College News, Dean News

This month, Macaulay Dean Dr. Vanessa K. Valdés invited staff to share brief reflections about Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month, which ends October 15th. Below, their thoughts about what this month means to Macaulay.

“Latinx/Hispanic Heritage month means elevating the names and stories of trailblazers in our communities. It is about embracing our diversity from all parts of the world. It is about having pride in your culture and the traditions. I’m forever grateful that my mother passed down her recipe for sofrito – it brings every dish to another level! It is honoring my parents for the sacrifices they made so that I could have a better future.”

—Veronica Maldonado
Assistant Dean for Student Services

“Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month at Macaulay means a firm embrace of all the complexities of individuals who identify as Latinx/Hispanic. It is an embrace and a welcoming that sees all the colors of the community. It is an embrace of Spanish and non-Spanish speakers. It is an understanding that the Americas is a huge and diverse swath of lands with a true mix of cultures from the indigenous to the immigrants, from the enslaved to the colonizers. Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month at Macaulay is an opportunity to explore a community of cultures through scholarship, art, and dialogue. It is an opportunity to learn anew the histories of who we are yesterday and today, and craft a vibrant community where all belong.”

—Stephanie Hyacinth
Associate Vice President, External Relations

“Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity for us to celebrate and elevate Latine voices, experiences, and triumphs. Personally, it means feeling connected and having a sense of community; remembering who I am, where I come from and having that empower me. As a Macaulay community, this is an opportunity for us to share in that joy and celebrate each other.”

—Gianina Chrisman
Associate Director of Career Development

“Latinx Heritage Month, for me, is an opportunity to honor and learn from those who have gone before me, who have opened the paths for me to be here. On a personal level, I think of my parents – a father born in East Harlem to parents who came from Puerto Rico and a mother who came at 15 years old with her parents from Puerto Rico – neither of whom had a chance to go to college and who emphasized that their children did. I think of my ancestors who walk beside me and who guide me. I think of figures like Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, Pura Belpré, Julia de Burgos, Antonia Pantoja, who lived in different circumstances and yet who made way for all of us.”

—Dr. Vanessa K. Valdés
Interim Dean