October 1, 2013

Student Highlights – Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Valeria Mendoza at Adelphi University's Research ConferenceValeria Mendoza, an International Studies major and Latin American Studies minor, participated this summer in the GPLUS Program at Georgia University School of Law. G-Plus is a four week academically rigorous program focused on writing, critical thinking and analysis, aimed at rising freshmen and sophomores from underrepresented minority groups, who want to become attorneys. She has also been accepted to Adelphi University Community Fellows Program, where she will be working at Global Kids, a nonprofit organization.

She also won the Undergraduate Social Sciences Poster Presentation at Adelphi’s Tenth Annual Research Conference for her research, “Exploring the Role of Music in the Transnational Lives of Migrants from Mexico in the United States”. Valeria’s study was advised by Dr. Hanna Kim, Assistant Professor of Anthropology.

Reaz Khan is a senior International Studies and Spanish major and Latin American Studies minor at Adelphi. Beyond his academic achievements, the level and quality of his work in various activities are worthy of note. His deep interest in social justice and cultural study led him to explore how faith can make the world we live in a better place. As a result, he began working with the University’s Interfaith Center to encourage interfaith dialogue on campus. These explorations and experiences have also led to his work in nonprofit organizations such as the National Urban League, where he served as an intern, working with underserved communities in entrepreneurship programs to promote social empowerment and success. He also volunteered to work on an urban forum in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans to promote sustainable farming strategies in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Reaz has a proven track record as not only an effective team member and role model, but also as a leader.

Melissa Fernández is a senior Biology major who is involved in numerous co-curricular activities. She currently serves on the executive board for the Latin American Student Organization and Sigma Lambda Upsilon, Sorority Inc. Apart from co-curricular involvements she has academically excelled and continues to be an active participant within Levermore Global Scholars. In the past month, Melissa has been preparing both of her organizations for the future by working on creating alumni ties within the organizations. Additionally, she was recently selected as one of the 40 under 40 Rising Latino Stars of New York State by the Hispanic Coalition of NYC and was honored in Albany for her contributions.

Melissa embodies what it means to be both an Adelphi and a community leader and role model, and won the Center for Student Involvement’s February Student Leader of the Month.

This piece appeared in the Language, Literatures and Cultures Newsletter Fall 2013 edition.
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