Hispanic Heritage Month: Luis Santiago

September 15 to October 15 we reflect on National Hispanic Heritage Month. We celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Last week on campus, the President’s Office hosted their annual Hispanic Luncheon for faculty, staff, and students. This year’s featured guess was a former tour guide of mine Cassandra Rosado ’10.

I haven’t seen Cassandra in almost six years. She was a superstar tour guide and honors student, but what most impressed me was her compassion to help others. As a sophomore, she and fellow Marist student Emily Fiore worked with the Coordinator of International Student Programs Karen Tompkins-Tinch to create a program to help members of our housekeeping and grounds staff better understand English.

She continues to do great work as the Teaching Coordinator of the ESL Writing Program at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her work includes teaching a course on thesis and dissertation writing for international graduate students and working with the other ESL instructors on teacher training, professional development, classroom instruction, and technology in the classroom. Cassandra has had a profound and positive influence in her community through her strong commitment to hard work and service.

As co-chair of the Diversity Council, I view National Hispanic Heritage Month as one of many opportunities to celebrate cultural diversity, the system of various beliefs and behaviors that not only recognizes the actual presence of different groups in a society, but also respects those groups. As National Hispanic Heritage Month comes to an end, I leave you with a question. Do you know the difference between Hispanic and Latino?

luisLuis Santiago

Director of Undergraduate Admission

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