LU Hispanic Mentors

The LU Hispanic Mentors are a group of Hispanic and Latino professionals comprised of faculty, staff, alumni, and community leaders. We established this group to provide support, mentorship, and guidance for current and potential Hispanic and Latino students seeking to improve their lives through education. Additionally, we advocate and support Lamar University’s efforts toward becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution. Finally, we strive to bring awareness and appreciation to our cultural, ethnic, and societal contributions as Hispanic and Latino people.

If you want more information or are interested in becoming a Hispanic mentor, please email

hector floresDr. Héctor A. Flores is a native Houstonian and U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He graduated from UT-Pan American with a B.A. in history and LU with a master's in public administration and a doctoral degree in education. Dr. Flores, the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students for the Division of Student Engagement, is an adjunct faculty member with the Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice. Previously, he served as the Lamar University chief of police from 2014 to 2022. As chief, he was responsible for establishing the LU Incident Command System, which dealt with Hurricane Harvey, Imelda, Laura, and student evacuations. Dr. Flores is also a recipient of the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce's 40 Under 40 award (2019) and Hurricane Harvey "Game Changer" award. In addition, he is the advisor for the LU Hispanic Society student organization, LU Chess Association, Student Government Association, and Greek Life.

Office Phone (409) 880-8458

alberto-iglesiasAlberto Iglesias is the Title III Community Liaison for Beaumont ISD. He graduated with a Bachelors in Business Administration/Accounting from the Technology University of Mexico (Mexico City), recognized as one of the Laureate International Universities. Alberto has served as an educator for 25 years and was the Principal at Centro Tecnológico Superior de Computación (México City) for 10 years. He has served as the Title III Community Liaison for BISD in the ESL/Bilingual Department for 11 years. As a community leader, Iglesias is committed to enhancing communication between the school and the community by providing workshops that combine parenting and leadership skills that empower parents to become vital contributors to their children’s academic success.

Office Phone (409) 617-5222

angela-clavijoAngela Clavijo is a Colombian-American and an Instructor of Social Work at Lamar University. She is a graduate from the LU Social Work Program and received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University. She worked in direct practice as a licensed social worker for 10 years prior to joining the faculty at LU and has experience in child and family welfare, health care, consultant services, and school social work.

Office Phone (409) 880-8586

angelica cardenasAngelica Cardenas Guerrero is a native of Beaumont and received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Lamar University. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Business Management and serves as the Senior Administrative Coordinator for the Vice President of Finance and Operations (VPFO). Along with supporting the VPFO, she works closely with the Office of the President and Office of the Provost and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs. Angelica’s greatest passion is helping others, traveling, and spending time with close friends and family.

Office Phone (409) 880-8313

april-loya-boggsApril Loya-Boggs is a native Mexican-American and an Instructor of Social Work at LU. She is a graduate from Stephen F. Austin State University where she received her Bachelors and Master's Degree in Social Work. She worked in direct practice for 10 years prior to joining the faculty at LU, and has experience in mental health, child and family welfare, adoption services, early childhood intervention, and Senior Behavioral Health. April says, "I am very proud of being a college graduate. I feel like I not only achieved my dream, but I also accomplished something for my parents. They worked hard to give me what I needed to obtain a good education. I come from a family of migrant workers, which made me no stranger to hard work, which helped me obtain my degree. This strong work ethic is also a reminder of where I come from and what my family sacrificed so that I could become a first-generation graduate."

Office Phone (409) 880-8538

briana-hughesBriana Hughes is a Southeast Texas Admissions Counselor. She was born and raised in Nederland, Texas. Briana received her B.S. in Health Science from West Texas A&M University in 2019. Higher Education has always been something that she is passionate about. Briana is very proud of her Puerto Rican and Mexican background and is very eager to serve the Hispanic Community at Lamar University by providing support and helping LU students achieve their goals.

Office Phone
(409) 880-1769

carlos-zunigaCarlos Zuniga is from Oxnard, California and moved to Beaumont in 1995. Zuniga is the owner of Tacos La Bamba and President of UNIDAD, a nonprofit organization composed of bilingual, multicultural, and diverse community leaders focused on helping the underserved, underrepresented, and those with limited income, resources, or facing language barriers in Beaumont. Mr. Zuniga loves local street art, murals, and paintings which are all represented at his restaurant. He is also the primary sponsor of the LU Hispanic Society, assisting with student events, banquets, concerts, and multicultural education efforts.

