Kandann Coleman - Ethnic Studies Major
Latino Studies Minor/ Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc./ Ronald E. McNair Scholar
"As a freshman, I had a really rough time adjusting to BGSU. I had no idea how to navigate college and I was becoming really overwhelmed. An advisor of mine referred me to the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA). From the scholarships to the programming, OMA helped me out immensely. The dialogue series challenged my thinking and made me question my current views and sometimes establish new ones. I was provided a safe space to ask questions and have conversations with my peers about pressing issues in our communities. Later that year, I got involved with the Latino Student Union and we, as an organization, worked with OMA on a variety of events.
OMA has taught me that helping people and understanding their experiences adds to the beauty of humanity. It has opened my eyes to the problems in my community but provided me with the tools and resources to be a change agent to make it better. Once I learned the importance of multiculturalism, my interests changed. I joined Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc., which is a multicultural sorority and became a board member of the Latino Student Union, one of the multicultural organizations on campus in which I will serve as the president for the 2016-2017 school year. I became a SAFE Zone trainer, which was an initiative through OMA that allowed me to serve as an advocate to the LGBTQIA+ community. I am taking all of this understanding with me to Medical school. The black and Latino communities have a history of mistreatment within the health care field, which has resulted in mistrust of the hospitals and proper medical care. I hope to combat this mistrust in my community so that all people can feel comfortable seeking medical attention when needed. Without OMA, I can honestly say that I would not be the person I am today.
OMA has provided me multiple leadership and trainings opportunities, and even employment as an office assistant. Working for the office has been the best involvement I have had with them. It has given me an inside look at how the office runs and allowed me to learn from everyone who comes in and out of the office. I have made so many connections and for that I am so grateful to OMA."
Resident Advisor, Career Center Student Ambassador/ FALCON Assistant/ SOAR Orientation Leader/ Office of Multicultural Affairs Intern
When I arrived at BGSU in the fall of 2014, I immediately began to seek out opportunities to get involved and connected with the campus community. I had heard about previous students and alumni who had left their mark and legacies on our campus by taking the initiative to follow their passions and goals. I wanted to do the same during my undergraduate experience. Through my various leadership positions such as being a resident advisor, an orientation leader, and the president of a student organization, I have discovered that my passion is for helping and serving others. Specifically, I enjoy serving as a peer mentor in capacities such as living-learning environments all the way to new student orientation programs. Reflecting on my involvements thus far, I feel they have each enabled me to grow not only as a student pursuing the field of Student Affairs and Higher Education, but also as a person who is trying to emerge into an outstanding global citizen—one who is culturally competent, kind to others, and sets a good example.
While I cannot pinpoint one specific experience or involvement that has been “the best”, I believe that it has been a culmination of all of my campus involvements that have combined into one, great, big amazing experience. I’ve made strong connections with both students and professional staff members within the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Residence Life that I’m confident will last a lifetime, and I’ve also gained a better sense of direction in terms of what it is I want to spend my life working towards—which is providing support and advocacy for undergraduate students.
I am very interested in social justice, particularly in ways to be more educated about social justice topics and issues. Diversity, inclusion, and equity are extremely important to me, and I know that in order for me to be successful as a student and as a student affairs professional, I have to be prepared to learn, be respectful, and be loving of people that come from any and all backgrounds. The fact that I have been able to learn about identity and leadership in both my coursework and even my roles throughout the Division of Student Affairs has been incredible. I’m always looking for opportunities that will challenge me and force me to grow and think differently, and any experience where I’ve been encouraged to critically think, build support systems, and help others have all been my “best” experiences.
As a result of the guidance I receive from my student affairs practitioner mentors, the knowledge I gain from my professors and various faculty members, and the support from the amazing friendships I have established, I feel incredibly empowered as an aspiring student affairs professional. I have come to realize that working with people is such a privilege, and it comes with a ton of responsibility and requires a lot of care. However, I am excited for the chance to work in a field that is all about helping people, and inspiring them to become the best possible versions of themselves.
Miguel Nava Jr.
Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Inc./ World Student Association
I was introduced to Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) two years ago as an incoming freshman. As a recipient of the Historically Underrepresented Scholarship, I was fortunate to have been able to participate in the Falcon Success Initiative (FSI), which pairs students with mentors in OMA who guide and assist with everything from academic preparedness to participation in student organizations. My mentor helped me in transitioning from the schedule of a high school student to the rigors and expectations of college life. OMA also provided me the opportunity to work on campus as an Office Assistant. As a student employee of OMA, the connections and opportunities presented are allowing me to build my resume’ as I am able to meet new people and to gain a variety of new experiences related to multiculturalism.
