WEDNESDAY, May 19 - 12:00PM (CST)

Deborah Santiago
CEO, Excelencia in Education

Deborah A. Santiago is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Excelencia in Education. For more than 20 years, she has led efforts from the community to national and federal levels to improve educational opportunities and success for all students. She co-founded Excelencia in Education to inform policy and practice, compel action, and collaborate with those ready to increase student success. Deborah has been cited in numerous publications for her work, including The Economist, the New York Times, the Washington Post, AP, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Deborah serves on the Board of Visitors for the University of Mary Washington, and the advisory board of

THURSDAY, May 20 - 12:00PM (CST)

Dr. Michael Chavez
Executive Director of Strategic Analytics, University of Texas - Permian Basin

The demographics of students in higher education continue to evolve. Join the 2021 TACHE Conference to learn from Dr. Michael F. Chavez about how colleges and universities can make data-informed decisions to support their students and to continue to grow our college graduation rates.

Dr. Chavez, Executive Director of Strategic Analytics @UTPB has dedicated his career to closing the access and achievement gaps in higher education and he does this by following trends and decoding important data. He will be joined by Texas' renowned demographer Dr. Lloyd B. Potter to combine demographic changes in Texas with student success.

Dr. Michael F. Chavez is a first-generation student and a community college alumnus; he has dedicated his entire career to closing the access and achievement gaps in higher education. He possesses over 25 years of experience higher education experience in every capacity (Instruction, Student Services, Administration, Marketing, Technology, Strategic Analytics). His leadership exemplifies compassion, collaboration, honesty, and the use of data science to guide decisions. His analytic innovation and creativity strategies increase enrollment, retention, and transfer rates by double digits in his previous positions. Dr. Chavez continues to education via state and national conference presentations at various higher educational conferences about implementing and combination of data science, digital marketing, and behavior economics to improve student success.

His recent data science campaigns targeted 1,000 students with a high GPA, within a 15-mile radius, financial aid approved, enrolled in fall, but not spring (three days before first day of spring semester). A digital ad was created with a current student pointing and expressing ‘what’s your excuse? and hyperlinked to registration. The campaign targeted the segmented identified 1,000 students on social media with an ad budget of $238. Within the first, three days of the campaign, 226 students registered (22.6 percent yield rate) providing a $904,000 financial impact. The total conversion cost per student for this campaign was $1.05. The National Council for Marketing and Public Relations awarded this campaign the 2019 Paragon Award.

Dr. Chavez received his doctorate’s at New Mexico State University in higher education administration. He has a master’s in counseling, a bachelor’s in psychology and an associate’s degree. In December of 2017, he completed a second master’s degree in Business Analytics from Syracuse University. He has held various leadership position in student services and instructional services at colleges such as Arizona Western College, Alamo College, Midland College, and Lone Star College. He has recently joined the University of Texas Permian Basin team to develop a newly created Office of Strategic Analytics. Prior to coming to University of Texas Permian Basin as the Executive Director of Strategic Analytics, he was the Vice President of Student Success at Lone Star College—Montgomery in the Greater Houston area.

Dr. Lloyd Potter
State Demographer, Texas Demographic Center

Dr. Lloyd B. Potter was appointed State Demographer on June 4, 2010. Dr. Potter holds a Ph.D. in Demography and Sociology from The University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Public Health Degree from Emory University, a Master of Science in Education from the University of Houston at Clear Lake and a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University. He is a professor in the Department of Demography at The University of Texas at San Antonio where he also serves as the director of the Institute for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research (IDSER). He has extensive experience working as an applied demographer in several settings. His current research focuses on public policy and health related demographic topics and training applied demographers.​

THURSDAY, May 20 - 4:00PM (CST)

Dr. Claudia Mercado
Interim VP for Equity and Inclusion, Harper College

Dr. Claudia Mercado has over 20 years of successful experience working in higher education working in areas such as academic affairs and student affairs. She has extensive experience working in multicultural affairs, admissions, recruitment, Greek Life, leadership programs, student organization advising, assessment, enrollment, completion, retention, first-year experience, and scholarships. Not only has Dr. Mercado successfully developed offices, departments ,and created new initiatives, but she has remained successful in achieving critical goals such as increasing student engagement and achieving enrollment and completion goals. She has managed a budget as large as $4 million and provided oversight of more than 800 employees.
She has experience working in diverse environments such as working at a flagship research institution, a Hispanic Serving Institution and a community college system. Dr. Mercado has devoted much of her professional career to improving services for underrepresented students such as ethnic minorities, undocumented students and GLBTQ students. She has conducted research on student engagement predictors on student success for Hispanic students and also teaches both undergraduate and graduate students in the Chicago area. Dr. Mercado has served on multiple boards such as Dignity Chicago, Sigma Alpha Chi- Latina Sorority, Big Brothers Big Sisters and recently Su Casa- Migrant Workers of Chicago. Dr. Mercado is currently serving at Harper College, a community college in a NW suburb of Chicago. Roles have includes Assistant Provost for Enrollment Management and currently Interim Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Dr. Mercado also is an Aspen Presidential Fellow, class of 2020.

FRIDAY, May 21 - 12:00PM (CST)

Dr. Felipe Hinojosa
Director of Hispanic Education & Opportunity Endowment, Texas A&M

Born and raised in Brownsville, Texas, Felipe Hinojosa is Associate Professor of History at Texas A&M University. He received his B.A. in English from Fresno Pacific University (1999), an M.A. in History from UT Pan American (2004), and his Ph.D. in History from the University of Houston in 2009. His research interests include Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, American Religion, and Social Movements. In addition to serving as the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the History Department and as Director of the Carlos H. Cantu Hispanic Education & Opportunity Endowment, Prof. Hinojosa is editor for the interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, and online moderated forum Latinx Talk. His work has appeared in Zócalo Public Square, Western Historical Quarterly, American Catholic Studies, Mennonite Quarterly Review, and in edited collections on Latinx Studies. Dr. Hinojosa’s first book, Latino Mennonites: Civil Rights, Faith, and Evangelical Culture (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014) was awarded the 2015 Américo Paredes Book Award for the best book in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies by the Center for Mexican American Studies at South Texas College. His recent work entitled, Apostles of Change: Latino Radical Politics, Church Occupations, and the Fight to Save the Barrio was published January of 2021 from UT Press.