Guest Speaker Raises Awareness on Latino Population in West Virginia

Marshall University this past Tuesday honored National Hispanic Heritage Month by welcoming Dr. Araceli Hernandez-Laroche for a presentation.  

Dr. Hernandez-Laroche, an associate professor and assistant chair of the Department of Language, said the presentation “was to raise awareness about the ever-growing Hispanic population.” 

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

During this month, citizens celebrate the histories, cultures, contributions and many talents of citizens who either have ancestors that have came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America or are immigrants from those countries. 

Dr. Hernandez-Laroche said she not only wanted to raise awareness around the country but also to come to West Virginia to speak. “ I wanted to raise awareness here in West Virginia, that even though you only have 1% of Latino population, that population is going to grow, but Marshall has a larger percentage enrolled and it could also grow.”   

The presentation provided pipelines to ensure that Marshall attracts more Latino students to enroll and ensure that University and faculty do everything to help these students finish and graduate.  

Dr. Zelideth Rivas, a professor of Japanese and modern languages and the program director of Japanese, said, “I’ve done a lot of work in the community working with Spanish speakers as well as Portuguese speakers in the state of West Virginia. But I don’t think that the University knows how much we’ve done and having this reach more administrators to see how we can help at a state level.”