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Bobadilla earns CHCI Medallion of Excellence

Friday, April 6, 2018 • Media Contact: UT Arlington Media Relations

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Michele Bobadilla, a longtime UTA administrator, has been awarded the prestigious 2018 Medallion of Excellence in Education, Science, Medicine, or Civil Rights from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

Bobadilla is the assistant provost for Hispanic student success and senior associate vice president for outreach services and community engagement at The University of Texas at Arlington.

“Live your life with purpose,” Bobadilla said. “Don’t just take the seat at the table. Be prepared. Understand the responsibility you have assumed will require you to be the voice for others. It will take courage, confidence and character.”

Michele Bobadilla

Michele Bobadilla, a UTA assistant provost, has won the 2018 Medallion of Excellence in Education, Science, Medicine or Civil Rights from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

Each year the 40-year-old CHCI presents its highest honors at its Annual Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. during Hispanic Heritage Month. This year’s event is Sept. 13 at the Marriott Marquis.

The Medallion of Excellence awards are presented to exemplary individuals who are role models and outstanding civic citizens for the Latino community, and Latino youth in particular.

The award winners must have at least a 15-year record of contributions and accomplishments in their field with solid leadership and community involvement. The qualifying factor is philanthropic and civic engagement through the initiation or support of programs that benefit the Hispanic community as a whole.

UTA President Vistasp Karbhari said that Michele Bobadilla has inspired hundreds of students and enabled their success in college and careers through her work and advocacy. 

“She is the voice for first- and second-generation students as well as those from underprivileged and economically disadvantaged populations, ensuring that they are not only provided every opportunity to avail of the benefits of higher education but that their path is guided by her personally,” Karbhari said. “She is an icon in the field, setting the bar high and reminding us every day of the immense responsibility that we have as leaders in higher education and of the power of a helping hand in changing lives. I’m immensely proud of the work that she does on behalf of The University of Texas at Arlington and am privileged to count on her as a member of our team, and as a friend. She has dedicated her life to the service of others and I’m thrilled that she is being honored by the CHCI Medallion of Excellence award.”

Mateo Magdaleno, chief executive education officer of IDQ Group Inc., nominated Bobadilla for the honor.

“Michele is a stalwart among leaders across the Nation,” Magdaleno said. “She has dedicated her life to combat poverty through education and her integrity in excellence has demonstrated her place among those historically honored for this award.”

Arcilia Acosta, CEO of CARCON Industries & Construction and STL Engineers, and a board member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, has long known of Bobadilla’s value, to not only Hispanics, but to the universities, community colleges and school districts that serve thousands of students. 

“This prestigious award is a true testament to Michele's hard work, fearless spirit and lifelong commitment to education,” Acosta said. “There is no doubt that Michele understands the vision for the future of higher education. Her dedication over the years has changed the lives of many young people by encouraging and helping them to enter college and go on to lead successful lives for themselves and their families. I always say – Michele has a special gift for changing generations of lives. She is most deserving of this award and I congratulate her for this national recognition.”

Joaquin Castro, chair of the CHCI Board of Directors, said CHCI Gala highlights the “rich contributions made by Latinos who have not only succeeded in their individual careers, but have set an example and empowered Latino youth to believe that anything is possible through higher education, hard work and pursuing the American dream.”

The CHCI's Awards Gala is the largest and most prominent gathering, bringing close to 2,000 Latinos from across the country together, including members of Congress, celebrities, corporate executives, and non-profit leaders. Guests also include CHCI alumni and current program participants - the nation's next generation of Latino leaders.

“This event demonstrates to our young people the promise of what a unified community with passionate, dedicated and prepared leaders can achieve - a stronger America for us all,” Castro said.

Bobadilla is no stranger to the nationwide or statewide scene.

Earlier this year, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation named Bobadilla chair of its new University Partnerships initiative.

The initiative’s goal is to build a robust college-to-career pipeline between Hispanic-Serving Institutions, like UTA, and the corporations who partner with the Foundation, resulting in enhanced career readiness for students and an immediately employable talent pool for various industries. 

UTA serves more Hispanic students than any other four-year public university in North Texas. UTA is one of only 10 universities in the nation to achieve the designation of both Hispanic-Serving Institution and R-1: Highest Research Activity in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

In 2015, UTA’s University Crossroads program, which Bobadilla started, was recognized with the Miguel Hidalgo Award by the Oak Cliff Coalition for the Arts for its educational outreach and widespread impact on the Hispanic community in Dallas.

In 2014, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities named UTA its Outstanding HACU-Member Institution for the school’s contributions to Hispanic higher education.

In 2010, Bobadilla was one of four women across the state to be honored with Outstanding Women in Texas Government awards.