UTA’s Sanchez recognized as Mujer Legendaria – News Center

Friday 07 October 2022 • Neph Rivera:

Jessica Sanchez grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, often reflecting on her social identity as she explored her place in the world.

“Being vulnerable with my identities has been a big part of my life — navigating what it means to be a biracial woman of color and a first-generation student,” said Sanchez, director of student advocacy services at the University. from Texas to Arlington. . “Sometimes I didn’t always know what to do or where to turn.”

Now, Sanchez prioritizes inclusivity in the areas of social justice, advocacy, and education to ensure students are seen, heard, and recognized at UTA. She is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work and the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies program and one of four North Texas recipients of the 2022 Mujeres Legendarias Award presented by the Ford Motor Company.

Mujeres Legendarias, or Legendary Women, is a national program honoring Hispanic women who improve their communities by embodying the four pillars of the Ford brand: leadership, environmental and human sustainability, community and innovation. Recipients are leaders in education, business, volunteerism and the arts.

“I’ve always had a big heart in that I want to find ways to help people,” Sanchez said. “This translates directly into my love and passion for education. I want students to know they have a mentor, staff member, or faculty member who can relate to them and support them through difficult times.

As Director of Student Advocacy Services at UTA, Sanchez oversees relationship violence and sexual assault prevention, the LGBTQ+ program, the Maverick Pantry, and the Emergency Relief Fund.

“I’m not a typical higher education professional, having studied human sexuality, but human sexuality fits so well into the work I do in advocacy and education,” he said. she declared. “It really fills my cup for identifying areas of need, making them more inclusive, representing underserved communities, and empowering women of color.”

Previous recipients of UTA’s North Texas Mujeres Legendarias award include Minerva Cordero, professor of mathematics and associate dean of the College of Science; Maria Martinez-Cosio, acting dean of the College of Architecture, Urbanism and Public Affairs; Rose Youngblood, associate vice president for development; Denise Hernandez, adjunct professor of public health at the College of Nursing and Health Innovation; and Elizabeth Couch, former deputy director of media relations.

“Through her advocacy and engagement on behalf of students and diverse communities, Jessica has served as a catalyst for change,” said Michele Bobadilla, UTA Senior Associate Vice President for Outreach and Community Engagement and Assistant Vice President for Hispanic Student Success. “It was an honor to nominate Dr. Jessica Sanchez for this national innovation recognition.”

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