NHLI 25 Years  
About NHLIProgramsConferencesAlumnaeSponsors
2014 Executive Leadership Conference & Mujer Awards

2014 Executive Leadership Conference & Mujer Awards

Sponsored by:




General Motors





Miller Coors



Texas Health

Texas Instruments


Since 1993, NHLI’s Mujer Awards have recognized the lifetime achievements of Hispanicwomen who serve their communities and act with justice, love, and the deepest sense of pride in their culture.

There are several Mujer Awards: Alumna of the Year, Regional Mujer Award,
and National Mujer Award. We also honor the 2014 Chair's Award.

Elaine Coronado

Alumna of the Year

Elaine Coronado

Founder and President of Argus Events & Marketing, ELP ‘93

Elaine Coronado is the founder and President of Argus Events & Marketing, a nineteen year old firm based in Washington, D.C. She was born in San Antonio, Texas but spent 12 years of her childhood living overseas in Germany, Spain and Panama. She attended the University of Texas at San Antonio, received a B.A. in History and Political Science, and studied at the University of St. Louis at Madrid, focusing on Spanish culture and art appreciation at the world famous Prado Museum. In 1988 Ms. Coronado moved to Washington, D.C. and in preparation for the 500 anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ encounter of the New World, led a national effort of programming and conferences to bring attention and education to Latino contributions to the Americas. In this capacity, she coordinated efforts with the Smithsonian Institution and other art and education entities. As Executive Director of the National Hispanic Quincentennial Commission she had the privilege of working for the legendary civil rights leader, Raul Yzaguirre.

In 1991, Ms. Coronado founded and led a national group of business and community leaders in support of fast track authority as a prelude to discussion of the North Americana Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Ms. Coronado led a delegation to Mexico City to meet with President Carlos Salinas di Gortari and traveled across the United States leading support for this initiative in cooperation with the White House.

She served as Senior Advisor for the Western Hemispheric Conference on Disabilities, which invited 17 First Ladies from Latin America and the Caribbean to discuss disability issues in the Americas. She interfaced with officials from the State Department, Department of Education and the Organization of American States (OAS) in providing input, strategy and logistics into this successful endeavor. Ms. Coronado took the lead in securing an invitation from Mrs. Clinton to host her first White House social event and oversaw logistics and protocol in cooperation with the OAS.
In 1995 Ms. Coronado incorporated Argus International as a vehicle for offering event management and marketing services to Hispanic organizations and those interested in the Hispanic community. Under her guidance as CEO/President, the company has produced and coordinated high-level events such as the 2001 Hispanic Presidential Inaugural Galas; Hispanic Designers Fashion Show Galas with Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Narciso Rodriguez; and has overseen conferences for National Foundation for Women Legislators, National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, Hispanic Bar Association, Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities, and others. She has worked with celebrities from Celine Dion to Mary Wilson of The Supremes, to high profile public figures as the Attorney General of the United States, Speaker of the House, to Members of Congress.

In 2010 her company, Argus, was awarded a contract from the Department of Interior to write a fundraising feasibility study for the proposed National Museum of the American Latino. Argus researched, studied, and interviewed key individuals resulting in a comprehensive strategy to raise $300 million within a ten-year period. In January 2013 Argus produced 08 events for the Latino Inaugural Committee, co-chaired by Henry Munoz and Eva Longoria. Events took place at the Organization of American States, Hirshhorn Museum and John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Ms. Coronado served on the Civil Rights Commission for the District of Columbia, U.S. Senate Republican Conference Task Force on Hispanic Affairs through an invitation by Senator Orrin G. Hatch, and is a graduate of the National Hispana Leadership Institute. She attended the Center for Creative Leadership in North Carolina, Executive Program at Harvard University, and was a fellow in the U.S.-Mexico Solidarity Foundation Program. Ms. Coronado has had several assignments with the U.S. Department of State as Public Member to Selection Boards, resulting in her advocacy for inclusion of more minorities and Hispanics into the diplomatic ranks. In addition, she has served as a Board Member at the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and as President of the Board of Associates at the National Rehabilitation Hospital. She was selected and has been included as one of the Top 100 Influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business.

