I have worked my entire career on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. My educational and work experiences, passion for working for student success in higher education, commitment to equity and inclusion and track record in elevating students of color, first generation, non-traditional, low income, undocumented students, show my commitment to my community. During the last 10 years as COCC’s Latinx Program Coordinator, I’ve progressively increased my knowledge, skills, and abilities in providing strategic leadership, operational management, and services development to my program, the Multicultural Center, and the Associated Student Body – making a name for myself as an administrator dedicated to campus-wide student success. In my current position at COCC, I bring new initiatives and projects that advance the role of Latinx and multicultural students in the campus community and build a network to support their success. I have developed and taught College Success classes in both English and Spanish, orienting students to the skills and habits that will help them succeed in college and life. I was part of a team that spearheaded the first cultural learning community at COOC, a high impact practice for student success targeting non-traditional, first generation college students. I was one of the pioneer teachers for a college success course entirely in Spanish through a partnership between COCC and NeighborImpact. I promote an environment, which cultivates success for students by facilitating access to resources leading to academic, personal and professional growth both on and off campus. My efforts have increased the enrollment of Latino students to match the population percentage of Latinos in Bend.
I am very passionate about the Central Oregon community- since moving to Central Oregon I have been involved in many organizations and volunteer my time as is reflected in my resume. I believe the success of students and community members in our growing rural communities are influenced greatly be the connections that we can forge in the broader community. Before moving to Central Oregon, my current position of Coordinator of Latinx Student Programs did not exist. I came to COCC with as much knowledge of the institution that I could gather on-line and with my academic knowledge, life experiences and an incredible drive to succeed. It was through my dedication, work in forging new partnerships, and commitment to the success of students that brought about this change. During my tenure on the Board of the Latino Community Association, I have helped implement strategic planning, new board polices, developed and led board training, conducted successful fundraising initiatives, contributed to staff hiring, and countless other initiatives to grow the organization. I have worked with the Oregon Community Foundation as a consultant for the Latino Partnership Program and I have just recently joined the Leadership Council for OCF.
As a first generation Mexican American woman whose first language is Spanish, I understand the complexities of pursuing higher education against the odds. I was the first in my immediate family to graduate from high school and move on to the university level. My success and efforts influenced both my immediate and extended families to pursue degrees at the community college and university levels-and in the last few years, students at COCC. I feel a responsibility to be a strong role model in my community. I am a constant advocate for those not in the room and I think about policies with and equity lens.
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