CSUSB hosts ceremony to thank donors for supporting Mexico Study Abroad Program

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Several donors visited the Cal State San Bernardino campus on Wednesday, June 21, to attend a ceremony thanking them for their support of 20 CSUSB students who will be studying abroad in Mexico City this summer. Eight businesses and the Consul of Mexico in San Bernardino joined efforts and raised enough funds to assist each student with a $1,500 scholarship.

The businesses that supported this program include the Cardenas Foundation, CEMEX, Inland Empire Hispanic Leadership Council, Highland Fairview, Luxor Properties, Able Industrial Products, Wells Fargo and Vanir Group.

The ceremony opened with a welcome speech from Tatiana Karmanova, dean of the College of Extended Learning.

“CSUSB has always had study abroad programs, but this one is unique in a sense as it is a collaboration with CSUSB, the consul in San Bernardino and the business community, which started with Cardenas,” said Karmanova. “Without the support of these groups, students wouldn’t be able to go.”

This is the second study abroad program to take place in Mexico City; the first took place in December 2016.

To show the “immense impact” this program has had on students, Cónsul Jorge Alberto Leyva de la Peña introduced three testimony videos and a slideshow of the students from the first trip.

This was true for CSUSB DACA student Leticia Herrera Mendez, who participated in the first program. In a tearful speech during the ceremony, Mendez expressed her gratitude for this opportunity and revealed she even had the chance to see her grandmother there before she died. Nine participants who partook in the first program were DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students, a federal status that gives two years of deferred action to individuals who are not in lawful immigration status and entered the United States as minors.

For many students, this will not only give them the opportunity to learn about Mexican culture, but it will also let them learn about their own roots.

“I’m extremely excited because I’ve never been to Mexico City before,” said Luis Esparza, who graduated in June with a bachelor’s in communication studies as the College of Arts and Letters Outstanding Undergraduate, and who will be studying abroad in Mexico through CSUSB’s Open University Program. “This trip will allow me to explore the histories of my ancestors.”

“The main objective behind this program is to get to know your culture,” said Cónsul Enrique Salomón Rosas Ramirez in his speech. “It is a great opportunity to know your neighboring country.”

CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales, a longstanding advocate of study abroad programs, thanked the consul and the eight businesses, and said he is grateful for all of those who recognize the importance of studying abroad.

He also highlighted the tremendous learning experiences these students gain from these types of trips, as “there is a very strong academic component to all of (CSUSB) study abroad programs.”

The students, who will depart on June 22 and return July 10, will take the HUM 335 course, The Origin and Contemporary Role of Latino Culture, taught by Liliana Gallegos, assistant professor in the communications studies department.

The students will have unique opportunities to visit places that are not open to the public. For instance, the students will get to access Palacio Nacional, which is equivalent to the White House, and will get to see offices that are only open to high-level government officials. In addition, they will visit La Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores, which is equivalent to the U.S. Department of State, along with several other cultural areas.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 or visit news.csusb.edu.

TAGS:students, College of Extended Learning, Mexico, study abroad, donors, Latino, education, Tatiana Karmanova, College of Arts and Letters, DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Tomás D. Morales, Luis Esparza, outstanding undergraduate, Liliana Gallegos, communication studies, Cardenas Foundation, CEMEX, Inland Empire Hispanic Leadership Council, Highland Fairview, Luxor Properties, Able Industrial Products, Wells Fargo, Vanir Group, Consul of Mexico in San Bernardino

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