HETS celebrates 10th Anniversary and honors its partners

Hosted by the Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, the Hispanic Educational Telecommunications System (HETS) celebrated its tenth anniversary at the institution’s Art Gallery in New York City, last June 17, 2003. About twelve university presidents and chancellors, and more than forty representatives of HETS member institutions and partner corporations attended the festivities.

During the event, HETS paid tribute to its member institutions for their support of Consortium initiatives throughout the past ten years. Included among the honored universities were the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, the Ana G. Méndez University System, Lehman College, and the University of New Mexico. These universities were recognized in the categories of Founding Member, Consortium Institutional Headquarter, Annual Meeting Host Institution and Contributor of the Year Member. Also recognized were Hostos Community College, the University of Texas at Brownsville and the University of Texas-Pan American in the categories of Founding Member and Annual Meeting Host Institution.

In addition, HETS acknowledged the leadership of Dr. Ricardo Fernández, departing HETS Board President and President of Lehman College, with the Board Member of the Year Award, for his exemplary contribution to the Consortium. Likewise, Dr. Antonio Pérez, President of the Borough of Manhattan Community College and HETS Board Treasurer, was honored for his outstanding collaboration.

In other categories, HETS also recognized the member institutions and corporations committed to the Consortium’s Virtual Plaza project. The University of Texas at Brownsville and the Sacred Heart University received the HETS/LAAP e-Mentoring Partner of the Year Award. IBM Corporation and Banco Popular de Puerto Rico were granted the HETS/LAAP e-Mentoring Corporate Partner Award. These awards directed the spotlight to these universities and corporations’ commitment toward the Online Mentoring Program. The main goal of this program is to round up the academic preparation of students with the experience and professional perspective of mentors recruited by sponsoring corporations.

Miami-Dade Community College received the HETS/LAAP Funded Online Offerings Award because it is the institution that has developed the highest number of online courses with Virtual Plaza Project funds. The Ana G. Méndez University System also received the HETS/LAAP Partner for Virtual Promotion Award for its initiative in aiding HETS by producing the Virtual Plaza promotional advertisements make known the services of the portal within the university community. In addition, the HETS/LAAP Project Collaboration Award was presented to several professors for their leadership and to several collaborators of affiliated institutions for their significant contributions to HETS’ Virtual Plaza Project.

HETS represents the first telecommunications consortium created to serve the Hispanic community through distance education and it has the support of 18 autonomous higher education member institutions in the United States, Puerto Rico and Colombia, all certified by diverse academic accreditation agencies. For more information about this topic, please contact Dr. Nitza M. Hernández, HETS Executive Director and Learning Anywhere Anytime Partnership (LAAP) Project Director, through her email: nhernandez@virtualplaza.org or by calling the Consortium offices at 787-766-1912, extensions 2221 or 2222.