AMERICUS (Aug. 20, 2012)—Georgia Southwestern State University’s (GSW) Hispanic recruiter Francisco “Paco” Paredes will receive a special “role model” honor from Minority Access, Inc. next month at their national conference in Orlando.
“It has been a sweet surprise to know that I will be receiving such a prestigious national award,” Paredes said. “During the last six years I have learned the concerns that the Hispanic/Latino community has to face every single day towards enrolling in college. Being able to guide them, to find solutions, and ultimately see that I was able to help change their lives for a better and more prosperous future has been the best award of all.”
Minority Access implemented the National Role Models Project in 1999. It honors students, faculty, and alumni to help increase the number of minority scientists, researchers and professionals in underrepresented fields. The National Role Models Conference provides a fitting venue for publicizing and honoring minority role models. Georgia Southwestern President Kendall A. Blanchard, Ph.D., nominated Paredes for this honor.
“Mr. Paredes has been a credit to the University since he first came here as a student and tennis player,” said Blanchard. “His work as a recruiter has made a difference, earning for him not only the selection as a minority role model but also a position as a very important member of the GSW community.”
Paredes joined the GSW Admissions staff in 2006 as the University’s first Hispanic/bilingual recruiter. In his first three years on the job, Paredes helped increase the Hispanic student enrollment by 170 percent. His leadership extends beyond his normal job, too, as he is the advisor for the International Student Association.
“Paco has impacted our campus in so many positive ways,” said Gaye Hayes, Ph.D., vice president for Enrollment Management. “He is able to help Hispanic and international students with his first-hand knowledge of the process – a process that he went through as an international student. We are very fortunate to have him as an integral part of our team.”
Prior to his time on staff at Georgia Southwestern, Paredes worked as a marketing manager for TechTennis Tennis Court Systems in Alicante, Spain. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing (2004) and a Master of Business Administration (2009) from Georgia Southwestern. He was also a member of GSW tennis teams that won three conference championships (2001-2003), two regional championships (2002-2003) and was a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) runner-up in 2001. Paredes and his wife Carolina reside in Americus and have a daughter, Eva.
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ABOUT GEORGIA SOUTHWESTERN: Recognized as one of the best colleges in the South, Georgia Southwestern was founded in 1906 and offers bachelors and masters degrees as a unit of the University System of Georgia. GSW is located in Americus, Ga., in Sumter County, the home of former President Jimmy Carter and three National Historic sites.
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