Working in OMA has also allowed me to see how programs and events that promote diversity are necessary within a University setting. As we prepare to become global citizens, it’s extremely important that all students are exposed to different cultures and points of view and OMA provides those opportunities. Working with the Ethnic Student Discussion Series was another connection that allowed for my personal enrichment and growth. The discussions ranged from Black Lives Matter, to the Greek experience on campus to the upcoming presidential election and how to stay informed.
I plan to have a career in Student Affairs, so the experiences I am gaining though OMA are invaluable to me. OMA has opened many doors that will allow me to continue to broaden and build upon my experiences as I pursue my career goals. OMA has motivated me to help other students who are going to be following in my footsteps in the future and I plan to help them become better individuals. When I graduate from BGSU, I will know that the experiences I gained through the office working with faculty, staff and students and participating in cultural programs and events will aid me in reaching the next level as I embark on Graduate School.
Marcos Lucio Popovich
Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, Marcos Lucio Popovich has committed
his career to creating opportunities for young people to thrive and
promoting civic engagement in immigrant and low-income communities.
Marcos derives his sense of identity and purpose from his Mexican
heritage and his family’s experience as migrant farm workers.
Marcos currently serves as a Program Officer at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation in Massachusetts. With $506 million in assets and $31 million in annual grant making, the foundation promotes student-centered approaches to learning with the goal of ensuring all students in New England graduate from high school ready for college and career. Marcos oversees the development of two grant programs focused on helping public school districts implement continuous improvement processes and foster good governance practices.
Marcos attended BGSU from 1997 to 2001, graduating cum laude with a B.A. in Ethnic Studies. During his time at the university, Marcos served as President of the Latino Student Union where he promoted the recruitment, retention, and graduation of Latino students. He led the organization to receive the Outstanding Student Organization of the Year Award from the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) in 2000.
In 2000, the BGSU student body elected Marcos to serve as President of the Undergraduate Student Government, the first Latino in the university’s history to be elected to that position. Representing 17,500 students, Marcos focused on promoting diversity and student leadership. He led the organization to receive the Organization of the Year Award in 2001 from the Office of Student Life at BGSU. That same year, Image of Northwest Ohio awarded Marcos a Diamante Award for Youth Leadership.
Marcos credits much of his success at BGSU to the support and mentorship he received from the caring and dedicated staff of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, as well as from the university staff and faculty involved in the Latino Networking Alliance.
Marcos went on to obtain a M.A. in History with a focus on Mexican American civil rights history from Arizona State University, studying under renowned Chicano historian Dr. F. Arturo Rosales. His master’s thesis tells the early history of Chicanos Por La Causa, a Phoenix based community development corporation, and its efforts to promote Chicano political and economic empowerment in south Phoenix during the 1960s and 1970s.
After graduate school, Marcos moved to Chicago and became a community organizer for USHLI. He led national voter registration campaigns that registered thousands of new voters, and implemented leadership development programs that trained thousands of young people to become leaders on their campuses and in their communities. As part of his work at USHLI, Marcos co-authored three editions of the Almanac of Latino Politics, a comprehensive study of demographic and political trends among Latinos in the United States.
Marcos later obtained a J.D. from DePaul University and became a member of the Illinois Bar. During his time in law school, Marcos focused his studies and training on immigration law. He clerked for several non-profit legal aid organizations where he successfully represented clients seeking asylum, cancelation of removal, lawful permanent residency, and U visa (temporary visa for victims of violent crimes). At his graduation, the College of Law awarded Marcos the Distinguished Student Service Award for his commitment to community service and efforts to promote social justice.
Marcos also served as a longtime consultant for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners where he co-developed a training curriculum and co-trained thousands of Polling Place Administrators to facilitate Chicago's compliance with the Help America Vote Act of 2002. The effort transitioned the city's 2,000+ polling places to newly acquired electronic voting systems and newly adopted voting procedures and regulations.
Transitioning into philanthropy in 2012, Marcos served as a Proteus Fund Diversity Fellow at two Boston-based organizations, the Barr Foundation and EdVestors. As a fellow, he supported grant making focused on reengaging disconnected youth, increasing supports and opportunities for young men of color, expanding learning opportunities beyond the school day, improving underperforming schools, and expanding access to arts education in Boston Public Schools.