His energetic commitment to creating both a climate in which multicultural students and faculty can succeed and widespread multicultural awareness have earned Dr. Ruben Viramontez Anguiano, family and consumer sciences, this year’s Miguel Ornelas Human Relations award.
The Ornelas award is given annually by the BGSU Human Relations Commission to acknowledge individuals and groups who enhance positive human relations on campus and to “encourage them to continue their good work in the BGSU community,” said Marshall Rose, director of the Office of Equity and Diversity, in presenting the award at the Latino Issues Conference Oct. 21.
He was nominated by Dr. Timothy Murnen, who is a member of the Multicultural Initiatives Committee in the College of Education and Human Development, which Viramontez Anguiano has chaired for several years. “I cannot think of a person who embodies the spirit of Miguel Ornelas more than Dr. Viramontez Anguiano,” Murnen said.
One of the committee’s many projects is the Latino Youth Summit, held every May for the last five years. Through the summit, Viramontez Anguiano “promotes the work of BGSU’s colleges and develops recruitment outreach to Latino students so they know the resources available to them at BGSU,” Murnen said. This is only one of the projects he is engaged in, along with working with Adelante and other groups, Murnen added.
Noting that Viramontez Anguiano’s approach is engaging and inspiring and that it is hard to say no when he asks for support, Murnen recounted that he has “watched him take time to personally recruit and interact with students, and to model for them the engaged, civic-minded professional.
“His impact on individuals and communities is immediate, personal and long-lasting,” Murnen said. One of the students associated with the Latino Youth Summit has gone on to a full assistantship at Columbia Teachers College. “Ruben was very instrumental in guiding her in her senior year and mentoring her through the graduate school search process,” Murnen said.
The award is given in honor of Dr. Miguel Ornelas, a former Human Relations Commission member and director of affirmative action at BGSU. Before his death in 1989, Ornelas served as an advocate for issues of diversity.