Congratulations Estela R. Lopez, Ph.D, Malta Board Member and Community Leader!

She is one of this year’s 2021 Human Relations Honorees at the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ)! This event honors those in our community who have made a difference by advancing social justice. Join us for an evening of celebrations, inspiring messages, and networking opportunities. Event proceeds to benefit NCCJ and our youth programs.

This year’s Annual Human Relations Awards Banquet will be a VIRTUAL event held Wednesday, October 13, 2021 beginning at 5:30pm. Click here for more information about attending.

More about Malta Board Member and award recipient:

Estela R. Lopez, Ph.D., Community Leader

Estela R. López recently retired from the CT State Colleges and Universities System where she served as the Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. She is the former Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs of the Connecticut State University System. She served in that capacity from 2002 to 2007.

From 1997 to 2002, Dr. López occupied the position of provost and vice president for academic affairs at Northeastern Illinois University. Prior to joining NEIU, López served as a senior associate at the American Association for Higher Education and as a senior fellow at the American Council on Education while on a year long sabbatical.

From 1990 to 1995, López was vice president for academic affairs and planning at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico.

López earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature at Queens College. She then attended Columbia University, where she earned both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Spanish literature.

She is the recipient of the Hispanic Caucus of AAHE Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education Award. She is also the recipient of the Illinois Latino Council in Higher Education Distinguished Service Award. In 2005 she was the recipient of the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund Award. The Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission selected her as the Latina Citizen of the Year for 2006. In 2008 she also received The Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association Achievement Award. She was selected as one of the 2017 Wonder Women by Malta House.

In 2015, she was reappointed as a board member of the Connecticut State Board of Education and is currently the vice chair of the board. In addition, she serves on the boards of Connecticut Health and Education Financial Authority, Malta House of Care, Open Communities Alliance and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.


More about NCCJ:

For almost 100-years, NCCJ has championed the cause of justice for all and has worked to eradicate bias and bigotry in all its manifestations throughout Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. Our mission is to build safe, inclusive and welcoming communities for all of us, not just some of us. Working with middle and high-school youth, we focus our efforts on yearlong school partnerships and tailoring our signature programs to improve school climate and decrease bullying. Thousands of youth participate in NCCJ’s programs each year and many claim that their experience is “life changing”. Click here to learn more about this organization.


Complete list of 2021 Human Relations Honorees:

  • Shari Cantor, Mayor of West Hartford, Community Leader and Michael Cantor, Cantor Colburn, Community Leader
  • Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Chamber
  • Saul Finestone, Community Leader & Activist
  • David W. Glidden, President & CEO, Liberty Bank
  • Estela R. Lopez, Ph.D., Community Leader
  • Sudha Setty, Dean & Professor of Law, Western New England University School of Law
  • Shawn T. Wooden, Connecticut State Treasurer