Academic Partnerships Joins HACU Annual Conference and Inaugural Women’s Leadership Symposium

November 3, 2023


CHICAGO, ILL. (Oct. 26, 2023) — Academic Partnerships (AP) is proud to sponsor the Inaugural Women’s Leadership Symposium, a pre-conference highlight of The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) 37th Annual Conference, October 28-30 in Chicago, IL.

The sold-out Symposium scheduled for Oct. 27 will feature women leaders in higher education.  Sessions will focus on the unique challenges women face in navigating organizational climate and culture and building supportive relationships through mentorships and networking.

Melissa Ruidiaz, Senior Vice President, Marketing, and a leader of Hispanic heritage at AP, will join in delivering the opening remarks at the event. She shared, “This symposium shines a light on the path to success by addressing crucial topics and equipping aspiring women leaders for executive roles in education and beyond. Together, we can empower the next generation of trailblazing women to reach new heights.”

Ruidiaz is honored to join the symposium and represent AP and its mission of expanding access to high-quality, affordable, workforce-relevant education. She noted, “As a first-generation American, education has not only enriched my journey with invaluable connections, insights, and opportunities but has also fueled my lifelong commitment to extending those same pathways of success to others.”

The theme of the 2023 HACU conference is “Championing Hispanic Higher Education Success: Diversifying Our Workforce and Strengthening America.”  In addition to the Symposium, the HACU conference includes other pre- and post-conference events on Latino higher education leadership, pre-K-12/higher ed collaboration, and a dean’s forum on Hispanic higher education.

Adam Arguelles, AP’s Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, who is of Hispanic heritage is also attending the conference and will welcome attendees to the President’s reception. He said of HACU membership, “Given the synergies of missions between HACU and AP, it is unsurprising that one quarter of AP’s university partners are HACU Member Institutions. As the pace of change in our economy accelerates, the work of these Institutions in meeting the evolving needs of their students and their regions has never been more important. AP is proud to support them.”

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. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The Association’s headquarters are in San Antonio, Texas, with regional offices in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, California.

About Academic Partnerships

Academic Partnerships (AP) assists primarily regional public universities in increasing their access and impact by making their academic programs available to students online. Founded in 2007, AP’s mission is to expand access to high-quality, affordable, and workforce-relevant education, especially for working and adult students. AP brings single-minded dedication to student success, an integrated set of services, and data-driven performance to our collaboration with university partners. For more information on innovative online learning solutions, please visit

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