MONMOUTH – Western Oregon University students Kata Cervantes and Orlando Lopez have been selected as the 2009 National M.E.Ch.A. Coordinating Council representatives for the Aztlán del Noroeste (Northwest region).
M.E.Ch.A, which stands for Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (Chicano Student Movement of Aztlán) is a pro-Latino student organization that promotes higher education, culture and history. This is accomplished through community service projects, workshops and rallies to raise awareness of equity issues for all marginalized groups, particularly the Latino community. One of ten regions in the nation, the Aztlán del Noroeste consists of the following Oregon high schools and colleges: McKay High school, Centennial High school, Portland State University, Oregon State University, Blue Mountain Community College, Mount Hood Community College, University of Oregon, and Western Oregon University.
Cervantes, a junior from Hermiston, Oregon majoring in international studies, is a transfer student from Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, where she founded her chapter of M.E.Ch.A. “When I became a part of M.E.Ch.A. I realized I had a purpose, which is connecting people, giving back to the community and to the school. Representing WOU in the Coordinating Council will allow me to make a difference on a national level.”
Lopez, a sophomore from Woodburn, Oregon, has been involved in M.E.Ch.A. since high school, serving as the chapter president during his senior year. Now as sophomore majoring in business at Western, he plans to develop the communication between the high school and college chapters, encouraging Latino students to pursue higher education. “I view this nomination as an honor and a great opportunity to develop as a Mechista and as a Chicano.”
Karie Mize, Ph.D., assistant professor of teacher education and Western’s faculty advisor for M.E.Ch.A., said, “It is highly unusual that two students from the same university are selected to represent the same region, so this is truly an honor for WOU.”
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Written by Lisa Wilson, Public Relations Intern
Karie Mize, Ph.D.
Faculty Advisor, M.E.Ch.A.
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503-984-8487 or firstname.lastname@example.org