Workshops and networking encouraged Adams State students to continue their higher education degrees and remain true to their heritage, during the twenty-fifth annual Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) conference in San Antonio, Texas, from Oct. 27 through Nov. 1.
Adams State Cultural Awareness and Student Achievement (CASA) volunteers reviewed applications and interviewed students prior to the conference in order to select the best students for the all-expenses-paid trip. Andrea Atencio, Joanna Casillas Medina, Judith Martinez, Carlos Martinez, and Crystal Mares, along with Oneyda Maestas, CASA coordinator, Isabel Medina Keiser, Adams State diversity officer, and other Adams State staff and faculty joined students and college professionals from across the United States in attending a myriad of workshops designed to promote Hispanic leadership and achievement.
Maestas, Medina Keiser, and the students spent one day sightseeing in San Antonio, visiting Sea World, Six Flags, and other sights. During the HACU Student Track Conference students attended workshops, including “Serving Your Country and Career: Federal Careers” and “Connecting to your Corporate Options: Corporate Careers.” The HACU sessions focused on internships, fellowships, graduate school opportunities, and networking. On the final day of the conference, seminar leaders motivated attendees to examine their leadership styles and skills, take control of their online image, and to uplift themselves and their fellow Latinos.
Maestas said the conference expanded her leadership skills and provided new, innovative approaches to teaching, mentorship programs, recruitment and retention. She also said the students took on their coursework with a renewed sense of vigor, more self-confidence, and more energy because of their inspiring stay in San Antonio.
Judith Martinez said the conference provided her with a new outlook on education. “College must come first. The people who I look up to and who support me deserve my best.”
Atencio, an Adams State sophomore, said the conference gave her the push needed in order to be successful in academics. “It inspired me to dream bigger.”
Adams State faculty and staff who attended the HACU conference included Eric Carpio, director of Admissions; Dr. Michael Mumper, senior vice president for Enrollment Management; Andrea Benton Maestas, senior analyist for Institution Research and Assessment; Armando Valdez, assistant professor in the School of Business; Michelle Romero, assistant director of Admissions; Brian Rauscher, Carreer Services coordinator; and Elaine Wenta, administrative assistant for Teacher Education.