Fall 2015

[News]

Centers Support HSU’s Growing Diversity

Araceli Diaz

HSU STUDENTS NOW HAVE ACCESS to two new Cultural Centers for Academic Excellence, where they can create community, build on academic achievement, and affirm their identities as students of color.

“We’re excited to open the new Latin@ and African American Centers for Academic Excellence, to add to the many existing student support programs on campus,” says Radha Webley, associate vice president of Retention & Inclusive Student Success, which oversees a number of student programs.

“Together, they help support hundreds of students in achieving their personal and academic goals by providing academic mentorship and leadership opportunities, fostering connections to faculty, staff and campus life, and, importantly, creating opportunities for cross-cultural community-building and collaboration.”

John Johnson

The African American Center for Academic Excellence (AACAE) and the Latin@ Center for Academic Excellence (LCAE), are the new additions to a suite of support offices.

The goal is to support students, help them feel engaged with campus, and to support opportunities for collaboration among students.

“The new centers are important because they deliver support students need in a culturally-relevant way. New students interact with staff and upperclass mentors who share their experience and know the challenges and opportunities they face. We hope that any student who comes to the Latin@ and African American centers will really feel at home,” says Adrienne Colegrove-Raymond, who directs the Centers for Academic Excellence.

John Johnson is the coordinator of the African American Center for Academic Success. He joins Humboldt from Edward Waters College, where he was chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

For Johnson, he finds excitement and opportunities in the center’s potential impact as a new resource on campus. He explained, “The mission of the African American Center for Academic Excellence stands on five pillars: to educate the campus about black cultural expression, politics, history, and scholarship; advocate on behalf of students; innovate to make the most of our resources; elevate by improving the campus climate; and celebrate by acknowledging student achievements.”

“We want to help create relationships, among the students who come to the center, faculty and students. Creating those relationships can go a long way,” says Araceli Diaz, who joins the campus as the coordinator of the Latin@ Center for Academic Excellence.

Before coming to HSU, Diaz was a college success advisor at Benito Juarez Community Academy High School. “I was often the first person to talk to these students about university, so I can see how important it is to have someone help explore opportunities that exist on a college campus.”

The centers are housed in renovated space featuring computer access and small meeting spaces. The schedule will include drop-in hours, study sessions, mentor sessions, and more. The shape of daily life in the centers is up to the students who utilize the services. “I want students to put their voices into the center,” says Diaz.