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UPRAA’s History

The Association of University of Puerto Rico Alumni and Friends Abroad (UPRAA) originated practically from the need to form alumni associations of the eleven campuses of the University of Puerto Rico. This task resulted difficult because it divided rather than unify the alumni in our community. In February 2003, a group of thirteen alumni and friends of the University of Puerto Rico began the task to organize the association. UPRAA was organized in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area with the assistance of the UPR Representative in Washington DC, Ms. Betty Paugh, and the President of the UPR, Lic. Antonio Garcia Padilla.

Ms Paugh was joined by this initial group who formed the organization are known as the founders and include the following; Ms. Betty Paugh, Mr. Mario Acosta-Vélez, Dra. Margarita Benítez, Ms. Sara Clemente, Ms. Grace Dewan, Mr. Tomás Esterrich, Ms. Nalini Lamba-Nieves, Dr. Jacob Lozada, Mr. Adán Rodríguez-Arroyo, Mr. Armando Valdés-Prieto, Mr. José Vega, Mr. Javier Vélez-Arrocho, and Ms. Loida Velilla.

UPRAA became the first UPR Alumni Association to include alumni and friends from all the 11 campuses of the UPR Educational System. During the second half of 2003, the organizational group established an interim Board of Directors, completed the incorporation of the Association, and submitted the application for tax exemption, as prescribed by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. On November 24, 2003, at a reception held at the Hall of the Americas at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC, the President of the UPR Educational System and the UPRAA Interim Board of Directors officially launched the Association.

Since its inception, UPRAA has conducted activities and membership drives in consonance with its mission statement, purpose, goals, and objectives. The Association serves as a link between UPR alumni and friends abroad and the University of Puerto Rico educational system and works towards promoting opportunities and creating a support network for its membership.

Today, UPRAA continues to be an organization in which University of Puerto Rico Alumni and Friends located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area converge in fraternal union to foster common interests and support charitable and scholarship programs. As we continue to expand the organization, we aim to increase our reach beyond the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Our Past Presidents

  • Dr. Jacob Lozada, UPR Rio Piedras, 2003-2008
  • Mr. Tomas Esterrich, UPR Rio Piedras, 2009-2010
  • Mr. John Villamil-Casanova, UPR Rio Piedras, 2011-2012
  • Lic. Carlos Mercader, UPR Mayaguez, 2013-2014
  • Mr. Leonardo San Roman, UPR Mayaguez, 2015-2016
  • Mrs. Alida Rodriguez, UPR Mayaguez, 2016
  • Mr. Jose O. Torres, UPR Ponce, 2017-Present

 

Our Past Board of Directors

Mario Acosta-Velez, Dra. Margarita Benitez, Mrs. Sara Clemente, Mrs. Grace Dewan, Mr. Tomas Esterrich, Mrs. Nalini Lamba-Nieves, Dr. Jacob Lozada, Mrs. Betty Paugh, Mr. Adan Rodriguez-Arroyo, Mr. Armando Valdes-Prieto, Mr. Jose Vega, Mr. Javier Velez-Arrocho, Mrs. Loida Velilla, David Sanchez, Leonardo San Roman, Betzaida Tejada, Ana Valentin, Edgardo Cruz, Delia Cacho, Isabel Cruz, Alberto Rivera, Jose L. Fernandez, Jason Hernandez, Yomarie Correa, Lic. Carlos Mercader, Mr. Pedro Diaz, Mrs. Alida Rodriguez, Carlos Aponte, Rolando Berrios, Edelmira Bosques, Angel Toledo, Jose O. Torres, Robert Alvarez, Angelique Sina, Carmen Cantor, Frances Colon, Luis Bernal-Jimenez, Richard Negron, Franklin Carrero-Martinez, Irene Rivera, Melissa Rodriguez, Juan Leonardo Negron, Rosanna Torres, Jomar Martinez-Feliciano, Amy de Jesus, Josue Rivera, Alexandria Laureano, Wendy Torres, Antonio Diaz, Victor Martinez

Board of Directors 2021:

  • Robert Alvarez
  • Amy de Jesus
  • Antonio Diaz
  • Alexandria Laureano
  • Victor Martinez
  • Jomar Martinez-Feliciano
  • Juan Leonardo Negron
  • Richard A Negron
  • Josue Rivera
  • Alida Rodriguez
  • Jose O. Torres
  • Wendy Torres

Our Mission

UPRAA unifies University of Puerto Rico Alumni and Friends Abroad to provide opportunities for educational development, cultural growth, and community service.

