Tuesday, October 25, 2016.
By Ohlone College.
At Ohlone College, various events have celebrated the colorful and diverse Latina/Latino culture. Dr. Jennifer Jovel, Sociology Professor was inspired by her experiences as a Latina student at Ohlone and organized events that would help Latina/o students understand their educational experience and possibilities for their future.
—Photo by Ivan Vargas.
“I received much support, guidance, and mentoring from faculty and staff when I was a student here at Ohlone, which was key to my success. So as a professor, I wanted to bring faculty, staff, and students together to build connections and learn from one another,” said Jovel.
The Latino Heritage Month events included a screening and discussion of the 2006 film Walkout; a Latina/o student Welcome Day titled, “Bienvenidos”, and a Latina/o Ohlone alumni panel titled “Si Se Puede” or “Yes You Can.” The events were designed by Dr. Jovel to address the various systematic, social, and educational barriers faced by Latina/o students such as limited access to role models and mentors in educational institutions who share similar backgrounds and experiences and limited access to culturally relevant curriculum.
Dozens of students attended the event and Dr. Jovel was excited by the student response. Communica- tions major Elise Tianna Reyes said, “It's empowering to be around people who share similar back- grounds and cultural values while also celebrating the diversity in our heritage.”
Dr. Jovel was excited by the over-whelming student response, “I’ve had many students tell me how inspired they were by the events and how they would love to see more events like these in the future.”