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Inaugural ALMA Graduates Reception celebrates graduates, scholarships

ALMA (Alianza Latina del Medio-oeste de America) of Indiana University Northwest is presenting their inaugural Graduates Reception on Tuesday, May 10 with a reception beginning at 6 p.m., followed by an hour-long presentation at 6:30 p.m. in the Savannah Center Art Gallery.

The six graduating students honored are:

-Victoria Aceves, Bachelor of Arts (double major) in Business Administration and Financial Information Systems, Minor in Spanish.

Vicky has served as an ALMA treasurer setting up financial records that will make it easier to maintain funds; was on the Dean’s list twice and has been an inspiration to other ALMA members and staff.

-Nancy L. Escobedo, Bachelor of Science in Biology, Minor in Chemistry and Associate of Arts in Latino Studies.

Nancy has received Outstanding Latino Studies Community Service Merit Award; Office of Student Life as outstanding Student Government Association member; Vice Chancellor’s Office of Student Services Administration Outstanding Service Award and Certificate of Appreciation. She is also the recipient of the Bill May Scholarship and of the IU Northwest Merit Scholarship twice. She has also done lab prep and assisting for the IU Northwest chemistry and biology departments as well as participating as a judge in the Regional Science Olympiad.

-Jacqui Guevara, Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Jacqui was elected Treasurer for the Student Nurse’s Association, the Co-Chair of ALMA, and member of the IU Northwest Institute for Innovative Leadership Program and the Chairwoman for the ALMA Endowment Scholarship Fundraiser events. She was awarded the Outstanding Youth of American Award by the U.S.

Hispanic Leadership Institute, and was the fourth person to receive this award on a national level. She was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society.

-Jessica Maya, Bachelor of Arts (double major) in Math and Spanish.

Jessica comes from a family of successful educators out of Portage, Ind. She has received a Certificate of Honor for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Math

2004 and 2005; Certificate of Honor for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern Languages in 2004 and 2005; Outstanding Junior in Math in 2004; Outstanding Achievement in Spanish in 2004 and 2005; Member of ALMA, OLG Nativity, Portage LULAC 503 Council and has tutored in the Math and Modern Languages Lab since January 2002.

-Jesus (Chuy) Martinez, Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business Management.

This young man is dependable and has worked very hard with the ALMA organization as well as in his degreed program classes. He has received certificates of appreciation from Student Life and Certificate of Merit in Latino Studies. He is the first in his family to receive a university degree in the United States and will be joining other family members who are degreed from Mexico.

-Gabriela Tirado, Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and French.

Gabriela is a native of Mexico and recently became a US citizen. She is the Vice President of the Modern Languages Club and a past member of the Institute for Innovative Leadership. She has been on the National Deans List several times; Certificate of Honor for Outstanding Achievement in the College of Arts and Sciences; and the Outstanding Achievement in Spanish and French.

"All of ALMA’s activities enhance the academic, social, and cultural needs of our community" said Raoul Contreras, Ph.D., advisor, chairperson and professor of Minority Studies. "We decided to have our own graduates reception to commemorate the many accomplishments and the outstanding academic success of our ALMA graduates."

Contreras also said that the group is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Minority Studies Program. Specifically, the 1980 formation of the Department that was a merger of the African American Studies Department at IU Northwest and then constituted an academic program in Latino Studies.

There is a third reason to celebrate, according to Jacqui Guevara, former ALMA Endowment Scholarship fundraiser chairwoman, "ALMA will be formally giving a check to Chancellor Bruce Bergland along with our Endowment Scholarship Gift Agreement. That means after two years of fundraising we now have exceeded the minimum $10,000 required for this scholarship," Guevara said.

Various community leaders and organizations have donated services, supplies and

food: Hammond Hispanic Community Committee, IU Northwest Alumni Association, Don Quijote, Chela’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant; music by Mario Moreno-classical guitarist; artwork by Karen Elizabeth Kline and Ismael "Ish"

Muhammad Nieves and designing of invitations, program and banners by Felix Maldonado from CISA Studios.

"Please consider yourself invited so you too can share in celebrating these great accomplishments that confirm community support and responsibility," said Rosa Estrada, ALMA co-chair.

ALMA is the IU Northwest Latino Studies Program student organization whose purpose is to unite and support the needs of Latino students and all other interested students at the university.

For more information, please contact Raoul Contreras at (219) 981-6665 or June M. Long at (219) 981-4348.



Media Contact:

Kim Kintz
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