This symposium serves the Latinx student population, interested faculty, administrators, and students who want to know more about the Latinx academic experience. As Virginia Tech Works to increase the Latinx student population, we feel that increasing visibility, providing a forum for Latinx scholarship, and sharing pedagogical strategies for faculty who work with Latinx students will make this a valuable project.
Our Latinx-identifying students will have the opportunity to gain experience organizing a conference and participating as well. They will be able to join panels and present their own research and papers to an audience that actively wants to hear from them, including professors, other students, and experts in a variety of fields.
This conference brings scholarship, experts, and experiences that VT Latinx students can directly relate to, fostering professional networking and mentoring relationships to develop for future careers and personal growth.
Latinx alumni will also be invited to speak and participate with current students and faculty, to maintain strong bonds with the community.
This inaugural Latinx Symposium will include workshops and professional development sessions where Latinx faculty members, and experts in various fields, will discuss pedagogical tools and approaches to teaching Latinx students.
Latinx presenters and panelists will also present their own findings and research from their relative fields, enriching the scholarship that many VT faculty members are currently researching or teaching.
Faculty members will be given the opportunity to better understand and learn about the Latinx students they serve, the Latinx peers they work alongside, and the intersectional Latinx identity.
Besides building new relationships throughout the region, maintenance of existing relationships is also important. El Centro’s deep involvement in the organization and execution of this symposium will help sustain the growth of VT students already needing and seeking Latinx-centered sponsorship.
VT’s Beyond Boundaries initiative cites a goal of doubling the percentage of underrepresented groups within the institution. Seeing as how Latinx individuals currently make up 5.5% population, this conference presents the university with the opportunity for positive publicity within the Latinx community in the region.
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This donation helps us provide a variety of coffee, drinks, and snacks during breaks at the symposium.