Back to Top.


Dr. Amelie Ramirez

Regional Mujer Awardee

Dr. Amelie Ramirez

Professor & Director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, an internationally recognized cancer and chronic disease health disparities and communications researcher, is a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where she also is founding director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research, which researches health disparities (http://ihpr.uthscsa.edu). Dr. Ramirez has two endowments to support her research and that of the IHPR—the Dielmann Chair in Health Disparities Research and Community Outreach and the Max and Minnie Tomerlin Voelcker Endowed Chair in Cancer Healthcare Disparities and Outreach at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC), the Health Science Center’s National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center. She also is Associate Director for Cancer Prevention and Health Disparities at the CTRC, where she oversees program development, translational research, cancer surveillance data, recruitment, and minority outreach and trial accrual.

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Ramirez has directed many research programs focused on human and organizational communication to reduce chronic disease and cancer health disparities affecting Latinos, including cancer risk factors and genetics, clinical trial accrual, tobacco prevention and cessation, obesity prevention, and more. All projects are theory-based, quasi-experimental, and focused on cancer, chronic disease, and/or obesity prevention. These projects have led to unique health communication models and interventions that have contributed to increased access to care, preventive screening rates, and healthy behavior changes. Dr. Ramirez is a pioneer of the theory-based “dual-link” communication model, which combines behavioral journalism techniques pushed through mass media (peer modeling) and the creation of culturally relevant peer models in the community to build local networks and reinforce mass media messages (peer reinforcement). Dr. Ramirez directs two national research networks, one funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to target Latino cancer through research, training, and education (Redes En Acción, www.redesenaccion.org), and one funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to target Latino childhood obesity through evidence-based research, field-building, and community engagement and empowerment for healthy change (Salud America!, www.salud-america.org). For Redes, she led: the publishing of a Latino cancer research agenda; funding of 18 grantees to study cancer in Latino communities; collaboration on more $200 million in multi-site research grants, one that found that navigation can reduce Latinas’ times to diagnosis and treatment; mentoring of hundreds of Hispanic students and minority researchers; and 2,000+ outreach events and published bilingual stories, videos and educational materials. For Salud America!, she led: producing e-communications and videos with the latest in Latino childhood obesity news, research, funding, and events; developed the first-ever Latino Childhood Obesity Research Priority Agenda; funded 20 grantee researchers who leveraged $1.5 million in Salud America! funding into more than $30 million in new research funding; developed the Policy Contribution Spectra, an evidence-based model that visually illustrates, defines, and measures the process of policy contribution; published a special supplement to inform the research field; and launched the Salud America! Growing Healthy Change website to give people the policies/resources/stories to spur healthy change (http://www.communitycommons.org/salud-america/). The website features 524 curated “policies in progress” in Latino communities across the nation, 160 curated resources and tools for change, and 56 curated Salud Hero stories that spell out the steps for policy change in Latino childhood obesity.

Dr. Ramirez is a leader in social media as director of the SaludToday social media campaign for Latino health. The SaludToday blog (www.saludtoday.com/blog) and associated Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube pages combine Dr. Ramirez’ internal research and communications—evidence-based, culturally tailored educational videos, articles, newsletters, and websites—along with externally curated news to promote health among Latinos. By sheer number of followers, SaludToday has an extremely broad reach via its blog (15,000+ subscribers), Twitter page (6,300+ followers), Facebook page (1,000+ fans), and YouTube channel (61,000+ video views). SaludToday has won more than a dozen Web Health Awards and reached content-sharing agreements with national media outlets and other bloggers, serving as a model for health organizations to increase their outreach with minimal cost and staff time.

Dr. Ramirez also understands the great need for mentorship programs and diversity in the research field. She has personally trained and/or mentored over 200 Hispanic undergraduate and pre- and post-doctoral students, as well as early-career faculty members, instructing about research design, methods, data analysis, and career development. Many of her trainees have achieved high profile and broad-reaching independent success, including K01 awards. She also directs Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training, an NCI-funded project to train and encourage Latino master’s-level students and professionals to pursue a doctoral degree and cancer research career. Since 2011, more than 20% of Éxito! participants have been accepted into doctoral programs.

