Featured Speakers- conference
G. Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, FAAN, is a Professor at the School of Nursing. Rumay joined the School of Nursing in 2003 and has held a variety of leadership positions, both within and outside of the school. In addition to serving on the faculty, she was director of the School of Nursing’s Office of Inclusive Excellence, Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion for UNC-Chapel Hill, and provided leadership and resources for the Gillings School of Global Public Health and the Adams School of Dentistry. She also taught a multi-session training program at Faculty Council meetings and continues to lead the Faculty Governance Committee on Community and Diversity.
Her nursing career spans over 21 years in the areas of public policy, advocacy, teaching, and health careers development with an emphasis on cultural diversity issues. At a national level, she has served on the AHA’s Workforce Commission, the board of The American Organization of Nurse Executives, The National Quality Forum Nursing Care Performance Measures’ Steering Committee, Chairperson of the AONE Diversity Council, and a member of the AHA’s Leadership Circle of Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care. She frequently speaks to groups across the country on the issues of the healthcare workforce, diversity, and strategic planning.
Erica T. Sosa, PhD, MCHES, Associate Dean for Research Success in the College for Health, Community and Policy and an Associate Professor in Public Health at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She coordinate the multi-disciplinary research portfolio for the college, facilitating research collaborations and supporting researchers in their work. Her research focuses on psychosocial, environmental and cultural factors that influence health outcomes as well as health equity and Latino health. She is also the Director for the Center for Community Based and Applied Health Research, whose mission is to connect faculty to community based organizations and other stakeholders to develop, implement and evaluate research focused on improving health equity.
Melissa Irene Maldonado Torres, Ph.D., received her Masters of Social Work and Ph.D. at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work where she is adjunct faculty and co-founder of the college’s Latin American Initiative, which provides summer learning abroad programs to Latin America in conjunction with local universities and NGOs.
Torres served as the subject matter expert on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ healthcare professional’s response to human trafficking program, an initiative of President Obama’s Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims. She developed and teaches a class on human trafficking and social work at the University of Houston and has served as the human trafficking expert for various academic studies in the U.S. and Latin America.
Torres’s research has included the trafficking of women from Latin America for sexual exploitation, policy analysis on the protection of domestic minor sex trafficking survivors, labor abuse and exploitation faced by undocumented immigrants, assessments on displacement and knowledge of trafficking risks in indigenous communities, and exploring the demand side of sex trafficking. She has conducted training on forced migration and exploitation for legislators, investigators, healthcare professionals, and social service providers in the U.S., Mexico, El Salvador, Bolivia, Colombia, and the Netherlands.
Torres has been recognized by the U.S. Congress with a Certification of Congressional Recognition for her presentation to the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau. She has presented before state legislatures and the delegates to the United Nations on the intersectionality of lacking policies and the risks faced by migrant Latinxs in the Americas, and is a delegate of the Academic Council of the United Nations System to the UN Commission on the Status of Women. She serves as faculty for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s UN Practicum on Advocacy in New York City and the WILPF delegate for the Universal Periodic Review on Human Rights of the United States at the UN, Geneva. For her research and work on the exploitation of displaced Latinas, she was awarded the University of Houston Commission on Women’s Student Award for Distinguished Service to Women. She is an alumna of the Council on Social Work Education’s Minority Fellowship Program.
Adela Uchida came to CBS Austin in January 2015. She is currently weekend anchor and weekday general assignment reporter, where she has covered a wide range of stories, from the departure of Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo to the deadly shooting of five police officers in downtown Dallas to the Memorial Day flood that claimed the lives of multiple people in Wimberley.
Adela comes to Austin from Houston, where she was an anchor and a reporter for six years. She arrived in Texas from Michigan the same weekend that Hurricane Ike made landfall, giving her a crash course in what kind of havoc Texas weather can wreak. In Michigan, she served as anchor at WILX, moving from weekend morning anchor, to weekday morning anchor, to weekday evening anchor. She was also honored with multiple awards for her work in Michigan and Houston, from the Associated Press, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and the Asian American Journalists Association. Her reporting from Japan in the aftermath of the 9.0 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis earned her an Emmy nomination in 2011.
Adela is an avid distance runner who enjoys distances from the 5k to the marathon. At press time, her marathon PR was 3:53:26 and she hopes to qualify for the Boston Marathon. One day, right? She’s also active in the community, often serving as emcee at local events and on the board of a few local organizations, like the Japan America Society of Greater Austin.
And if that weren’t enough to fill a calendar, Adela is also a mom to a little girl who is a bookworm, ballerina and budding chef. Adela and her family live in Austin city limits, but sometimes they dream of moving to the middle of nowhere, especially when caught on MoPac during rush hour.