Life of a Latinx Leader

The Latinx Cultural Center (LCC) has been hosting a series of events that are designed to let the USU community get to know their Latinx faculty, administrators, and staff in a substantive way. During the 2018-2019 academic year, these events were hosted bi-weekly. Starting in 2019, the lunches will be held once a month on Thursdays. Due to COVID-19, events will now be held virtually, once a month to follow USU's social distancing recommendations. Follow us on social media for exact dates and the latest information about this series.

Upcoming Speakers

  • January - Dr. Silvana Martini
  • Feburary - Dr. Alfonso Torres 
  • March - Liz Alcala 
  • April - Monique Davila

Upcoming Speakers

Interested in Sharing Your Story? The Latinx Cultural Center is always looking to raise awareness of Latinx leaders around campus. Leaders are not excluded to only faculty members--staff and students who are making an impact in their communities or who are dedicated to helping those around them are more than welcome to participate. If you have a desire to share your story and experience on becoming a Latinx leader, we would love to hear from you.

Please download and fill out the application form, then email your form to us at latinx@usu.edu, with "Lunch with Latinx Leaders Speaker Application" in the subject line. For more information or questions, contact our Program Coordinator, Pam Allcott.

Previous Speakers

Inaugural Speaker

On November 14, 2019, Dr. González kicked off our series with his presentation titled "Stereotypes of a Latino Misunderstood...and it's Still All Good." In his presentation, Dr. González spoke about the events that shaped his life, his journey to USU, and his areas of scholarly interest. He also proposed strategies for how we can take control of stereotypes that seek to dehumanize members of the Latinx community.

2021-2022

2020-2021

2019-2020

Nefi Reyes De La Paz

Nefi Reyes De La Paz

Being a published author as an undergrad student requires a great deal of drive, in his presentation "Conquering the World One Book at a Time," Reyes shared his personal story of how literature and books changed his life and helped him succeed.

Joseph Banks

Joseph Banks

To be successful, college students must learn to network effectively to enhance employability and help launch their careers, while associating with those who value diversity and are strong proponents of multicultural input. Mr. Banks' presentation "Leveraging the Knowledge, Customs, and Perspectives Provided By Your Unique Heritage," covered the importance of making lasting connections while in college, for careers as well as social lives.
Moises Díaz

Moises Díaz

Díaz has experienced several firsts in his family, in his life and his career. Please join us for this engaging talk "Siempre Para Adelante, Always Moving Forward," where Mr. Díaz will discuss his journey as an immigrant from Latin America, to his upbringing in New York City, to his career in Social Work, and the challenges along the way.

James García Porras

James García Porras

James Porras was one of the first Latinx graduates from Utah State University, in his presentation "Say Yes to Your Life: What Do These Words Mean to You?" he shared his key elements to success: help, fear, choices, goals, plans, under-standing, service, and joy.

Rigo Chaparro

Rigo Chaparro

There are unique challenges that come with a Latinx Heritage, in his presentation "If I Can, So Can You," local business owner Rigo Chaparro shared his story of immigration and overcoming his personal obstacles.

2018-2019

Dr. Angela Díaz

Dr. Angela Díaz

In her presentation, "The Failures and Frustrations of a Young Latina and How I Learned From Them," Dr. Díaz spoke about struggles in her past and how she learned to overcome them. She also discussed about how the experiences of her life influenced her choices to become a historian and professor.

Dr. Marisela Martinez-Cola

Dr. Marisela Martinez-Cola

Being the first in your family to attend college can be a blessing and a curse. In her talk, "The Burn and Benefits of Being a Trailblazer," Dr. Marisela Martinez-Cola will share about the phenomenal benefits and very real challenges that accompany being “The First.

Raul Guevara Ballesteros

Raul Guevara Ballesteros

In his talk, "A Different Colombia Than What You See On Netflix," graduate student Raul discussed many of his life experiences facing stereotypes and how he managed to overcome them.

Luis Rodriguez

Luis Rodriguez

In his talk, "Navigating impostor syndrome in the land of make believe," Luis discussed his experiences of feeling "not good enough" to attend, much less graduate, from college and the experiences that have helped strengthen his sense of belonging.

Ketzel Morales

Ketzel Morales

President of the Latinx Student Union, Ketzel Morales, gave a presentation titled "The Doors Have Opened, I'm In...Higher Ed Through Resiliency." Ketzel spoke about her journey as a student trying to navigate the higher education system and the adversity that she has to face as a Latina, and the way in which she has had to push outside her comfort zone to help out her community.

Dr. Guadalupe Marquez Velarde

Dr. Guadalupe Marquez Velarde

Dr. Marquez-Velarde is an assistant professor of Sociology. In her talk, "Refocusing Narratives of Achievement to Empower our Communities," she discussed how we can refocus our achievement narratives to empower our communities while recognizing the pivotal role different communities play in student’s success.

Dr. Melanie Domenech-Rodriguez

Dr. Melanie Domenech-Rodriguez

Academic journeys are social, and our ties to others can help or hinder our achievements. Professor of psychology, Dr. Melanie Domenech Rodriguez shared the importance of mentoring in her professional development and success, and how she pays it forward, in her presentation, "On the Shoulders of Giants: On Being Mentored and Mentoring."

Dr. Samuel Rivera

Dr. Samuel Rivera

Currently, immigration policy and the naturalization process are being reformed. Dr. Rivera shared in his talk, "How did I get here? A path to US citizenship thru H1-B visa and National Interest Waiver (NIW)," about his experience with petitioning for a US legal permanent residence by establishing academic evidence of national interest, with the hopes of helping others in similar circumstances.