Our Vision

As “the Alumni Organization of Choice” and as the linkage between the University of Puerto Rico and its family of alumni across the globe, and commitment to the university’s mission of life learning, engagement, and community service.

 

Our Programs and Activities

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Board of Directors

José O. Torres

President
jotorres@upraa.org

Jose O. Torres is a retired U.S. Army military officer currently working as a Strategic Communications Analyst with the Department of Defense Chief Information Officer, The Pentagon, Washington, DC. He is responsible for policy and oversight of National Leadership Command Capabilities programs and communication systems. Throughout his military career he held positions of increased responsibilities, from leading small units to commanding an Army Battalion.

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Alida Rodríguez

Vice-President and Chair, Scholarships Committee
arodriguez@upraa.org

Member, Washington DC Hispanic Charity Golf Classic Committee and Chair Scholarships Committee

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Robert Alvarez

Treasurer and Chair, Finance and Audit Committee
ralvarez@upraa.org

Robert Alvarez is the Founder and Managing Partner for Global Variance Strategies, LLC a global trade and foreign investment promotion boutique firm in Washington, DC.

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Alexandra Laureano

Chair, Marketing and Communications Committee
alaureano@upraa.org

Alexandra Laureano Moenck is a program manager for Avanti Technologies, Inc. and leads the company’s division of personnel and investments in Puerto Rico.

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Amy de Jesús-Encarnacion

Secretary
amydejesus@upraa.org

Ms. Amy de Jesús is currently serving as DXC Technology’s Service Delivery Lead for the Puerto Rico Database Center of Excellence.

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Víctor R. Martínez

Chair, Marketing and Communications Committee
vmartinez@upraa.org

With experience in government, non-profit sector, and academia, Victor has been working with the Puerto Rican community living stateside for the past 8 years.

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Antonio Díaz

Assistant Secretary
adiaz@upraa.org

Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Antonio is currently a Budget Analyst for the Department of Labor’s HQ Budget Office.

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Juan Leonardo Negrón-Díaz

Co-Chair, Communications and Marketing Committee
jnegron@upraa.org

Juan Leonardo Negrón-Díaz was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Juan graduated in 2015 from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Río Piedras Campus Honors Program, majoring in Advertising and Public Relations.

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Jomar Martinez-Feliciano

Assistant Treasurer
jmartinez@upraa.org

Jomar Martinez graduated from the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez as an Industrial Engineer. He finished his bachelor’s degree while working as a COOP student in Ethicon,LLC in San Lorenzo Puerto Rico.

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Josué E. Rivera

Chair, Governance Committee
jrivera@upraa.org

Josué E. Rivera is the State Director of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Development (RD) in Puerto Rico.

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Richard A. Negrón

Chair, Outreach and Business Development Committee and Co-Chair, Finance and Audit Committee
rnegron@upraa.org

Richard is the founder of JVR Tech LLC, a business development and technology consulting company. He is also the co-founder of Tek Advisory Group where he helps companies solve highly complex technology problems that are restricting their business.

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Wendy Torres

Co-Chair, Scholarship Committee and Student Relations
wtorres@upraa.org

Wendy Torres is an independent consultant providing Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Career Technical Training workshops in the National Capital Region.

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Get In Touch

Association of University of Puerto Rico Alumni and Friends Abroad (UPRAA)

P.O. Box 2600 Merrifield, VA 22116-2600
+1 877-533-4848 | info@upraa.org



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