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Oskin Leadership Institute Welcomes Cynthia Figueroa as Beideman Visiting Scholar

As Beideman Visiting Scholar, Figueroa will deliver the Women's History Month Lecture, and speak in several undergraduate classes.

The Oskin Leadership Institute at Widener University welcomes Cynthia Figueroa as the 2015-16 Beideman Visiting Scholar. Figueroa is president and chief executive officer of Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Philadelphia’s largest nonprofit agency providing expert services to the Latino community.

As the Beideman Visiting Scholar, Figueroa will deliver the Women’s History Month Lecture on the topic of gender equity on Tuesday, March 15 at 4 p.m. in the Freedom Hall auditorium. She will also speak in several undergraduate classes on topics including Latino voters in the Presidential election, the national identity of Puerto Rico, and political polarization and how diverse groups are working together in Philadelphia.

Last fall, Figueroa delivered a President's Invited Lecture, addressing several issues including immigration, and facilitated a workshop with Widener’s Senior Leadership Team.

As president and CEO of Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Figueroa is dedicated to strengthening Latino communities though social, economic, education and health services. Under her leadership, Congreso has opened a federally qualified health center, expanded its campus with the addition of the Trujillo Center, and earned national recognition for its data and evaluation department which now provides technical assistance to public and nonprofit agencies throughout the country.

Hispanic Business magazine has recognized Congreso as one of the top 25 Hispanic nonprofits in the nation. Also, in recognition of its efforts to support other Latino nonprofits throughout the country, Congreso was named the National Council of La Raza Affiliate of the year in 2014.

Figueroa brings international leadership and recognition to Congreso through a prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship, during which she traveled to Chile and Argentina to explore women leadership models in government and the private sector. She has received several awards, including the University of Pennsylvania Outstanding Leadership Award, the National Football League/Philadelphia Eagles Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award, and distinction in the Philadelphia Business Journal 40 Under 40.

Paul Beideman and his wife, Caroline, established the Beideman Visiting Scholar program within the Oskin Leadership Institute in 2011. Through their gift, distinguished scholars from outside institutions spend time at Widener sharing their expertise and guiding faculty and student discussion and research.

A member of the Widener Board of Trustees, Beideman received a master’s degree in finance from Widener in 1979 and an honorary doctor of public service in 2014. He currently serves as president and chief executive officer of Avenue of the Arts, Inc., an independent non-profit organization created to coordinate and oversee the growth and development of the Avenue of the Arts in Philadelphia.

The mission of the Oskin Leadership Institute is to perpetuate the university’s long and noble tradition of inspiring students to be strategic leaders and responsible citizens who possess the character, courage and competencies to affect positive change throughout the world.

Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., are proud to be tobacco-free. Visit the university’s website,