Student leader gets noticed and receives National award

Publish Date: 
Feb 3, 2017

Student leader gets noticed and receives National award


SALINAS, Calif. – Hartnell Community College District is proud to announce student Rafael Mendoza is one of three in the country selected by the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institution Educators (AHSIE) as a 2017 AHSIE Seed to Tree Scholarship recipient.

“As a high achieving Engineering major, Rafael is a shining example of the immense talent and grit that Hartnell students possess,” said Director of Student Affairs, Bronwyn Moreno. “Rafael has persevered through great adversity and emerged as a selfless leader, a brilliant scholar, and a humble and kind young man.”       

Mendoza is the President of the Associated Students of Hartnell College and in first cohort of the Men’s Institute for Leadership and Education; he was selected as an outstanding student from a pool of over 80 applicants from across the country.  This year, all three winners are from California:

  • Rafael Mendoza, Hartnell College, Associate of Arts in Chemical Engineering

  • Joanna Beltran Giron, UC Santa Cruz, Bachelor of Arts in Intensive Psychology

  • Alvaro Castillo, CSU Northridge, Master of Arts in English

The scholars will each receive complimentary travel to the annual AHSIE conference at the University of Nevada on April 9-12, 2017, lodging and conference registration, along with a $500 cash award. They will attend a half-day Student Institute, designed specifically for undergraduate and graduate students, to build a strong foundational set of academic, career, and life skills. Each will also speak at the welcome reception.

AHSIE is a not-for-profit organization with the mission to support the work of Hispanic Serving Institutions across the nation as they seek to provide quality educational opportunities to their students and communities.

Hartnell Community College District – established in 1920

The Hartnell CCD serves over 16,000 students annually through its main campus in Salinas, the Alisal Campus in East Salinas, the King City Education Center, and various outreach learning centers throughout the Salinas Valley. Hartnell College, a Hispanic Serving Institution, provides workforce training, basic skills courses, and prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Hartnell College is recognized for its innovative public and private partnerships that support world class STEM education, career technical education, fine and performing arts, humanities, and athletics. We are proud to be the winners of the Innovation Award for CSin3 – a Computer Science degree in three years.  We are growing leaders through opportunity, engagement, and achievement. For more about Hartnell CCD, visit