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August 28, 2003
DH-03 TK 045
Contact: Thomas Knox
(310) 243-3367
tknox@csudh.edu


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Cal State Dominguez Hills Establishes “Latinas Juntas” Program
To Foster Networking Opportunities for Latina Students

CARSON, Calif: – The effort to increase retention of Latina students is receiving a ‘shot in the arm’ by the establishment of “Latinas Juntas,” a special networking program at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Modeled in part after a successful program at California State University, Long Beach, “Latinas Juntas” is designed to stimulate interaction between Latina students, faculty and staff in order to provide an atmosphere of dialogue and mentoring. “Latinas Juntas” will be held in the Grand Hall of the Loker University Student Union on Oct. 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

CSU Dominguez Hills Clinical Psychologists, Denna Sanchez, PH. D., and Monica Rosas-Baines, PH.D, saw a void of communication and networking between the more than 2,000 Latina students at CSUDH and decided to establish a mechanism to enable these students to connect with Latina faculty and staff of the University.

“As psychologists working on a college campus, we understand the need for students to feel connected as a means for education and personal success,” Sanchez said. “We routinely hear from our Latina students about the specific challenges and obstacles such as family, school and work responsibilities, relationships, and cultural issues, which often impede their progress. Our professional observations are also supported by research on Latino retention and connectedness on campus.”

Rosas-Baines is hopeful “Latinas Juntas” will serve as a bridge between students and University officials: “We would like to bring together Latina students, faculty, and staff to address these concerns and offer solutions through small and large group exercises.” Rosas-Baines said the “Latinas Juntas” program agenda includes five experiential workshops:

• Challenging students to take personal responsibility for their education
• Exploring the role of culture and family in their academic careers
• Actively engaging students in personal and interpersonal development
• Promoting self awareness
• Acknowledging and celebrating the diversity of the Latina community
• Establishing a supportive network between Latina students, faculty and staff

“Following the program, we will offer Nosotras, a new Latina support group offered through the University’s Student Development Office,” Rosas-Baines said. Lunch, refreshments, raffle prizes and CUSHD book scholarships will be given out during the program. Any CSUDH Latina student, faculty or staff who wants to attend the program can call (310) 243-3625 for information.

Enrollments by Ethnicity and Gender, Fall 1998 to Fall 2002 is available at the University’s website at http://www.csudh.edu/oir/EnrollEthGender.htm

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