entry into mammalian host cells, as well as viral assembly/exit from infected cells. He is known for adopting technologies previously foreign to the field of Virology to the study of enveloped viruses, including Raman Spectroscopy, Super-resolution Microscopy, and Flow Virometry.  
His studies on viral glycoproteins and their roles in host cell entry and viral assembly inform novel ways to develop antivirals and vaccines. Dr. Aguilar-Carreño has served on many important scientific and diversity committees, including: Chair of the WSU Immunology and Infectious Diseases Executive Committee; member of the WSU CVM research committee; member of the WSU Internal Governance Board for NIH T32 post-doctoral program; member of the American Society for Virology Education Committee; Ad-hoc member of ~20 NIH study sections; Standing Member of VIR-A NIH study section; Chair and member of the American Society of Microbiology Committee for Minority Education; Chair of the American Society of Virology Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee; Chair of the Cornell CVM Diversity Committee; member of the Cornell CVM  Research Council; member of the Cornell presidential postdoctoral fellowship committee; member of the BBS PhD Admissions committee, Major Advisor of 15 PhD student thesis committees, and member of >40 PhD student committees, among many other scientific and service roles. He is the Director of the NIH-funded Program for Achieving Career Excellence (PACE) and the National Rising Stars program for minority postdocs.

Doris Díaz-Kelly headshot
Doris Díaz-Kelly
Assistant Dean of Students and Director of EOP,
Dutchess Community College

As assistant dean of students and director of EOP, Doris Diaz-Kelly leads the College's Center for College Access and Educational Opportunities, which includes: The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), and TRiO: SSS. As a first-generation college student from the Bronx, there was a lot she didn't know. She brings great sensitivity to the issues and concerns that families encounter during the transition to college. Her work on behalf of the student experience has provided her the opportunity to effect policies and procedures that promote student success for the most vulnerable populations. Prior to joining DCC in 1999, she was director of the Hispanic Initiative at DeSales University. 

Ms. Diaz-Kelly is in her second term as a commission member for the Dutchess County Human Rights Commission. Her work on and off campus centers on the belief that there is no better way to live your life than in service to your community. Experiencing the joy of transforming and impacting the lives of students for generations to come is in her eyes, living her best life. 

Doris was born and raised in the Bronx and met her husband of 27 years, John Kelly, as an undergraduate at Binghamton University. Together, they have three daughters; her oldest, Ayari, is a second-grade teacher in DC; her second oldest, Jaina Cristina, is finishing her second year of medical school; and her youngest, Isabella, just obtained her bachelor’s degree from Drexel University. When fully enjoying the gift of mindfulness you will find her by the ocean recharging or at home engaged in her favorite hobbies; from remodeling spaces to gardening and spending time with her golden-doodle and cava-poo puppies, Princeton and Zeus. 
Doris Díaz-Kelly has a B.A in Sociology and Spanish Literature ’94 and a M.A. in Social Sciences ’97 from Binghamton University.

Leonardo Falcón headshot
Leonardo Falcón
Professor of History and Latin American Studies,
Nassau Community College

Leonardo Falcón has been teaching History and Latin American Studies at Nassau Community College since 2019. At NCC he coordinates the college’s Hispanic Serving Initiatives and other projects benefiting the Latinx community. Leo also serves as the advisor to the Student Organization of Latines and chairs the International Education Committee of the Faculty Senate. As such, he organizes numerous panels and workshops aiming at sensitizing the NCC community on the contributions and challenges of Hispanic/Latinx students at NCC and beyond. He has over 20 years of experience organizing and managing educational and cultural programs at the local and statewide levels.  

Leo was born and raised in Cuba and came to the US in 1994. In 2000 he earned a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of North Texas with a concentration on Maya history and cultural traditions. In 2002 he obtained an M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and in 2019 a Doctorate in Latin American History from Florida International University.  

He is a huge proponent of Rooted Engagement. This approach departs from the premise that embracing your and your students' background leads to honest interactions and the respectful recognition of the students' skills and struggles. This turns us into effective facilitators of the students' success. Only by sincerely embracing their dreams as a reflection, continuation, and realization of our own, can we honestly advocate for equity, equality, social mobility, and the fulfillment of their plans. His ultimate goal is to influence the formation of authentic, educated, independent, engaged, hardworking, and productive leaders who will in turn contribute to the betterment of our global community.

Bryan Garcia headshot
Bryan Garcia
Director of Support Programs,
Farmingdale State College

A native New Yorker, Bryan has devoted his professional journey providing holistic support to help individuals realize their full potential. More specifically, Bryan’s work since 2012 has centered on advancing academic success and promoting economic mobility for low-income and first-generation college students as well as students with disabilities.  
Bryan is presently the Director of Support Programs at Farmingdale State College. In this capacity, he serves as Principal Investigator for the institution’s TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) federal grant program and New York State grant-funded Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP). Bryan takes pride in defining and overseeing a shared vision of programmatic success by collaborating with staff and students. He is grateful to have also assumed several leadership positions on campus such as Co-Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Council, Co-Chair of the First-Generation College Student Celebration Planning Committee, and Founding Member of Farmingdale State College’s Leadership Academy.

Prior to joining SUNY Farmingdale in 2019, Bryan held several positions at America Needs You over six and a half years where he oversaw national career development and mentorship programming for first-generation college students. In the past he also provided counseling services for adolescents and has taught a wide range of undergraduate Human Services courses at the New York City College of Technology since 2014.

