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ECU hosts Latino education conference

GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Oct. 10, 2008)   —   The challenges facing Latino students will be the focus of East Carolina University’s first conference on Latino issues.

The conference, “Building Leadership for Latino Access to Education,” will be held Friday, Oct. 24, in the Mendenhall Student Center on ECU’s campus.

Experts in the field, as well as leaders in the eastern North Carolina Latino community and ECU students, faculty and staff will participate. The public is invited to this free event. Registration is required.

“The conference is designed to address critical educational issues that have far reaching implications for the future of Latino students and families,” said David Conde, ECU senior associate vice chancellor for special initiatives. “It offers an opportunity to share in a dialogue with community and educational leaders representing the North Carolina population.”

Keynote speaker, Antonio Esquibel, professor emeritus and board of trustees member at Metropolitan State College of Denver, will open the conference with a talk, “Latino Education a National Imperative: Latino Students at the College Door.”

Esquibel received a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of New Mexico and has received numerous awards for leadership and voluntary service, including the César Chávez Award for Outstanding Leadership in 2004.

Following the keynote address, ECU faculty and outside experts will lead discussions on the Latino student experience, the path to college, migrant education, parent participation, community engagement and access to healthcare.

Three concurrent sessions will be held in the morning, and three more in the afternoon. Topics are as follow:

- “Leadership and the Latino Student Experience: High School and College,” led by Diane Rodriguez of ECU’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction.
- “Leadership and the Path to College: Elementary, Secondary and University,” led by Ylce Irizarry of ECU’s Department of English and Marjorie Ringler of ECU’s Department of Educational Leadership.
- “Leadership and Migrant Education,” led by Melissa Bailey, chair of the Migrant Education Coalition and Ricardo Contreras of ECU’s Department of Anthropology.
- “Leadership and Parent Participation – Los Puentes Spanish English Two Way Immersion Program,” coordinated by Marcela Ruiz-Funes from ECU’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and led by Stephanie Cain, coordinator of Los Puentes English-Spanish Immersion project.
- “Community Leadership and Engagement,” led by Mónica Méndez of ECU’s Department of Criminal Justice and Ricardo Contreras.
- “Health Education and Outreach: Access to Health Care,” led by Leonard Trujillo of ECU’s Department of Occupational Therapy, Beth Velde, assistant dean, College of Allied Health Sciences, Dr. Virginia Hardy, senior associate dean, Brody School of Medicine and Dr. Thomas Irons, associate vice chancellor, Brody School of Medicine.
Donald R. Spell, vice president of Student Development Services at Pitt Community College, will speak during lunch on the topic of “Economics, Education and the Law: But Really, Who is Gonna Build your Walls?”

Online registration is at: The deadline for online registration is Monday, October 20. After that registration will be available on site.

For more information, contact Diane Battle at (252) 328-0607 or e-mail,


Contact: Diane Battle | (252) 328-0607