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Image A group of Hispanic leaders gathered Monday night to welcome University of Houston-Victoria professor Macarena Hernandez.

I was pleased to attend and represent the Victoria Advocate at the reception in Ventura's new location at 3907 N. Navarro St. I was particularly proud to hear organizer Emett Alvarez describe Hernandez as the Advocate's first endowed professor of humanities and Latino initiatives.

I still am amazed UHV managed to land such a talented journalist as Hernandez, who has worked at the Dallas Morning News and San Antonio Express-News and done film work for PBS. We already have started working at the Advocate with Hernandez on one project and look forward to doing more.

The community was clearly excited Monday night as well, giving Hernandez a standing ovation before she spoke. Hernandez said she appreciated such a warm reception and joked she'd have to tell her mother it was like another quinceanera.

Many thanks to Revista de Victoria and the many sponsors of Monday's reception. The tasty tamales hit the spot and the happy people touched the soul.