Known for emphasizing the importance of education among minorities, Elsa Gomez was the first Hispanic woman to become president of a four-year liberal art college in the nation. Born and raised in New York City, she joined the staff at the University of Puerto Rico in 1962. In 1983, she stepped down as dean of the college of arts and sciences to work as director of academic programs at the Massachusetts Board of Regents of Higher Education. Six years later, Gomez was named president of Kean College in New Jersey. Committed to the Latino community, Gomez tries “to get across to Hispanics that it is important to stay in school- not only for themselves, but to bring the Hispanic perspective higher into businesses,” she says. (Photo Courtesy