Bryan earned his master’s degree in Juvenile Studies and the Study of Drug and Alcohol Abuse from John Jay College and received his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Temple University. He is also a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Practitioner.  
Bryan subscribes to the wisdom of the African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Witnessing people reach their full potential makes Bryan’s heart sing. This is especially true for those who at one time may have doubted themselves since they become an inspiration to others!

In his free time Bryan loves to spend time with his two daughters, read novels, and compete in triathlons. Bryan is humbled and honored to be selected as a 2023 Fellow for the Hispanic Leadership Institute. 

Christina Guillén headshot
Christina Guillén
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics,
SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Dr. Christina Guillén is a proud first generation Dominican-American who grew up in Washington Heights.

Dr. Christina Guillén is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University. She graduated from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and stayed to complete her Pediatric residency training. After completing her training, she joined the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics where she practices General Pediatrics. In addition to her clinical work she serves as the Program Director for the Pediatric Residency Program and the GME Associate Designated Institutional Official of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Dr. Guillén has dedicated her career to advocacy and addressing health disparities. Early in her career she served as the Child Abuse Specialist for the University Hospital at Downstate. She currently serves as the Director of Community Pediatrics where she has created a community advocacy elective and a pediatric health disparities curriculum. Dr. Guillén oversees  community outreach projects within the department of Pediatrics and collaborates with various community-based organizations in New York City.

Dr. Guillén is dedicated and committed to supporting students interested in medicine. She is as a mentor for medical students as well as college and high school students. Dr. Guillen currently serves as a mentor in the SUNY Diversity Mentorship Program. 

Roberta Hurtado headshot
Roberta Hurtado
Associate Professor of Latina/e/o/x Literature and Culture, Director of Latino and Latin American Studies,
SUNY Oswego

Roberta Hurtado is the Associate Professor of Latina/e/o/x Literature and Culture, and the Director of Latino and Latin American Studies, at SUNY Oswego.

Her book, Decolonial Puerto Rican Women’s Writings: Subversion in the Flesh, was an International Latino Book Awards silver medalist in 2019. She has published with journals such as Chiricú, Diálogo, Label Me Latina/o, and Journal of Critical Latina Feminisms. She resides in Upstate NY where her current research projects include studies in sexuality, Puerto Rican women’s literature, and trauma. 

Her current research includes studies in erotics, cellular biology, and epigenetics. Additionally, she is the Inaugural Fellow for SUNY Oswego's Institute for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Transformative Practice. 

Pathy Leiva headshot
Pathy Leiva
Director of Access and Opportunity Programs,
SUNY Oneonta

Pathy Leiva is the Director of Access and Opportunity Programs (AOP) at SUNY Oneonta. Pathy earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Spanish Literature from Hartwick College, and a Master's Degree in School Counseling from SUNY Oneonta. In her 18 years at the college, Pathy has helped to recruit and support hundreds of students enrolled through the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Access to College Excellence (ACE) and the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP).

CAMP is a federally funded scholarship program that assists students from migrant and/or seasonal farm-working families with their first-year transition to college by providing academic, financial and personal support. SUNY Oneonta's CAMP was established in 2001 and is the only program of its kind in New York State. EOP helps historically disadvantaged students, and students with academic and financial needs. ACE assists first-generation students with both academic and financial need.

Edward Martinez headshot
Edward Martinez
Associate Dean for Student Affairs/Deputy Title IX Coordinator,
Suffolk County Community College


As a proud first-generation college student, Dr. Edward F. Martinez has substantial administrative, academic, and program development experience in higher education, as well as a history of holding several national leadership positions in Student Affairs. Dr. Martinez has worked in the field of student affairs for 28 years, and throughout that time, has had the privilege of serving in a number of key positions at numerous institutions. Dr. Martinez is presently employed with Suffolk County Community College, the largest multi-campus community college in the SUNY System, where he serves as the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Campus Senior Student Affairs Officer on the Ammerman Campus. His research interests center on the experiences of students and professionals in the community college sector. An advocate for student access, he has intentionally formed bridges between student and academic affairs, creating exceptional student experiences. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from Dominican University, New York, a master’s degree in Counseling and Development from Long Island University, and a doctoral degree in Educational Administration and Leadership from Dowling College.   

Pamela McCall headshot
Pamela McCall
Director of College and High School Partnerships,
Schenectady County Community College

Pamela Perez McCall was raised in the city of Bayamón on the Island of Puerto Rico.  She is a graduate of Lafayette College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a concentration in State and Local Politics and a minor in Psychology.  Pamela attended New York University for graduate school and earned a Master of Arts in Student Personnel Administration from the Steinhardt School of Education. She has worked in higher education for over 20 years serving in different leadership roles related to Student Activities, Residential Life and Student Conduct.  Currently, she is the Director of College and High School Partnerships at SUNY Schenectady County Community College.  She has built a robust Early College High School program, being awarded over $2 million dollars in state and federal grants.  Pamela serves as one of the college’s tri-chairs of the ReaCH student success initiative, and was selected as a 2019 recipient of the Capital District YMCA’s Black and Latino Adult Achievers Award for her work on the Youth Development Board.  Pamela lives in Guilderland, New York with her husband Joe and her daughter Sofia Angela. She enjoys serving on the elementary school PTA Executive Board and co-managing her daughter’s 8u softball team.