2023 Candidate Bios

President-Elect Candidates


Efren Herrera Hurtado, M.A.

Title V College Readiness Program Manager

Community College of Aurora




Efren is originally from Zacatecas, Mexico. He was raised in Aurora, Colorado, and has called Aurora home for the past 23 years. Efren is also a first-generation high school and college graduate. He obtained his BA in Ethnic Studies and minor in French from the University of Colorado Boulder. He graduated from the University of Northern Colorado and holds a master’s in higher education and student affairs leadership. He centers radical acceptance in his daily educational practice and personal life to advance the perspective of how one approaches life. Efren has a commitment to justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion in education and in other spaces he occupies. He has a commitment to students, a commitment to honoring spaces of learning and growth, and a commitment to advancing educational spaces for all. Efren currently serves at his alma mater as the Title V College Readiness Program Manager and on the Board of Directors for the college’s Foundation. He is a prospective Ph.D. student and an aspiring professor in ethnic studies and higher education. When not working, you can find. Efren binge-watching foreign films on Netflix, The Office, exploring local coffee shops, or traveling somewhere.

Ysatiz M. Piñero, M.S.

Director for Education and Social Change

University of Colorado Boulder





Ysatiz M. Piñero, M.S., was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, and raised in Miami and Cape Coral, Florida. She is a proud first-generation college student who holds dual bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and Criminal Forensic Studies from Florida Gulf Coast University. She holds a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Florida International University and is a doctoral student in CU Denver’s Leadership for Educational Equity program, focusing on Urban and Diverse communities. Ysatiz serves as the Director for Education and Social Change in CU Boulder’s Center for Inclusion and Social Change and abides by the words of Indian lawyer, anti-colonialist, and nonviolent political ethicist Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” She aspires to inspire change every day.

Secretary Candidates


Teresa A Castro

Assistant Director of Alumni Relations 

University of Northern Colorado




Teresa Castro was born in Lima, Peru, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, before her family moved to Colorado during her senior year of high school. She is a first-generation college graduate and learned early on in her college journey that she had a passion for serving and helping to empower black and brown students. Teresa received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado, where she currently serves as the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, primarily focused on recent graduate engagement and career programming. While in undergrad, she served in a variety of leadership roles, this includes serving UNC as the first openly gay Afro-Latine Student Body President, and currently volunteers in her local community and is preparing to begin an MBA program through Colorado State University.

Stephanie Roberts

Assistant Director, Intercultural Engagement

University of Colorado Boulder




My name is Stephanie Roberts, and I currently serve as the Assistant Director for Intercultural Engagement at CU Boulder’s Center for Inclusion and Social Change. Within that role, I have the privilege of working for and with our undocumented students, as well as providing wider support structures for our Latine/x/a/o students and students from other communities. I am excited at the opportunity to deepen my relationship with CoCEAL, and bring my skills and perspective to the work being done by the leadership team. Coming most recently from work in international education, I have also worked in international human rights advocacy, international development, and community advocacy, and I value being able to apply those lenses to the work we do in education broadly, as well as on each of our campuses. I am from Brazil originally and am the daughter of a Bolivian mother and a U.S.-born father. We moved to Aurora when I was 6 years old, and I grew up in an English and Spanish-speaking home. Exploring my own identity, where I fit, and what that meant is what started me on the path of grappling with intersectional identity, power and privilege, education and systems, and all the wider interconnecting pieces of the work we do in education. I am excited at the opportunity to learn more and do my part to bring CoCEAL’s vision ever closer.

Angelica Moreno, M.Ed.

Manager, Student Affairs Assessment & Evaluation

MSU Denver




I have worked in higher education for over 20 years and for most of those years, I worked at different colleges in Wisconsin, Texas, and now Colorado to directly support minoritized student populations by offering direct student support through peer mentor programs, leadership development trainings, organizational advising, and team development. In my current role at Metropolitan State University of Denver, I work in the Vice President for Student Affairs Office coordinating assessment and evaluation processes to make sure our departments are effectively serving our students and using methods of assessment that are equity-focused.

My first time really feeling at home in Colorado when I moved here in 2018, was when I attended my first CoCEAL meeting. I love the community that is created and affirmed by CoCEAL and I want to do my part in uplifting and advancing the work of the organization as the next Secretary!”