Executive Board

A Letter From COCEAL’s Current President

Hola CoCEAL members, colegas and friends,

I hope you have found the time to recharge and engage in self-care during this summer, as we are cautiously looking forward to what the fall will bring. The summer has certainly flown by for me, but I am excited to share spaces with more students again. I know for many of us there is excitement, but also a sense of unsettlement as we will be experiencing another fall with Covid-19. Please know you are in good company within your CoCEAL community, and as the new CoCEAL President, the executive team and I will put safety first while maintaining our community building and advocacy efforts.

I am honored to move into the role as CoCEAL President for this upcoming year and I am grateful that you are allowing me the opportunity to serve in this capacity. This organization has been my familia since I moved to Colorado nearly five years ago. All of my immediate family resides in California, so when we made the bold decision to move to Colorado, I quickly became aware of how important it is to become connected with my gente for my own survival. It is important that our identities are reflected in positions of leadership at institutions of higher education, and that we are all connected throughout the state—for survival.  CoCEAL offers networking, validation, healing, critical hope, and inspiration. Over the last year and a half, it has been particularly challenging to be in comunidad in person with you all, but the pandemic has not stopped us from staying connected, engaging in advocacy, leaning on one and another, celebrating each other, and healing together. We will continue to carry these important priorities as we move into this next year.

Additionally, as we continue to navigate a world with Covid-19, we are also continuously traversing social, racial, and LGBTQ+ injustices. I am encouraged that you all will continue to be involved in conversations, in activism and in the push for continued change in our communities, on our campuses, and organizations. Our CoCEAL mission and vision drive our purpose in higher education and in Colorado broadly.

Our vision: CoCEAL envisions educational equity for Latinx communities to liberate ourselves, enrich Colorado, and transform society.

Our mission: to influence, challenge, and lead higher education systems that advance equitable Latinx student access, success and graduation in Colorado.

As we gather as an executive team and steering committee this year, we will focus on how we, as higher education leaders, are truly serving our Latina/o/x communities. We will continue to focus on how we could work towards our mission through you, our membership and the daily work you are already doing. Also thinking about the “re-browning” of Colorado, and demographic projection numbers, the Latina/o/x population in our state will be the fastest racial-ethnic population to grow in the next 30 years. Many of our institutions of higher education are or will be becoming Hispanic Serving Institutions or in the “emerging” stage of that process. What does this mean for Colorado and our Latina/o/x students? This question will guide some of our work this year, and I look forward to exploring the possibilities with you.

Thank you again for entrusting me to lead this important organization this year. I look forward to seeing you all at the fall membership meeting. Meeting details will be announced soon.

Con Corazon,

Mary R. Sauceda, Ed.D. (She/Her/Ella)
President, CoCEAL
Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management
Metropolitan State University of Denver


Mary Sauceda
Metropolitan State University of Denver
(learn more)


Andrea Rascón
KIPP Colorado Schools
(learn more)


Past President
Joél Orozco Almeida
University of Northern Colorado
(learn more)


Sydney Pedregon
Community College of Aurora
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Chris Juarez
Arapahoe Community College
(learn more)


Communications Director
Jessica Solis
Denver Public Schools
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