Saint Mary’s “Week of Poder,” hosted by La Fuerza and the Student Diversity Board, kicked off this Monday with a discussion about different experiences speakers had while pursuing higher education as a Latino or mentoring Latinos in higher education.Leonard Sanchez, professional specialist in social work; Marc Belanger, chair and associate professor of political science; and Ty West, associate professor of modern languages, spoke at the event. Other speakers included Saint Mary’s international student and scholar advisor Adriana Petty, Saint Mary’s 2015 alumna Christin Kloski and the associate director of the TRiO Upward Bound program through Notre Dame, Rafael Marin.During the talk, several speakers brought up issues they experienced while pursuing higher education.Sanchez said in college he had to talk with the head advisor in order to be put in the classes he needed to graduate and had a conversation with the president of his alma mater about diversity on campus.“You have to believe that we’re going to graduate and that it’s an attainable event,” Sanchez said in regards to the conversation he had with the president of his alma mater. “You shouldn’t look at us and say, ‘You are so lucky or blessed to be here.’ I know that I am blessed, but you have to give us the same chance to succeed.”Marin said he was born in Texas and then moved back to Mexico with his mother when he was young. He moved to America for high school and had to learn the language quickly.“I had to work two or three times as hard as any other students in college,” he said. “Other students who did not have the language barrier have other challenges. We all face challenges that are different from one student to the next, minority or not.”Marin said he was often teased for his accent in high school and college.“Stereotypes create false images of not just Latinos, but many different ethnic groups,” Marin said. “It is your job to change the stereotypes.”It is important to focus on higher education., Kloski said.“One of the stereotypes is that [Latinas] are under-educated,” she said. “Well, look, we’re all here and proving them wrong. Focus on your education and be proud when you succeed.”Sanchez explained how he grew up in Portland and was the first generation in his family to attain a college degree. He said his decision to attend college was inspired by the Holy Cross Order.“The Holy Cross Order had a program where graduates from college would volunteer for a year in my community,” he said. “These young people were the first to mentor me and took me under their wing from when I was in third grade to college. Without them, I wouldn’t have known all it took to apply to colleges.”Petty said she went to high school in South Bend and was the first generation to attend college. Mentors were essential during her time on campus, she said.“I got involved in La Fuerza and the older girls really mentored me,” she said.“They helped me navigate around campus life and issues in the classroom.”Belanger discussed how important it is for Saint Mary’s students to build relationships with faculty.“Professors will write you a letter for grad school and and they won’t just say you did a good job in class — they will write about whole person,” he said. “Professors here do care about you. Be confident that if you’re here, you belong here.”West explained how he uses his time spent in Mexico as a tool to connect with Saint Mary’s students.“I try to bring the real world into the classroom and use concrete examples from the Latin American civilization to foster respect, knowledge and break down stereotypes and barriers we all confront,” West said.Sanchez said working at Saint Mary’s has been beneficial towards his goal of giving back to the community and giving others the opportunity to succeed at higher education.“When I came to Saint Mary’s, it was another opportunity to give back,” he said. “I am in a better place for what I want to accomplish.”Kloski said she was proud of the leader she was able to become while at Saint Mary’s.“Be strong and bold,” she said. “Set goals for yourself and become successful.”Tags: Diversity, latinos, panel, saint mary’s, Week of Poder
MISSING MARCH MADNESS: Playing out the full schedule, scores for 2020 NCAA TournamentThe Sweet 16 was good to the No. 1 seeds — all four advanced — and three of the No. 3 seeds moved on to the Elite Eight. No spoilers in the intro about how the Elite Eight games played out in the polls, though — read on to find out what the Final Four looks like:Midwest: No. 1 Kansas over No. 3 Michigan StateMISSING MARCH MADNESS OPENING WEEKEND RECAPDay 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4Your vote: Kansas wins, 61.8 percent to 38.2 percentThoughts: Michigan State, a 3-seed, had rolled through the tournament with No. 1 seed-like voting results. But that train stalled at the station in Lawrence, apparently. Kansas had 15 Final Four appearances heading into the 2019-20 college hoops season, and you voters just punched their ticket for a 16th (albeit a fictional one). If Sparty wasn’t able to get Kansas big man Udoka Azubuike in foul trouble — he had at least three fouls in 13 games this year — that would have been a big problem, because he rarely misses in the paint. And Azubuike did a pretty good job staying away from whistles late in the season: He only had more than two fouls in one of his last four regular-season games.East: No. 1 Dayton over No. 2 Florida StateYour vote: Dayton wins, 61.1 to 38.9Thoughts: Want to know why Dayton is so very good? Yes, they have Obi Toppin, and he’s kind of amazing, but he’s not the only skilled offensive player on the team. Look at the individual offensive ratings on the squad: For quick background on the stat (created by Dean Oliver and used at numerous sites, including KenPom.com): “Anything over 110 is good, and 120 is excellent for a player that is the workhorse on his team.”Well, Dayton has six players averaging at least 22 minutes a game, and three of them have offensive ratings above 120 — Toppin (122.4), Jalen Crutcher (121.5) and Ibi Watson (120.5). Two more are over 110 — Trey Landers (119.7) and Ryan Mikesell (114.4). How do you beat a team like Florida State, with an elite defensive squad? With a lineup like that, that’s how.MISSING MARCH MADNESS SWEET 16 RECAPDay 1 | Day 2West: No. 1 Gonzaga over No. 3 MarylandYour vote: Gonzaga wins, 67.5 to 32.5 The actual NCAA Tournament has been canceled, but Sporting News is still offering the chance to pick upsets and virtually watch your favorite teams advance, round-by-round to the Final Four.The opening weekend results — thanks to your votes — produced a handful of double-digit seeds winning their opening-round games, but all of those Cinderella dreams died in the second round. We didn’t have a single team higher than a 5-seed advance to the Sweet 16 (I’m a little bit disappointed in you people for your lack of belief in the magic of March). Thoughts: Remember what we just said about Dayton and offensive rating? Check out the Zags: Four regulars over 120, another three at 114 or better. They’re just so damn deep and talented. There’s never a possession you can take off defending that group. Maryland’s good, but Gonzaga’s better. I fully agree with the result here.South: No. 3 Kentucky over No. 1 BaylorYour vote: Kentucky wins, 54.9 to 45.1Thoughts: Unlike Kentucky’s ballot-box-stuffing Sweet 16 results, the vote totals for this game were very similar to the vote totals for the other Elite Eight games. So it’s not just the Kentucky superfans who picked the Cats to advance here. Maybe it’s a belief in Kentucky, or maybe it’s just a wariness about Baylor, a club that lost three of its last five games and needed overtime at home to beat a Texas Tech team squarely on the bubble — not exactly an impressive closing stretch. I figured Baylor would be the first No. 1 seed voted out, but I kind of thought it would happen before the Elite Eight.