Written by Phil Cerroni
North Lake College (NLC) history professor Dr. Yolanda Romero is now a member of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) Alumni Hall of Fame. The first Mexican-American woman to receive a PhD in History in the state of Texas, Romero accepted her award with strength and grace.
“I want to thank the DCCCD district and North Lake College specifically for letting me think outside the box…and giving the resources to do so,” said Romero. “There is no way I could have helped as many students without these tools.”
The HSF Alumni Hall of Fame celebrates outstanding Latinos whose personal stories and accomplishments demonstrate the power of higher education. The organization is calling Romero their 2012 “Inspirador,” or Motivator, for her personification of hard work and sacrifice.
“She doesn’t back down,” said student Diana Noko, “and she doesn’t give up on anybody.”
Dr. Romero has been a full-time teacher for 21 years at North Lake College. An instructor of US History and Mexican-American History, Romero enjoys writing about Northwest Texas, an area that, until her research, was largely untouched by historians. She is also passionate about sustainability, serving on the NLC Sustainable Blazer Committee andleading a campus-wide effort to create the college’s first Green Diploma.
While serving her community, Romero has won numerous accolades. She is most proud, however, of her work advising Phi Theta Kappa, a student honor society working to raise awareness about college completion. One of over 1,300 chapters worldwide, the group’s efforts led 132 students to file degree plans and completion forms in the fall of 2011 alone. NLC’s Phi Theta Kappa has been recognized as a Texas Top Chapter consecutively since 1999 and has held a spot in the Top 25 internationally since 2000.
“I spend about 450 hours annually encouraging these students outside of class,” said Romero. “And the results are amazing.”
According to HSF, within the Latino population, only 11 out of 100 students complete their college degree. Women like Dr. Romero are changing this statistic.
Source: North Lake College