My Name Is... Abenicio Rael

Director of Latinx Student Services at the University of Colorado Denver

Posted 11/7/19

About me I am an avid outdoorsman. I do a lot of fishing and hunting. I’ve lived in Lakewood with my wife and two kids for six years now. We try to stay involved in the city by going to activities …

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My Name Is... Abenicio Rael

Director of Latinx Student Services at the University of Colorado Denver

Posted

About me

I am an avid outdoorsman. I do a lot of fishing and hunting. I’ve lived in Lakewood with my wife and two kids for six years now. We try to stay involved in the city by going to activities or events that are happening around here. We really enjoy going to the city’s parks. There’s a lot of open space for kids and dogs, and that’s something that’s really great about Lakewood.

I went to the University of Colorado Denver where I got my master’s degree in clinical mental health and school counseling.

I sit on the Denver Latino Commission through Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s office. We advise Hancock on policies and legislation. We let him know what’s taking place in the community, events he should attend, and we hold him accountable for certain things for the Latino community.

Advocating for Latinx students

I am the Director of Latinx Student Services at University of Colorado Denver. My job is to do a lot of retention programming not just for Latinx students, but for students of color, first generation students and historically underrepresented minority students. Right now, I’m working on a lot of cultural programming. We just finished our Día de los Muertos event, and it was a huge success.

The university has a strategic plan, and my job is to make sure that students feel included in this plan, especially around diversity and inclusion. I’m part of the team that listens to voices around campus about what diversity and inclusion means to them. I am learning what the best practices are as far as recruitment and retention for the university, as well as what barriers there are for retaining students.

If you have any nominations for My Name Is... contact Joseph Rios at jrios@colorado.communitymedia.com

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