Celebrate Hispanic Heritage on Campus

Free events take place Sept. 25, Oct. 1, 2, 3 and 30; awards, music, dance, a spelling bee and a conference.

USF Men’s Basketball Head Coach Orlando Antigua, seen here with Rocky, will be the keynote speaker at the Oct. 2 kickoff celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.    Photo by Jason Roberts | USF Athletics


By Barbara Melendez

      USF News

TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 23, 2014) – There will be guest speakers, awards, music and dancing as Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off at USF Oct. 2 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom.

The keynote address will be delivered by USF Men’s Basketball Head Coach Orlando Antigua, setting the tone for all that is to follow.

Presented by the USF Status of Latinos (SOL) Presidential Advisory Committee, the kickoff event is free and open to the public and recognizes students, faculty, staff and a local community member for their contributions to Latino culture and the Latino community in a festive atmosphere. A table exhibit is part of the activities as well as a buffet and raffle prizes. For more information, contact Leonor V. O’Relly, (813) 974-5299, lorelly@usf.edu.

The Institute for the Study of Latin American and the Caribbean (ISLAC) is holding a conference, "Promoting Collaboration and International Partnerships to Combat and Mitigate Human Trafficking," Oct. 1 - 3. It begins with a keynote address by Southern Command General John F. Kelly Oct. 1 followed by two days of panel discussions featuring representatives from the Tampa Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Bureau and the FBI’s Task Force from the bureau’s human trafficking program in Tampa. Norma Ledezma, the coordinator for the Mexican non-governmental organization (NGO) Justicia para Nuestras Hijas (Justice for our Daughters) will also be in attendance.

This week, on Thursday, Sept. 25, the Third Annual Spanish Spelling Bee pits two-person teams of students against each other in competition for the grand prize, two tickets to Legoland. This event is hosted by the Latin American Student Association with Lambda Upsilon Lambda, in collaboration with the Dominican American Student Association, Boricua Student Association, Mexican American Student Association and the Latin Dance Club. It takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center Ampitheater. For more information, contact Solange Monique, spetersen@mail.usf.edu.

At the end of the month, on Oct. 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00p.m., a panel of experts will discuss public health related issues during the seminar, “Integrating Service Learning into Hispanic Public Health Issues.” Among the topics is the state of women’s health in the U.S. and health disparities among the Hispanic population, among others. For more information contact, Peggy Defay, (813) 974- 9948, peacecorps@usf.edu.

Hispanic Heritage Month, a national holiday, officially began Sept. 15. USF’s Mexican American Student Association presented “A touch of Mexico” Sept. 16 with music, dancing and food and used the occasion to celebrate Mexico's independence. To stay connected, contact the MASA E-Board at usfmasapresident@gmail.com.

The Boricua Student Association with the Cuban American Student Association held “Bailalo: Salsa” Sept. 17 to teach students about the origins of the salsa dancing with examples of different styles of salsa and lessons were given. To stay in touch with the organization, contact the organization's president, Francine Bouyett, at francine@mail.usf.edu.

Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563