The appointment of Augustine Trujillo to the State History Board thrilled both the professor and the Hispanic community he serves.
Trujillo now heads the University of Utah's Center for Ethnic Student Affairs, and according to community advocates, he's been crucial in keeping Hispanic students in college.Lorena Riffo, the director of the Governor's Office of Hispanic Affairs, said many Hispanic students have gone to Trujillo when they were discouraged with the higher education system.
"He's been instrumental in encouraging many of our Hispanic students to stay in school and pursue their educations," Riffo said. "This is a really big deal."
Trujillo said CESA is a haven for not only Hispanic students but forall ethnic and minority groups, including white students.
"CESA provides a support service for minority students at the university, as well as a large number of educationally disadvantaged students," Trujillo said. "It not only enhances a diverse student body, but the center provides a home away from home."
"It makes them feel comfortable," he said, "There's a place for them to socialize."
His efforts on behalf of the Hispanic community is just one reason his advocates believe his appointment is important.
"He's absolutely committed to the Hispanic community and its history," said Jesse Soriano, a member of the Hispanic Advisory Council. "Part of his career has been dedicated to (acquiring) a very general and broad knowledge of Hispanic history in this country."
The history board decides which areas are preserved as historical, Trujillo said. The Colorado native is thrilled with the appointment and says he looks forward to the work which lies ahead.