September 6, 2011
SUU’s Hispanic center strives for academic excellence
(Jennifer Weaver, The Spectrum) –Southern Utah University graduate Charlene Feick is leaving for Spain in three weeks to teach English for an academic school year and credits the Hispanic Center for Academic Excellence for the acquired skills that afforded her the opportunity.
“The Hispanic center had a big impact on my education and led me to get more involved with the Hispanics throughout Cedar City and allowed me not only to network with leaders but with actual people who benefit from the center’s services and involvement in the community,” Feick said.
In room 175A of the Sharwan Smith building, the center was created at SUU in spring 2007. Its goals are based on providing resources to the Hispanics and Spanish- speakers, who make up an estimated 8 to 10 percent of the population in Iron County and 12 to 15 percent in Washington County. Those resources are meant to recruit more Hispanic students to SUU by disseminating information to area high schools about the benefits of higher education and to collaborate with the Iron County School District to ameliorate the scholastic experience and outcomes of English language learners.
“The Hispanic population needs a lot of support because it tends to be very invisible and it’s a really important mission that we are embarking on,” said SUU Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Science Jim McDonald.
Former Utah State Board of Regent Rosanita Cespedes, Ph.D., is the new director of the center and professor of psychology. The Cuban-born legal immigrant and citizen of the United States, following Fidel Castro’s announcement in 1961 that the country would adopt communism, said education is what transformed her life and opened doors to employment that she would not have had otherwise.
She received a doctorate in counseling psychology, master degrees in rehabilitation and community counseling and human resource management/personnel, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Utah despite not even knowing how to speak English when she first began her academic pursuit at the age of 19. More…Posted by: psilberman