Office Phone (409) 838-6222

edgardo-pujolsDr. Edgardo Pujols is an assistant professor in the Earth and Space Science department. He grew up in Puerto Rico and attended the University of Puerto Rico (UPRM) as an undergraduate. Edgardo received his M.S. in Geology from the University of Kansas (KU) in 2011 and his Ph.D. from the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) in 2017. He is a SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) life member and mentor. He currently serves as an advisor for both SACNAS LU and LUGS.

Office Phone (409) 880-8239

elia hatfieldDr. Elia Hatfield is an Associate Professor at the Department of English and Modern Languages. Her areas of research and interest are Mexican Literature, Hispanic Literature in the US, Creative Writing (fiction) and Teaching Pedagogy.

Office Phone (409) 880-8555

vira floresElvira "Vira" Flores grew up in the Rio Grande Valley and is a Texas peace officer with the Lamar University Police Department. She is responsible for evidence processing, preparing criminal cases for submission to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, and assisting victims of crime. She also translated the entire LU Police website to Spanish and translates in person, when needed. Vira is a Criminal Justice major and mother of two beautiful daughters. She enjoys traveling, museums, and listening to Latino music. Vira is very kind and always eager to help students at Lamar University.

Office Phone (409) 880-7719

fabiana-baumFabiana Baum joined Provost Umphrey Law Firm in 2017 and practices personal injury and immigration law in Beaumont. Raised in Brazil, Mrs. Baum is a US citizen who graduated from University of Houston Law Center where she was an Alternative Dispute Resolution Team Member. She represented the University of Houston at the International Chamber of Commerce XI International Commercial Mediation Competition in Paris, France, and received the Best Mediation Plan Award. She is also an arbitrator for Texas Comptroller’s Office. She is fluent in her native tongue Portuguese and English and is advanced and intermediate in Spanish and Italian respectively.

Office Phone (409) 838-8817

Gabriel CrosbyGabriel Crosby grew up in Beaumont in a working-class Mexican-American family and is a first-generation college graduate. He earned his bachelors and masters degrees in history and masters in education from Lamar University and is currently working towards a doctorate in education from Abilene Christian University. Gabriel as serves as the Director of Graduate Business Programs at Prairie View A&M. He credits his time at Lamar for helping ignite a passion for helping others further their college educations.

Office Phone (409) 201-5201

gevorg sargsyanDr. Gevorg Sargsyan has a Doctoral and Master’s degree from the University of Alicante. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in finance, economics, security analysis and portfolio management, real estate investments, and other courses. Gevorg’s research areas cover finance and finance regulation, risk management, real estate finance and investments, energy business risk management and finance, tourism management and planning, local economic development and SMEs, strategic management, and financial stability of NPOs. Gevorg has been instrumental in receiving grants and awards totaling $1,194,539. He is a member of the Undergraduate Research Advisory Board and Study Abroad Advisory Council. Gevorg also coordinates COB’s international relations and project-based study abroad programs.

Office Phone (409) 880-8647

jacqueline hernandezJacqueline Hernández is a local business owner and community organizer who, for over 10 years, has been a pillar of support and resources for local residents and Hispanic immigrants in Southeast Texas. As a student at LU, she led organizations that marched for the rights of immigrants and fought for legislation change from Washington, D.C. to Austin, Texas. Also while at Lamar, she earned her spot in the Texas Legislative Internship Program where she worked for State Representative Chris Turner. She is a 40 Under 40 recipient for her achievements and hard work. She continues her involvement locally by educating residents about voting and giving guidance to students seeking higher education.

Office Phone (409) 781-7465

jhocelyn alvarado

Jhocelyn Alvarado is the Enrollment Marketing Manager for the Office of Admissions. She has a B.S. in Corporate Communication from LU. She is from Southeast Texas, speaks Spanish, and loves a good true crime podcast! Jhocelyn is a Latinx first-generation college graduate. She manages communication and marketing recruitment efforts for prospective students. She say, "I believe in the power of higher education and strive to help our Latinx population succeed at Lamar University!"

