College celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month 2020

Nov 3, 2020Andrea Vasquez

San Jacinto College celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) at each of its campuses with a variety of virtual events and activities for students, faculty, and staff.

Virtual events included:

  • Video Gaming Latinidad: Dr. Regina Marie Mills, assistant professor of Latinx and U.S. multi-ethnic literature at Texas A&M University, provided an overview on Latinx and Latin American representation in video games.
  • Beyond La Raza Czmica: Race and Racialization un U.S. Latino Communities: Dr. Bonnie Lucero, University of Houston Downtown, explored how racial mythology played out in Latin America and its U.S. diaspora and proposed a new framework to foster solidarity in the current historical moment.
  • Be Proud of the Past and Embrace your Future: Presentation by aerospace engineer Rosa Obregon, the lead SE&I for the Orion Main Engine, which will be first used in Artemis VI.
  • Da de los Muertos presentation: Dr. Yesenia Chvez, San Jacinto College modern languages professor, explained the meaning of Dia de los Muertos. She also explained the difference between the cultural and religious altars.
  • Hispanic Professionals Panel: San Jacinto College Hispanic faculty and administrators shared their perspectives and journeys to achieving educational and professional goals as Latinx individuals and how their cultural backgrounds impacted those stories.

Ongoing virtual events and announcements included a Hispanic Heritage Month essay contest, comic art contest, Hispanic biographies, digital bulletin, and Hispanic-American Military Heroes facts and biographies.

Dr. Lamar McWaine, San Jacinto College interim director of diverse student populations — along with team members Imelda Rodriguez, Joshua Shankle, and Regina Sutton — organized the Hispanic Professionals panel to provide inspiration for students coming from professionals from similar backgrounds and circumstances who have achieved success as educational leaders.

"Considering the challenges that 2020 has brought to everyone, we wanted to create an opportunity for our college community of students, employees, and administration to hear the success stories of some of our own people," said McWaine. "It is particularly important to recognize and celebrate accomplishments and contributions in difficult times, as these are frequently encouraging and uplifting to all. For many of our students, the transition to online learning has not been easy. We wanted to let them know that here at San Jac there are individuals like them who have also experienced setbacks and challenges, and while experiences are different for everyone, we still share similarities. Sharing stories that highlight these similarities help remind students they are not alone. These stories can inspire, strengthen resolve, and revitalize flagging spirits for all that hear them."