Sarita Brown

Sarita Brown portrait

Sarita Brown, national leader on diversity in higher education, has been named the 2003-04 College of Communication Outstanding Alumnus.

Brown earned a bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies as well as bachelor’s and master's degrees in communication from The University of Texas at Austin. Brown was also named The University of Texas at Austin Graduate School’s Master of Arts Distinguished Alumnus in 2004.

Brown, a Pew Hispanic Center Senior Fellow, has spent more than two decades working at national academic institutions and the highest levels of government to raise academic achievement and opportunity for low-income and minority students. She served as executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans where she was responsible for the work of the 24-member President’s Advisory Commission, including advising the president and secretary of education on Hispanic American educational issues. Brown was also founding president of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute where she worked to pinpoint existing opportunities and leverage apportioned funds to best support Latinos in higher education.

Currently Brown serves as an adviser for the National Association for Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) initiative for newly elected school board members and for the Center for Policy Analysis for the American Council on Education. She has received numerous awards, including the 2003 Outstanding Contributions to Higher Education Award from the National Association for School Personnel (NASPA) and the 2002 Women of Distinction Award from the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Dr. Richard Cherwitz, professor of rhetoric and composition at The University of Texas at Austin, said, “Sarita’s pioneering work at UT – in creating one of the first Graduate Opportunity Programs – is testimony to her commitment to increasing the number of persons of color who pursue graduate studies.”