The 5th Annual Latinos2College Day was by all accounts a huge success! With about 150 students in attendance, Latinos2College Day was hosted by Michigan State University on Friday, November 22, 2014. This years version of Latinos2College Day was coordinated by Chicano/Latino Studies Program Director Dr. Sheila Contreras and several of her grad students from the CLS Program. Dr. Contreras kept the day moving by highlighting different departments on Campus like MSU Admissions and Financial Assistant Director Lucinda Briones; Diann Cosme who is the Associate Director for MSU Student Services and Outreach; and Leo Savala, Director of Undergraduate Diversity MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and also for Summer Pre-College Planning.Professor Miguel Cabanas from the Department of Romance and Classical Studies, gave students a taste of a college course by giving them “Latino/Americans in Popular Culture: Narcoculture in Music and Telenovelas, A Short Introduction.” While some of the students admitted it was hard to sit there and listen to the lecture, they admitted it was good to see what they would be facing once they enter college. Definitely an eye opener for many of these High School students!
Following lunch at the student favorite Brody Cafe, Dr. Contreras brought in a late surprise guest in the form of Professor Diego Rivera who teaches Jazz Studies at MSU in the Music Department. Before a question and answer session, Mr. Rivera treated the students to a wonderful Jazz concert as three undergrad students from the Jazz Program backed him up. Professionally, Mr. Rivera’s latest album hit 8th on the “Jazz Week” Chart in the country.
Much props to Dr. Sheila Contreras for taking the lead on Latinos2College Day, her grad students Erin Alvarez, Christian Ramirez, Jose Martinez and Sam Saldivar III; Linda Sanchez-Gazella who coordinated the Lansing School District side; and Paulo Gordillo who has supported this event since the beginning. As the author of Cafecito and the person who planted the seed for Latinos2College Day a few years ago, words really can’t express my appreciation for all who played a role in making all of this happen. Much love and respect to you all~ Sein Paul Benavides