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VP Selected for Presidential Leadership Academy

Submitted by on August 1, 2019 – 12:59 pm
Portrait of Dr. Noemi Custodia-Lora

Dr. Noemi Custodia-Lora has been selected for HACU’s inaugural Presidential Leadership Academy.

Dr. Noemi Custodia-Lora, of Haverhill, vice president of Lawrence campus & community relations at Northern Essex Community College, is one of 24 fellows selected by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, to participate in its inaugural Presidential Leadership Academy designed to increase Hispanic representation in presidential positions in higher education.

This leadership academy is a direct response to the declining numbers of Hispanic university presidents, which was at a high of 4.5 percent in 2006 and dropped to a 3.9 percent in 2016. This decline occurred despite the historic high enrollment of Hispanic college students.

Custodia-Lora, Puerto Rican born of Dominican descent, is a scientist with a Ph.D. from Boston University. She joined Northern Essex, which has an Hispanic student population of more than 40 percent, in 2003 as a faculty member in the Natural Sciences Department. In 2011, she was appointed assistant dean of Foundational Studies and Liberal Arts & Sciences before heading up the Lawrence campus.

“Dr.Custodia-Lora is an excellent choice for the leadership academy,” said NECC President Lane Glenn. “She is a thoughtful leader who works tirelessly for the advancement of the Hispanic student population. She is the face of future presidents in higher education.”

With a focus on the Hispanic community, Custodia-Lora concentrates on increasing access to higher education and fostering community partnerships. She created PIÈS Latinos de NECC, an initiative that supports immigrants by validating their professional credentials. She is also a member of the National Skills Coalition on Racial Equality Panel, leads several projects with university partners in the Dominican Republic, and spearheads the NECC Early College Programs.

“I’m honored to be selected for the academy,” Custodia-Lora said. “I’m excited to prepare for a leadership role.”

“The Presidential Leadership Academy, La Academia de Liderazgo, meets HACU’s mission to champion Hispanic success in Hispanic higher education,’” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “By preparing more Latinos/Latinas for leadership roles with a special focus on Hispanic-Serving Institutions, HACU and the fellows who participate will have a profound impact on the students they serve and the institutions they lead.”

The selected fellows will participate in leadership development activities designed to prepare them for leadership roles in the full spectrum of institutions of higher learning, but with a focus on leadership positions within Hispanic-Serving Institutions and Emerging HSIs.

The one-year fellowship program includes three seminars, beginning in October 2019, in conjunction with HACU’s 33rd Annual Conference, “Championing Hispanic Higher Education Success: Meeting the Challenge of Prosperity and Equality,” in Chicago.

More than a dozen nationally recognized current and emeriti presidents and senior-level administrators will serve on the faculty. Mentorship with a university president will be a key component, as will be the development of a special project designed to have an impact at the Fellow’s current institution.

HACU, founded in 1986, represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Latin America, Spain and school districts throughout the U.S. The mission of HACU is to champion Hispanic success in higher education. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).

For additional information, contact Custodia-Lora at