‘Together, We Can Achieve Our Full Potential’

‘Together, We Can Achieve Our Full Potential’

Iveth Reynolds ’12S (MBA) and Raquel Ruiz ’99, ’20S (MBA) cochair the University of Rochester’s Latin Alumni Network

Iveth Reynolds ’12S (MBA) headshot

Iveth Reynolds ’12S (MBA)

Iveth Reynolds and Raquel Ruiz, both first-generation Latina college students and MBA graduates of the Simon Business School, understand the significance of mentoring, networking, and peer support. It’s why they have taken on the role of cochairs for the University’s newly established Latin Alumni Network affinity group.

“It’s important to have people in our lives who have similar life experiences, have been there before us, and can guide us on our paths—it certainly was for me,” says Reynolds, an expert in staffing, project management, and diversity and leadership development. She is also the CEO of Tri-Mar Consulting in Rochester, which she founded 25 years ago.

Ruiz, the codirector of Equity, Learning Health Communities Pillar at Duke University’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, notes that the Latin Alumni Network’s vision is to cultivate, lead, and advance the lives and careers of those who engage with the group, including alumni and current students.

Before joining Duke, Ruiz worked at Rochester for 15 years in executive roles at the Medical Center focused on strengthening health strategies and equity in research. She was also the University’s inaugural cochair for the Latino Professional Alliance, an employee resource group.

Raised in New York City, Reynolds was a latchkey kid from Washington Heights. “I was also a hard-working student, but, like many others, I didn’t have any academic role models,” she says. “Those closest to me encouraged me, but they didn’t know much about getting into college or how to navigate the experience once I became a student.”

Born in Puerto Rico, Ruiz moved to Buffalo when she was 10. “Even though I excelled at school, it was hard for me to imagine the possibilities in life, ones that could be realized through higher education,” Ruiz says. “No one in my family had gone to college.”

Fortunately, both had high school counselors who helped them through the college application process. Reynolds applied to one school, Fordham University in New York City, and got in. For four years, she was a full-time student who also worked full-time. “It was challenging, but, luckily, I had great support from a coworker,” she says. “I realize now that she was really a mentor to me.”

and Raquel Ruiz ’99, ’20S (MBA) headshot

Raquel Ruiz ’99, ’20S (MBA)

As a student at Rochester, Ruiz tapped into resources at the Office of Minority Student Affairs (OMSA). “OMSA helped me create a road map for academic success, and they also recommended getting involved with student organizations as well as the local Latin community,” says Ruiz, who became an active member of the University’s Spanish and Latino Students’ Association and chapter founder of the Lambda Pi Chi sorority.

In addition to the new network, both are active in other University committees and community groups. Reynolds is a member of the University’s Diversity Advisory Council, Women’s Network, and Simon’s Women’s Alliance. In 2011, she founded NSHMBA, now known as Prospanica, a not-for-profit organization in western New York that empowers Hispanic professionals to advance in their careers. She is also the vice chair of the board for Catholic Charities Family and Community Services.

Ruiz is a member of the University’s Alumni Board, served as the financial chair for her 20th class reunion, and is helping to launch an alumni network in Raleigh, NC. Both Reynolds and Ruiz are serving as members of the 2024 Volunteers in Leadership Conference Committee to develop a suite of workshops and experiences for University volunteer leaders. The two initially met at a University alumni relations event. Over the years, they’ve stayed connected, including as part of the United Way’s Latino Leadership Development program, in which Ruiz participated and Reynolds coordinated.

Reynolds and Ruiz encourage students and alumni to get involved in one of the Latin Alumni Network’s committees dedicated to philanthropy, programming, and career development and mentorship. “No matter where we are in our careers, we all have something to offer to others,” says Reynolds, who underscores the importance of having different voices and career paths represented in the Latin Alumni Network.

Adds Ruiz, “The Latin Alumni Network is really about embodying the University’s mission so that, together, we can achieve our full potential.”

It’s important to have people in our lives who have similar life experiences, have been there before us, and can guide us on our paths—it certainly was for me. ” —Iveth Reynolds

Join us

Learn more about the University of Rochester’s Latin Alumni Network and our other affinity networks and regional groups.

This article also appears in the summer issue of Rochester Review.

— Kristine Kappel Thompson, Summer 2023