Author Archive

Dr. Maritza Rondón Rangel

Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia

Maritza Rondón Rangel, who served as Director of Quality for Higher Education of the Ministry of National Education (2007 – 2008), Vice Minister in charge and who was linked to the Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, since 2012, as Academic Vice-rector, became Nationwide Chancellor of the Institution since 2015. The University Assembly appointed the Academician to continue with the institution’s consolidation process, whose immediate challenges this year are: to accredit more than 20 undergraduate programs with high quality and to inaugurate modern infrastructure works in the Bucaramanga headquarters, Santa Marta, Espinal and Medellín. Rondón continued to lead the Strategic Plan “Navigating Together” that sets goals for 2022 and whose basic objective is to make the Cooperative University of Colombia a world-class institution. Rondón Rangel, is at the head of the institution that today has 18 branches, 52 thousand students, 4,500 professors and more than 220 programs with qualified registration.

Dr. Wendi S. Palermo

Dr. Wendi S. Palermo is the Executive Director of Academics and Workforce for the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS).  She is a Registered Nurse and has over 16 years of full time experience in higher education at both undergraduate and graduate levels.  In addition to her full-time position, she serves as adjunct faculty in both Doctoral and Master programs at Northwestern State University.

Dr. Palermo earned an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 1999 & 2002 respectively from Northwestern State University.  She continued her education and earned a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from McNeese State University in 2004 and then a PhD in Nursing Research from Southern University in 2011. 

Dr. Palermo currently represents LCTCS on various statewide committees, works alongside industry partners and promotes innovative strategies to serve students.  As a result, she led efforts to secure over $4M in external funding and resources to support LCTCS colleges for program expansion and telehealth services.  Prior to her current position, Dr. Palermo served as the Dean of Nursing and Allied Health at SOWELA Technical Community College where she has been credited with opening new nursing and allied health programs and earning programmatic accreditation in record time.  She has nearly a decade of programmatic accreditation experience as an Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) site visitor, team chair and served nationally as a member of the Evaluation Review Panel (ERP).

Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Beauregard Parish Pregnancy Care Center, Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center (SWLAHEC) and is the Vice Chair of the Lake Charles District Nurses Association.   In 2020, she was appointed to the Louisiana State Board of Nursing. 

Her early research focused on vulnerable populations; specifically, infant mortality.  As a multiyear recipient of the Creighton Owen Endowment, she developed and served as the Director of the Northwestern State University Leesville-Ft. Polk Cribs for Kids program and donated portable cribs to area families to prevent co-sleeping and promote a healthy sleep environment.  She presented her program locally, regionally and nationally.  Her current focus is bridging classroom to clinical by the use of simulation and exploring methods to close the digital divide for students who desire reliable high-speed internet.    She is a multiyear recipient of the Louisiana Health Works Commission award in partnership with a colleague from Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University. 

She has been married to her college sweetheart for 21 years and they have 2 beautiful daughters. 

Dr. Alfredo J. Lebrón Kuri

El Dr. Alfredo Lebrón Kuri posee un doctorado en Desarrollo Organizacional y Gerencial con especialidad en Recursos Humanos de la Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, así como una Maestría en Mercadeo de la Universidad Metropolitana y un Bachillerato en Administración de Empresas con concentración en Mercadeo de la Universidad de Puerto Rico.

Su trayectoria profesional incluye 13 años de experiencia en la Educación Superior en posiciones de facultad, liderazgo y dirección académica, y posiciones gerenciales. Posee también experiencias en la industria bancaria que incluyen el desarrollo y coordinación de proyectos a nivel organizacional, y administración de relaciones de banca comercial.

Durante los pasados años se ha distinguido en tema del emprendimiento, desarrollando investigaciones y realizando conferencias y proyectos comunitarios enfocados en dicho tema. También ha sido reconocido por sus aportaciones en el desarrollo líderes emprendedores en las organizaciones estudiantiles en las que ha servido de mentor.

Actualmente es Catedrático Auxiliar de la División de Negocios, Turismo, y Emprendimiento de la Universidad Ana G Méndez y ocupa la posición de director del Programa Sub-Graduado de la División de Negocios en el Recinto de Cupey.


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Celebrating Innovation, Retention and Online Learning and Technology Integration to Promote Hispanic Student Success in Higher Education

February 4 to 12, 2021

The Opening Session of the Virtual Best Practices Showcase will be a panel discussion titled:


Details of the event:
Date: February 4, 2021
Time: 12:30 – 2:00 pm (EST) / 1:30 pm -3:00 pm (AST/ PR time)
Place: Online, via Blackboard Collaborate

Panel will be moderated by Dr. Juan “Tito” Meléndez- Alicea, Professor, Faculty of Education, Rio Piedras Campus, and Member of the Distance Education Systemic Advisory Board of the University of Puerto Rico.

Meet the Panelists and Moderator:

Dr. Alice J. Casanova

Director, Distance Education, EDP University

Dr. Maritza Rondón- Rangel

Chancellor, Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia

Mr. Francisco García

Director, Center for Online Learning & Teaching Technology, University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley

Dr. Omayra Caraballo- Pagán

Vice president, Distance Education, Inter American University of Puerto Rico

Dr. Carlos Guevara

Director, Office of Educational Technology Co-Director, Center for Teaching and Learning Hostos Community College

Moderator: Dr. Juan “Tito” Meléndez- Alicea

Professor, Faculty of Education, Rio Piedras Campus, and Member of the Distance Education Systemic Advisory Board of the University of Puerto Rico.


Edwin J. Torres Rodríguez, MSc

Edwin J Torres Rodriguez se graduó de la UPR Cayey en el año 2017 con un Major en Psicología y minor en Biología. Ese mismo año comenzó a estudiar en la Universidad Carlos Albizu un grado doctoral en Psicología Clínica (PhD) con un enfoque en desarrollo humano. Luego de varios años de formación en la profesión, ha realizado aportes en libros de Desarrollo Humano e Investigaciones dirigidas a factores que inciden en el desarrollo.

Edwin ha brindado servicios al departamento de Salud de Puerto Rico, Salvation Army, Administración de Viviendas y diferentes clínicas dirigidas a atender la salud mental de manera proactiva. Actualmente labora en la industria financiera, en el área de manejo y planificación de talento, desarrollo de programas acelerados y selección.

Edwin a su vez ha servido al Ejército de los Estados Unidos por los pasados 8 años, en los cuales ha podido desempeñarse en diferentes puestos de liderazgo dentro del sistema federal.