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Hispanic Students Excited to Share Their Culture during Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration


JONESBORO – Expressing excitement about the wide range of events scheduled for Hispanic Heritage Month at Arkansas State University, Niya Blair, director of the Multicultural Center, said, “This celebration serves to educate our constituents about the Hispanic culture and opportunities for positive interaction among our students and other constituents.”

The first event of the Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration will be Cultural Conversations, a student-led discussion about Hispanic culture, on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at noon in the Multicultural Center.

Viva La Noche (long live the night) will be Wednesday evening from 7 until 10 at the Pavilion. Participants will enjoy authentic Mexican food, music and dancing.

On Thursday, Sept. 26, the Hispanic Heritage Mixer will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Multicultural Center. The mixer will feature a live band, information on study-abroad opportunities, food, and personal stories from current Hispanic students at A-State.

During the month of October, an art display in the Multicultural Center will feature works by Adriana Torres, a Mexican artist. The viewing times will be Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. -5 p.m.

Juan Robles, Jr., a student at A-State, is looking forward to the Immigration Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 2.  As one of the panelists, he will share his story of growing up with immigrant parents. A senior political science and Spanish major, Robles hopes to have a career in helping with immigration reform.

“I have always wanted to help change the negative perceptions that others have about immigration,” Robles said.  He is the founder of H.O.L.A. (Hispanic Outreach and Latino Appreciation), a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, and an orientation leader at A-State.

Other panelists for the Immigration Forum are Dr. Laquita Saunders, assistant professor of History; Gina Gomez, executive director of Jonesboro’s Hispanic Community Services, Inc.; Sister Elaine of the Holy Angels Convent; and Mireya Reith, director of the Arkansas United Community Coalition.

Panelists will discuss the Dream Act, immigration reform and immigration in Arkansas.  The forum will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Carl R. Reng Student Union Auditorium. A reception will follow in the Multicultural Center.

The celebration at A-State will conclude with Spanish Movie Night: "La Historia Official" on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 6:30 p.m. in the Wilson Hall Auditorium, Room 211, sponsored by the Department of World Languages and Cultures.

Jennifer Ulloa, a junior English major who is very involved in organizations such as H.O.L.A., Honors College Association, and Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, says having a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration is a “great opportunity to reach out to other Hispanic students on campus and get them connected to ASU and their culture.”

Ulloa, who holds the title of Miss Northeast Arkansas, is studying abroad this spring in Laniaron, Spain, with the Honors College. She hopes to incorporate her experience in Laniaron into next year’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration.

All events are free and open to the public.  For more details about Hispanic Heritage Month or the Multicultural Center, interested individuals may call (870) 680-4052 or visit www.astate.edu/multiculturalcenter.

Hispanic Heritage Month activities provide another outlet in support of Arkansas State University’s mission to educate leaders, enhance intellectual growth and enrich lives.

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Jennifer Ulloa
Jennifer Ulloa


Juan Robles
Juan Robles