Dr. Ramirez has authored many peer-reviewed articles, is an editorial board member on several prestigious journals, including Health Education Research, and is frequently invited to speak at scientific meetings. She has been recognized for her work in public health and health disparities research and advancing Latinos in medicine, public health, and behavioral sciences across the U.S., including: 2014 Making a Difference Award from Latinas Contra Cancer; 2012 First Lady of the Intercultural Cancer Council at Baylor College of Medicine; 2011 White House “Champion of Change”; 2009 Health Care Hero from the San Antonio Business Journal; 2007 election to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies; 2007 Professor of Survivorship from Susan G. Komen For the Cure; 2003 Humanitarian Award from the American Cancer Society; and the 1996 Sarah Mazelis Award for Health Promotion from the American Public Health Association.

Dr. Ramirez is a member of various national and regional advisory groups and coalitions:
Scientific Advisory Board, Susan G. Komen For the Cure
Scientific Advisory Board, Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade
Board of Directors, Lance Armstrong Foundation
Board of Directors, RWJF Health & Society Scholars Program
Board of Directors, C-CHANGE
Council of Experts, National Call to Action (NCTA)
IOM Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities
IOM Roundtable on Translating Genomic Based Research for Health (former)
CDC’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Control Advisory Committee (former)
Prize Jury, Fries Prize for Improving Health Award and the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award, James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation
Scientific and Prevention Advisory Council, Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas
Mayor’s Fitness Council, City of San Antonio

Dr. Ramirez received a B.S. from the University of Houston and her M.P.H. and Dr.P.H. degrees from the University of Texas Health Science Center at the Houston School of Public Health.

Read her blog at www.saludtoday.com/blog.

Back to Top.


Dr. Ana Gil-Garcia

National Mujer Awardee

Dr. Ana Gil-Garcia

Professor at Northeastern Illinois University

A Venezuelan-American citizen, tenured Professor at Northeastern Illinois University, author, esteemed community leader, and forerunning advocate for educational leaders, Gil-Garcia is a four-time Fulbright US Scholar (Venezuela, Middle East, Armenia and Georgia) and an internationally acclaimed professional. Gil-Garcia, a published author, works tirelessly for a variety of community organizations. She holds a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University, Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Tennessee, Specialist Degree in Middle School Curriculum conferred by the Organization of American States, and Bachelor’s degree from the Pedagogical University of Venezuela; accumulated her academic and administrative experiences from classroom teaching, Acting Superintendent, Acting College Department Chair, and Associate Provost of Academic Affairs.

Dr. Gil Garcia, past president of the Fulbright Association of Chicago Chapter, is one of the 30 outstanding visionary women in higher education in 2014 awarded by the Diverse Issues in Higher Education Magazine. She served 10-years as a member of the Advisory Council on Latino Affairs of the City of Chicago and on national and international organization boards. In 2007, she received the “Dare to Be Great” Award by the Illinois Women Administrators Association; the “Education for the Hispanic Communities” Award from the Secretary of the State of Illinois, and nominated as the Chicago Latina Professional of the Year. She has received four Faculty Excellence Awards for teaching, research and service granted by Northeastern Illinois University. In 2008, she received the “Hispanic Faculty Excellence” Award and ranked 2nd in the Chicago Latina Professional of the Year. In June 2009, she was named as one of the “Top Ten Chicago Latinos”. In October 2010, the Hispanic Business magazine named her as one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics in the USA”. Her students recognized her with the “Indelible Mark” award in 2010 for her mentorship and leadership. The Fulbright Chapter of Chicago made her the recipient of the 2012 “Dee Sarelas Service” Award for her international services. In 2013, she received the “International Women” given by the Teatro Aguijon in Chicago and the “Maria Mangual” Award granted by Mujeres Latinas en Accion, the oldest Latina women organization in the country. At the beginning of 2014, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) appointed Dr. Gil Garcia one of the 13 Latino Advisory Committee (LAC) members, the District's first-ever, Latino-focused task force designed to increase engagement with the Latino community and to enhance the educational success of Latino students. In the course of the 2014 she has been the recipient of Who is Who in Hispanic Chicago, National Hispanic Leadership Woman Award, and The Golden Apple of Western Michigan University.

