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Dr. Cyndia Morales Muniz

A Message from UCF’s Senior Director for HSI Initiatives

¡Saludos! I am honored to lead our HSI Initiatives at UCF in partnership with thoughtful colleagues across divisions and academic colleges who are committed to serving our Hispanic/Latino/a/e/x students with intentionality, while maintaining our unwavering commitment to serving all of our Knights. UCF aspires to be a leading Hispanic-Serving Institution in the nation, by embracing asset-based and culturally responsive practices that enable a meaningful collegiate experience for all of our students. We are five years into our HSI journey, and while we have achieved some significant success, the possibilities are endless and our potencial is strong. I invite you to learn more about UCF’s HSI Initiatives and I look forward to our continued work together. ¡Vamos Knights!


Cyndia Morales Muñiz, Ed.D

Senior Director, HSI Initiatives | (407) 823-0524
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Seal of Excelencia

Seal of Excelencia

UCF was among ten higher education institutions nationwide selected in 2021 for Seal of Excelencia certification. This 3-year certification recognizes institutions who intentionally serve Latino students while serving all by demonstrating purposeful alignment across the three core areas of data, practice, and leadership. Learn more about the Seal of Excelencia here.

In September 2022, HSI Initiatives launched and hosted a “SERVING with Excelencia” exhibit on the main floor of the John C. Hitt Library. Displayed content has been preserved via this accompanying Research Guide

About HSI Initiatives

The Office for Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Initiatives in the University Relations division provides a centralized vision and guidance for maximizing UCF’s HSI federal designation in a way that meaningfully serves students, faculty, staff, alumni, and external community members from diverse backgrounds. HSI Initiatives spearheads the development, implementation, and assessment of HSI goals and objectives to advance a culture of “servingness” across the institution. The office also works collaboratively with federal, foundation, and corporate partners to strengthen institutional capacity through grant-funded and philanthropic activities aimed at strengthening Minority Serving Institutions.

Learn more about HSIs.


HSI Certification

Dr. Cyndia M. Muñiz, Senior Director of HSI Initiatives, is the the Authorized Organizational Representative/Signatory for Hispanic/Minority Serving Institution Certification Forms and Eligibility Letters.

As of March 1, 2019, investigators applying for sponsored projects are required to submit HSI/MSI certification/eligibility requests to at least five (5) business days prior to when they are due to the Office of Research.

When requesting a signature on a certification form or an eligibility verification letter, please submit or provide access to:

  • the Request for Funding Proposals (RFP) (referencing the page numbers where eligibility requirements and definitions can be found); and
  • a proposal draft (referencing the page numbers where HSI wording is included)
  • a signed SERVING Statement (below).

Department Research Administrators and/or Proposal Specialists should not provide any HSI certification to faculty members without first contacting Dr. Muñiz for eligibility review and determination of what documentation is most appropriate for the submission.

When Dr. Muñiz is unavailable for an extended period of time (as determined by away message), Celeste Rivera-Núñez, Director of Sponsored Programs in the Office of Research, will serve as the backup signatory.

View the Serving Statement PDF


Latinx Leadership logo

Latinx Leadership

The purpose of this program is to explore the notion of social change and to challenge students to see themselves as agents of that change. Students will develop their understanding of Latinx leadership through Juana Bordas’ book “The Power of Latino Leadership”, while also learning more about identity, history, and current issues within the Latinx community.

Learn more about Latinx Leadership.


CREAR Futuros logo


CREAR Futuros, which means “To Create Futures” in Spanish, is a peer-mentor based initiative designed to improve Latino student success at UCF. CREAR (College REadiness, Achievement and Retention) Freshmen/Sophomores will be paired with knowledgeable and highly trained upper-classman UCF Peer-Mentors that will introduce them to campus resources and offer insight on how to make the most out of their UCF experience.

Read the CREAR Futuros Brochure

Learn more about CREAR FUTUROS.


Grow with GoogleGrow with Google

The Grow with Google (GwG) Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) Career Readiness Program helps students and recent alums of HSIs develop their digital and professional skills, careers, and businesses. Offering free tools, training, and events for job seekers and students, veterans and military families, educators, small businesses, and more.

Learn more on how to get started.


Nuestra Celebración logo

Nuestra Celebración

Nuestra Celebración is a culturally inspired celebration of academic achievement. It is a bilingual, cultural program where Latin American flags are displayed with pride. Most importantly, it inspires confianza through active family participation in the program. Nuestra Celebración does not replace the university’s official commencement ceremonies or any college specific celebrations. It provides an additional space and opportunity to celebrate in a meaningful way. This program is hosted by UCF’s Hispanic Serving Institution Initiatives in partnership with the Latino Faculty and Staff Association and other campus partners.


HSI Battle of the Brains logo

HSI Battle of the Brains

The annual HSI Battle of the Brains competition, serves as a Hispanic-Serving Institution academic national championship, as well as a recruiting showcase of top Hispanic/Latinx talent from colleges and universities across the country. HSI Initiatives sponsors the participation of a student team annually and works in partnership with UCF’s College of Business Administration and the College of Engineering and Computer Science to ready students for this experiential learning experience.


The Office for Hispanic Serving Institutions Initiatives has put together a few resources as references to support all of our campus partners in developing their HSI efforts and/or strategies. These resources are meant to provide a starting point. All departments are encouraged to schedule an HSI consultation for a more in-depth conversation about defining SERVING in each respective area.

¡Excelencia In Education! HSI 2022-2023 List R1 Hispanic Serving Institutions: Potential for Growth and Opportunity Florida Briefing on 25 Years of HSIs

Campus HSI Resources

UCF Connect – ConeXiones Resource Guide Housing Viewbook 2021-22 – Spanish Office of Student Involvement Brochure – Spanish


UCF faculty and staff members interested in internal data that can help inform HSI/MSI grant proposals and other projects are encouraged to utilize IKM’s Interactive Facts and the OEAS Knowledgebase to obtain supporting information.
Note: Click on the images below to go to dashboard and portal sites.

Screenshot of the IKM Data Dashboard
IKM Interactive Facts

Departmental or program specific information can be requested via the IKM Data Request Form