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October 12, 2009
By Claudene Wharton
University of Nevada, Reno Professor Emma Sepulveda Pulvirenti was one of 23 people in the country recently appointed to the National Museum of the American Latino Commission, as announced by The White House.
The Commission is tasked with studying the feasibility of, and creating a plan for, a new national museum in the nation’s capital that would be dedicated to portraying the art, history and culture of the Latino population of the United States.
The Commission members were appointed by President Obama and House and Senate leadership. Sepulveda was appointed by Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“I can’t think of a more qualified individual for this commission than Dr. Sepulveda,” said Reid. “Dr. Sepulveda is an accomplished poet, writer and photographer and she has dedicated her life to work on behalf of Latinos in our state. Her professional expertise and her love for Hispanic culture and the community’s well-being, tell me she will represent Nevada well and do a wonderful job on the commission.”
In addition to the Commission appointment, Sepulveda will be one of two Hispanic women honored next month at the National Hispana Leadership Institute’s Mujer Awards Gala in Albuquerque.
As the premier executive leadership organization preparing Latinas for positions of national and international influence, the Institute pays tribute through its Mujer Awards to the achievements and contributions of exceptional Hispanic women who have served their communities. Sepulveda will receive the Regional Mujer Award.
“I am honored to represent Nevada and the University in such an important endeavor as the National Commission, and I am thankful to Senator Reid for giving me this unique opportunity,” Sepulveda said. “In regards to the Mujer Leadership Award, I am appreciative to be one of only two Latinas in the country to receive such recognition for the work that I have done on behalf of the Latino community.”
Sepulveda was born in Argentina, migrated to Chile, and then moved to the United States in 1974.
She was the first Latina to become full professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, of which she is also an alumna. She has authored or co-authored 22 books and is director of the University’s Latino Center.
Sepulveda has dedicated much of her work to educating non-Latino communities about the strengths and values of Latinos and immigrants who live in the United States. In 1995, she founded Latinos for Political Education, a nonprofit organization devoted to empowering Latinos through voter registration, voter education and get-out-the-vote programs.
“Professor Sepulveda has touched diverse communities throughout the world through her human rights activism and academic scholarship,” said Heather Hardy, Nevada’s College of Liberal Arts dean. “Her appointment to the national Commission and Mujer award are well-deserved honors and reflect the value of her work on a national and global level.”