May 15, 2023
As Oklahoma’s first and only Hispanic Serving Institution, we pride ourselves in promoting diverse experiences and empowering individual and collective identities. Panhandle State received a $2.8 million Title V Grant, Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions in the fall, and a portion of this money has been designated to building a Hispanic Student Center.
University President Dr. Tim Faltyn stated, “Our students deserve the best experience while at Oklahoma’s first and only Hispanic Serving Institution. Our goal is to make OPSU the campus of choice for Hispanic students throughout the region. The Hispanic Student Center is going to be one of the many highlights here at OPSU, and I look forward to seeing what it will do to help our current and incoming students.”
Provost Dr. Julie Dinger stated, “The Hispanic Student Center is a big step in the right direction to bring world class academic experiences and student support to a group of students who represent the best of our university and our region. The vision of leaders like Ms. Allen, will help OPSU create and provide student-centered services to increase Hispanic student recruitment, retention, and graduation rates.”
The HSC will serve as a community hub on campus for Hispanic students to gather, network, develop their leadership skills, and access services that support their academic success at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. It will be a center consisting of state-of-the-art technology, a lounge area, and staff in an environment that captures the Hispanic culture. Through the HSC, students will receive specialized academic advising, specific financial literacy and resources, tutoring, and events culturally familiar for the students.
Director of Hispanic Student Center, Valentina Allen, stated, “There is so much that can be done to truly guide our Hispanic students to academic success and graduation.” She continued, “Like me, many of them may be the first in their family to graduate from college. That brings such a sense of pride, but also an immeasurable amount of pressure. The HSC will be that hub where they can get answers to many of their questions, access the brightest tutors, and find a place to connect with others. I am absolutely excited to open our doors and see the impact that the HSC will have on OPSU.”
Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Brad Duren, commented, “The purpose of the grant is to expand services and resources to our Hispanic students and the surrounding communities. The grant gives us the financial ability to better meet Hispanic students’ needs through increased funding of campus services, technological tools, and networking initiatives tailored to the specific personal and educational demands these students face.”
The Hispanic Student Center is underway and will be located in the McKee Library 106B. Be sure to follow them on Twitter @CenterOPSU. For more information, go to hsc.opsu.edu.
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