Office Phone (409) 880-7516


Julliana Reyes is a founding partner of the Bailey Reyes Law Firm in Beaumont, Texas. She is originally from Houston, Texas and moved to Beaumont in 2018. She is a first-generation college graduate, the proud daughter of Colombian immigrants. Julliana graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in History and a B.A. in Anthropology (2012) and from South Texas College of Law – Houston with her Juris Doctor (2016). In 2018, Julliana started her own law firm serving family law clients in Jefferson, Orange and Hardin Counties. Julliana believes that education, hard work and perseverance are the keys to the advancement and success of our community.

Office Phone (409) 239-0123

katrina-brentDr. Katrina Brent is the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing at LU. She is a graduate of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology and a minor in business administration. After graduation, she returned to Southeast Texas and received an MBA in 2007 and Doctorate in Educational Leadership in 2017. She began her professional career at LU in 2005 beginning in the Career and Professional Development Center and served as an Adjunct Instructor in the College of Business for six years. In 2007, she began working in the College of Engineering and focused on recruitment, retention, K-12 outreach and corporate partnerships. In 2015, Katrina accepted the position of Executive Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid and then moved into the Enrollment Management role in 2017. She currently oversees Admissions, Scholarships and Financial Aid, Retention and Student Success, Registrar and Records and Marketing.

Office Phone (409) 880-7797

lilian felipe

Dr. Lilian Felipe, a native of Brazil, is a professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. Lilian has a Post-Doctoral in Medical Sciences degree from Maastricht, The Netherlands (2015) and a Ph.D. from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil (2011). She is a founding advisor, along with Dr. Flores and Mrs. Perez, of the LU Hispanic Society.

Office Phone (409) 880-7900

meg-brownMeg Baertl Brown is a family nurse practitioner who currently works for Neurocare of the South. She has worked as a registered nurse for over 15 years in the pediatric, obstetric and gynecology, hospice, and home health areas. She was born in Lima, Peru and raised in a small rural town in southern Pennsylvania. Before moving to Beaumont, she served as a World Service Corp volunteer in Kenya and the Philippines. She currently lives with her husband and two cocker spaniels in Beaumont. She also has a bonus daughter who graduated from Lamar in 2021. She loves volunteering and making her community a better place.


melissa lopez

Melissa Lopez is an Admissions Counselor at LU for the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas area. She was born in Mexico and was raised in McAllen, Texas. Melissa is a first-generation college graduate and received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. She says, "As a first-generation student, I know the struggles and obstacles a student might face, that’s why I’m here to support and help as many students as I can achieve their dreams at Lamar University!"

Office Phone (409) 937-5374

melissa rodriguez

Dr. Melissa Rodriguez is a first-generation college graduate who earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership at LU. She has more than 17 years of higher education experience. As the Associate Director of Admissions at LU, she manages recruitment of first-year, transfer, international, and graduate students. Melissa strongly believes in the benefits of professional development and involvement and is a member of several organizations within higher education. Melissa, a native of New York, is Puerto Rican and speaks English and Spanish.

Office Phone (409) 880-7518

roxanne-acosta-hellbergRoxanne Acosta-Hellberg is originally from South Texas and moved to Jefferson County in 2000. She is married to her husband of 23 years and has two good-hearted children. Roxanne was born to immigrant parents from Mexico, was a migrant worker in Minnesota, earned an MBA, and started in Healthcare Administration. Since 2001, she and her husband have operated a successful asset recovery company that started in four states and has grown nationwide. They now manage millions in assets. Together, they organized over 500 contractors throughout the U.S., real estate investors, and are living the American Dream. Mrs. Acosta-Hellberg enjoys serving our community as a board member of the American Red Cross, Texas Workforce Commission, and The Baptist Foundation.

Office Phone (915) 526-7032

Victor Davila

Victor M. Davila is the Executive Director of Retention and Student Services at LU. Victor is a co-founder of the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institution Educators and has served as a founding Vice-President, VP of Finance and Governance for the organization. His primary work has been piloting retention and student success since 2004. Victor has served on numerous community organizations that focus on education. He is active in the Hispanic Serving Institute community. He co-authored a chapter in Gina Garcia’s book Defining “Servingness” at HSI’s. Victor also facilitates HSI-Title V workshops on budget and program management. He is a graduate of Texas A&I University with B.A. in History and M.A. in Psychology from Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Office Phone (409) 880-8439


230 Setzer Student Center
PO Box 10018