seal  Purdue News

January 13, 2004

Purdue Latino Cultural Center to get first director

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's Latino Cultural Center will start its second year this spring with its first director.

Maricela Alvarado

Maricela Alvarado, a native of Moses Lake, Wash., will become the center's director in March. She comes to Purdue from her position as academic programs director for the Office of the Dean in the College of Engineering at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

"After conducting a national search, we were fortunate to find Maricela Alvarado, who has a strong background in Hispanic and Latin cultures as well as years of experience in diversity programs in higher education," said Purdue Provost Sally Mason.

In addition to her post in the College of Engineering, Alvarado also has served as interim director of the Institute of Hispanic-Latino Cultures for the University of Florida's dean of student's office. Before working and pursuing graduate studies at the University of Florida, she was assistant director of admissions and telecounseling coordinator at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at Daytona Beach, Fla., was telecounselor program assistant at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash., and was a Chicano/Latino mentor serving a multicultural retention services internship at Washington State.

She earned a master's degree in education from the University of Florida, two bachelor's degrees from Washington State University and an associate degree from Columbia Basin Community College in Pasco, Wash. She is bilingual and has taught courses at the University of Florida to help students succeed in college and on multicultural leadership issues.

The Latino Cultural Center opened in April 2003 and is Purdue's first center of Hispanic and Latin culture. The center is located in the South Campus Courts Complex near the corner of Harrison and Sheetz streets. The hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1-9 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m. on Friday.

"Just like our Black Cultural Center, this new center is open to everyone," Mason said. "Our goal is to provide a welcoming home for our Latino students, faculty and staff, but also to share their culture with the community."

There are about 920 Latino students on campus.

Writer: Reni Winter, (765) 496-3133,

Sources: Maricela Alvarado, (352) 359-0814,

Sally Mason, (765) 494-9709,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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