White House invites UNT professor to speak about education for Latinas

Friday, October 14, 2016 - 13:30
Yolanda Flores Niemann
Yolanda Flores Niemann

DENTON, Texas (UNT) – A psychology professor at the University of North Texas will join a White House panel dedicated to helping Latinas succeed in education.

Yolanda Flores Niemann, UNT professor of psychology, was invited by the White House to take part in the summit, Fulfilling America’s Future: Latinas in the U.S., on Oct. 21 (Friday). Niemann will participate in the panel Latinas in Education: Reaching Our Full Potential.

“I am honored and thrilled to discuss this issue on a national stage,” Niemann said. “Latinas play a critical role in our country and have so much potential, but there are certain roadblocks that we must work together to overcome for the benefit of our country.”

With 54 million people, Hispanics are the largest, youngest and fastest-growing population in the United States, and will represent 60 percent of our nation’s population growth between 2005 and 2050, according to statistics provided by the White House.

This month’s forum will address the contributions Latinas have made in education, the workforce and economy and offer ideas to advance opportunities.

Niemann, who studies the psychological effects and social contexts of stereotypes, microaggressions and tokenism, said she will address how policy can be shaped to bolster the success of Latinas in education.

Throughout her career, Niemann has received more than $42 million in federal outreach grants to facilitate the entry and success of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds in higher education. Her grants are impacting the lives of tens of thousands of students.

Raised in San Antonio, Niemann is the oldest of seven children and the first in her family to obtain more than a middle school education. She said she brings her personal and professional experience to her work.

“The pipeline for Latinas in education is very small, and it needs to be much bigger,” she said. “There are some real concrete ways we can make a difference, and that is what we will discuss.”

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