In 2010, the Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs awarded Dr. Gil a US. Speaker and Specialist grant to lecture on “Helping girls stay in schools” in Belize and Guatemala.

In the academic year 2011-2012, during the Arab Spring in Egypt, The American University in Cairo invited Dr. Gil Garcia as a Visiting Professor to teach graduate courses related to international and comparative education. In 2012, Tbilisi State University located in the Republic of Georgia, invited her as a Visiting Scholar to deliver a doctoral seminar on reframing leadership. As a Fulbright Specialist 2014, she returned to three universities in Georgia to deliver lectures on educational research, reframing organizations, and international education. In August 2014, she will depart for Saudi Arabia to attend a one-year invitation by the Prince Muhammad bin Fahd.

Dr. Gil-Garcia’s image served as one of the Rotary International faces of the “Humanity in Action” world-wide campaign to fight poverty. Her defense of democracy and equal opportunities has brought recognition from diverse human rights groups. She devotes most of her passion to ensuring peace and global citizenship education as the means for preparing young people for their understanding of, and involvement in, the civic life of their communities. Based on that philosophy, she created a partnership concept between and among Fulbright Alumni Associations and founded The Book Partnership, an international community service project of the Chicago Fulbright Association to bring literacy to Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Egypt, Moldova, Ghana, Botswana and Ecuador in order to serve socioeconomically deprived schools in those regions. This year, the Book Partnership served six local Chicago organizations and schools in Macedonia.

Back to Top.


Dr. Raquel E. Cohen

Chair's Award

Dr. Raquel E. Cohen, M.D., MPH

Dr. Raquel Cohen is a graduate and former Associate Professor of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Cohen is a native of Lima, Peru and graduated from San Marcos University in Lima. She received her Master’s in Public Health and M.D. from Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, with the first class of women admitted to the Medical School.
 She is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Miami Medical School. A world-renown authority in the field of psychological and social consequences from disasters and intervention methods, she has worked with victim relief government and non-government agencies around the world. She participated in the early efforts to organize a committee for disasters of the APA and eventually was the chair of the Psychiatric disaster committee.  She also was awarded the APA/NIMH Vestermark and the Simon Bolivar award of the APA.  Her recent book "Mental Health Services in Disasters: A Manual for Humanitarian Workers," was published by the Pan American Health Organization and has been used to train disaster workers throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Presently Dr. Cohen is working as a consultant and trainer in the management of mental health needs of disaster and victims of terrorist events.  She is a member of the team that has developed the curriculum to train professionals in the State of Florida to prepare them to deal with terrorism sequelae.  She is also developing a distance learning program based on her work for use in international training through the Internet.  Prior to this work, she served as the Director of the Children’s Center at the Florida State Attorney General’s Office, with responsibility for assessment and management of cases of sexual abuse of children.  She was the Senior Consultant for the Office of Refugee Resettlement of the Cuban Youth Camp Program during the Mariel Boatlift, responsible for developing programs for unaccompanied minors who traveled to the United States from Cuba. As a child psychiatrist she has been the Associate Director of the Child/Youth Psychiatry for the University of Miami Medical School.
Prior to moving to Miami in 1980, Dr. Cohen was the Superintendent of the Erich Lindemann Mental Health Center in Boston Massachusetts.  She has also served as the Associate Director of the Laboratory of Community Psychiatry for the Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry and as the Psychiatric Director at the Norfolk Mental Health Center.  Specializing in cross-cultural mental health issues, she has served as a Consultant to the National Institute of Mental Health, the Pan American Health Organization, the Boston Public Schools and the American Psychiatric Association.
Recently she has been selected to the National Library of Medicine Exhibit, “Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians.  This exhibit will be shown in several cities in the USA.

Back to Top.




Twitter LinkedIn Facebook
Donate Now