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College of Human Ecology

K-State Celebrates Hispanic History Month

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

MANHATTAN - Kansas State University will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month during October with several activities to honor Hispanic traditions and build leaders for the future.

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. The theme of this year's celebration is "Honoring Cultural Traditions and Empowering Leaders for the Future."

"The theme means knowing and respecting Latino heritage," said Patricia Rodriguez, senior in agribusiness, Liberal, and president of K-State's Hispanic American Leadership Organization. "The celebration this year is about respecting traditional values -- family, solidarity, hard work ethic -- and preserving the Spanish language as we move into a new generation of Hispanic presence in America.

"There is so much that is wonderful about traditional values that can be used to empower our young people who will be expected to lead us into the future."

Hispanic American Leadership Organization members have planned activities throughout the month, including workshops and diversity panels. The featured speaker will be Vasti Torres, associate professor of higher education and student affairs administration at Indiana University. She will present "The Role of Education in Shaping Latina/Latino Identity" from 2-3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, in the K-State Alumni Center Banquet Rooms A and D. A reception will follow the lecture. The lecture is sponsored by the K-State Alumni Association.

"Dr. Torres came highly recommended by Sarita Brown, president of 'Excelencia in Education,' an organization that aims to accelerate higher education in Latino students," Rodriguez said. "She was selected as our speaker because of her many accomplishments and work with the Latino issues in higher education."

Torres is currently the American College Personnel Association president-elect, and serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of College Student Development and the College Student Affairs Journal.

Other Hispanic Heritage Month activities at K-State include:

*Sunday, Oct. 1 -- Festival of Nations, noon to 1 p.m., Union courtyard. Sponsored by the Union Program Council.

*Tuesday, Oct. 3 -- Movie: "Crash," 7 p.m., Forum Hall, Union. Admission is free.

*Thursday, Oct. 12 -- Panel discussion featuring Sigma Lambda Gamma and Sigma Lambda Beta on the topic "Latina/Latino-based Multicultural Sororities and Fraternities" from noon to 1 p.m. in the Union courtyard.

Rodriguez said she wants to encourage attendance at this year's activities.

"It is important to K-State because the Hispanic American Leadership Organization is creating programming and events which will educate the campus as a whole in regards to the cultural identity of Hispanic students at K-State. We want students to have a better understanding of our cultural identity, cultural traditions and the significance of preserving them," she said.

Hispanic Heritage Month is sponsored by the Hispanic American Leadership Organizations and other campus organizations and offices including: diversity and dual career development, career and employment services, K-State Alumni Association, K-State Libraries Dow Multicultural Resource Center, McCain Auditorium, Sigma Lambda Beta, Sigma Lambda Gamma, the Student Governing Association, the Union Program Council and several individuals.

For more information, contact the Hispanic American Leadership Organizations at halo@k-state.edu.

This article was posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006, and is filed under College News.