DCCC hosts ‘Beyond Multiculturalism: Empowering Latino Students and the Community’ conference

Sunday, May 3, 2015

(Delaware and Chester Counties, PA)—As part of Delaware County Community College’s commitment to providing access and quality education to Latino students, the college held the “Beyond Multiculturalism:

Empowering Latino Students and the Community” conference from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 24th at the College’s Marple Campus.

This was the first conference held at the College specifically focused on Latino issues in education and Latino youth leadership and advocacy. It was sponsored by the College’s faculty-led Latino Initiatives and Outreach Network (LION) in collaboration with the College’s student-led Latin Flavor Club.

There were two keynote presentations at the Conference. The first keynote presentation, “The Path to College Graduation: Latino Student Success and Concerns” by Dr. Idna Corbett, dean of Undergraduate Student Support Services at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, focused on the factors influencing the Latino achievement gap in college.

The second keynote presentation, “A Conversation with Hernán Guaracao,” publisher of AL DÍA, a Philadelphia-based, Hispanic-owned news media organization, focused on the immigrant experience and the success of the growing Latino population in the region. In addition, two panels of experts discussed the effects and factors influencing the Latino achievement gap in college and the importance of youth leadership and institutional support at college campuses.

The third panel of Latino student leaders discussed their experiences at the College and the role of student involvement and leadership in their academic success.

Additional conference participants included many community leaders: Dr. Jose Cabrales—program manager for the national, multi-site Lumina Latino Student Success effort of Excelencia! in Education, a nonprofit group that advocates for Latino students; Gilberto Gonzalez, senior designer creative services at Community College of Philadelphia and host of “Entre Nosotros,” a weekly current affairs cable TV show; Dr. Marisa Pereyra, associate professor of Spanish at Immaculata University and chair of the Global Languages and Cultures Department; and Steven Larin, Esq., the Director of legal services for The Nationalities Services Center in Philadelphia, a non-profit organization that works with immigrants and refugees in the region.

The conference also featured a screening of the 2014 award-winning documentary Underwater Dreams, which explores the true story of a team of undocumented Mexican high school students, who, under the guidance of two dedicated science teachers, enter the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center’s International Remotely Operated Vehicles competition, which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Ocean Exploration, and NASA.

The four students from Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona compete against college teams, including a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and win first place.

After the screening, students featured in the documentary participated in a Q & A session via Skype.

For more informations on the Latin Flavor Club contact:

LION Coordinator Fernando Benavidez, Assistant Professor of English, at (610) 723-1231

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