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Betrayal and Conquer, An American Story of Courage and Resilience
Monday December 5, 2015
411 North Central Avenue
The School of Public Affairs welcomes alumna Dr. Ramona Ortega-Liston. Dr. Ortega-Liston received her doctorate in public administration from the School in 1998 and is currently an associate professor at the University of Akron. Dr. Ortega will be speaking about her inspiring new autobiography, Betrayal and Conquer, An American Story of Courage and Resilience. Lunch will be provided.
Dr. Ortega-Liston’s story is a remarkable one. She is the daughter of Mexican migrants that immigrated to the United States in the 1930’s, and one of seven children. After enduring years of physical and emotional hardship the family found the dreams they sought. Not letting stifling poverty stop her, Dr. Ortega-Liston moved from Iowa to Arizona to pursue her dream of going to college and successfully earned an Associate of Arts degree from Scottsdale Community College (with highest distinction), a Bachelor of Science degree (magna cum laude) and a doctorate from Arizona State University (ASU). She then earned a Masters from Harvard University and is now an associate professor at The University of Akron where she was one of six outstanding women inducted into “Women “Trailblazers.” Among her many research publications are articles describing and explaining the variables influencing public sector careers of Hispanics and women in higher education.
In addition to her academic achievements, Dr. Ortega-Liston has led a remarkable life committed to public service. She was a Charter Member of the ASU Research Park Board of Directors and became a member of the Arizona Governor’s Trade Delegation to Japan. She is the recipient of three presidential appointments having been appointed by the Reagan Administration to the Community Colleges of the Air Force Board of Visitors receiving the prestigious Air Force Award for Meritorious Civilian Service. She was appointed by the George H. W. Bush Administration to the Army Command and General Staff College Advisory Board and to the National Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. As director of the Unaccompanied Minors Shelter Care Program (UMSCP) Dr. Ortega received special recognition by the U.S. Office of the Inspector General for creating a model shelter for unaccompanied minors. She was volunteered for the 2000 and 2004 Bush/Cheney transition, later becoming a co-host for the Presidential Inaugural Committee Awards Luncheon “Leave No Child Behind.”
Dr. Ortega’s interest in government began as a Scottsdale Community College student aide to Sandra Day O’Connor in 1975. She later became deputy administrative assistant to Congressman, now Senator John McCain. She has been a dynamic speaker on Hispanic and women’s issues at Harvard University, Radcliffe College and various women’s clubs.