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September 26, 2023
September 26, 2023, Jersey City, NJ – Hudson County Community College (HCCC) serves one of the most ethnically and racially diverse cities in the United States, and HCCC students reflect that diversity. About 55% of the College’s student body is Hispanic. Many of these students are inspired to pursue and attain their academic dreams through engagement with administrators, faculty, and staff who share common experiences.
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) has selected Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), Dr. Yeurys Pujols, as a Fellow in the fifth cohort of the HACU Leadership Academy/La Academia de Liderazgo. In addition, HCCC Associate Registrar, Irma Williams, was selected to participate in HACU’s inaugural Enlace Mid-Level Leadership Program as a recipient of a Capital One grant. They were selected from hundreds of individuals in executive and mid-level positions at Hispanic-serving colleges and universities throughout the United States.
Dr. Pujols is one of three HACU Leadership Academy/La Academia de Liderazgo Fellows from New Jersey, and one of 50 from across the United States. The HACU Leadership Academy is designed to increase diversity in executive and senior-level positions in higher education. The one-year program offers an array of leadership development activities with an emphasis on Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Emerging HSIs, and includes webinars and seminars. HACU Leadership Academy faculty include current and former presidents, chancellors, and senior administrators.
Ms. Williams is one of three New Jerseyans among the 56 HACU Enlace Mid-Level Leadership Program Fellows. The six-month HACU Enlace Mid-Level Leadership Program is designed to increase the number, variety, and quality of Latino talent in leadership positions at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and in higher education. Fellows will participate in programming covering academic and student affairs management, regional institutional accreditation, diversity, equity and inclusion, and higher education advocacy.
“Our leadership academy Fellows have already proven the value of the Association’s efforts to increase diverse representation within the upper echelons of higher education by assuming top positions at colleges and universities across the nation,” said HACU President and CEO, Dr. Antonio R. Flores. “Students benefit from having leaders from a wide range of backgrounds, and bring a range of professional and life experiences that can meet the challenges of our multicultural institutions of higher education.”
HCCC President, Dr. Christopher Reber, said, “The entire HCCC family is extremely proud of Dr. Pujols and Ms. Williams, and pleased they have been selected for these honors. These fellowship experiences will allow them to learn from other participants, and their participation will enhance the other Fellows’ overall experience.”
A proud HCCC alumnus, Dr. Pujols exemplifies the College’s values and the immigrant experience of HCCC students and peers. After emigrating to the United States from the Dominican Republic as a young boy, he had to learn English as his second language, and his financial situation required him to work full time while attending HCCC. Dr. Pujols’ experiences as a young man raised by a single mother motivated him to work hard while facing uncertainty at every step along his journey. After graduating from HCCC with his Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from New Jersey City University (NJCU), Master of Arts degree in Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University, a Diversity and Inclusion certificate from Cornell University, and a Doctor of Education degree in Community College Leadership from NJCU.
Dr. Pujols has worked at HCCC for more than 17 years, progressing from serving as a Counselor, to Executive Director of HCCC’s comprehensive North Hudson Campus, to the College’s inaugural Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. He also has nearly ten years of experience teaching history at HCCC and NJCU. As Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Dr. Pujols built the Office of DEI from the ground up, selecting and engaging staff who espouse the College’s vision for promoting an institutional climate that embraces and celebrates differences while championing inclusive practices, policies, and procedures in all HCCC activities. Dr. Pujols is highly involved with the greater Hudson County community, was recognized by Save Latin America with the Juan Pablo Duarte Award, and has been a guest speaker at national and local educational and community-oriented events.
Ms. Williams joined HCCC in December 2017, serving always with students’ success in mind and offering solutions and alternatives to students’ complex scheduling issues. As HCCC Associate Registrar, she collaborates with the Office of Academic Affairs on multiple projects and class scheduling, diligently working with faculty and staff colleagues. Ms. Williams serves on the cross-functional Enrollment Management Council, the Curriculum and Instruction Committee, and Academic Standing Committee. She is the lead for two major HCCC projects: the implementation of “Coursedog” scheduling and academic catalog platform, and the digitization of all student records.
Ms. William previously served as Registrar at Notre Dame University of Maryland; Senior Associate Registrar at University of Maryland; and Registrar and Director of Student Accounts at Saint Peter’s University. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Education, with a Concentration in Supervision and Administration, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, from Saint Peter’s University. She is the 2022-23 President of the New Jersey-New York Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.