Dr. Alicia Abella, Presidential Appointee

On May 31, 2011, President Barak Obama appointed Dr. Alicia Abella to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.  Abella is the Executive Director of the Innovative Services Research Department at AT&T, where she manages research on data mining, user interfaces, IPTV, mobile services, and SIP/VoIP technology. Abella earned her PhD and MS in computer science from Columbia University and a BS in computer science from New York University.

Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009

On May 19, 2011, Frankie Maybee of Green Forest, Arkansas, was convicted by jury of five counts of committing a federal hate crime.  In June 2010, Maybee and his accomplice targeted five Hispanic men in a gas station parking lot. Though Maybee did not know the men and the five did not do or say anything to provoke them, Maybee yelled racial epithets at the men.  Assuming, of course, that all Hispanics are from Mexico, he told them to “go back to Mexico.”  When the victims drove away, Maybee and his accomplice pursued them in Maybee’s truck. Maybee rammed into the victims’ car repeatedly, causing the victims’ car to crash into a tree and ignite. The victims were badly injured; one sustained life-threatening injuries. According to the Justice Department, Maybee and his accomplice were the first defendants in the nation to be convicted under the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009.