College of Education > News and Publications > News: Oct - Dec 2014 > Latina Master’s Student Provides Crucial Support to University Cultural Centers

Latina Master’s Student Provides Crucial Support to University Cultural Centers

Roseilyn Guzman, a master’s student studying higher education (student affairs emphasis), sought out invaluable experiences with Latino/a cultural centers this summer during her student affairs and research internships at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn).
Latina Master’s Student Provides Crucial Support to University Cultural Centers

Roseilyn Guzman

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.—Roseilyn Guzman, a master’s student studying higher education (student affairs emphasis), sought out invaluable experiences in programming, event planning, promotion and research this summer during her two internships at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn).

Roseilyn Guzman
Roseilyn Guzman

Guzman started at Penn as a graduate student intern for the Center for Hispanic Excellence: La Casa Latina, a cultural center that provides services to Latina students and promotes greater awareness of Latino and Latina issues, culture and identity with the Penn community.

Guzman helped to reconstruct the center’s mentoring program. She said the most important change she made was helping the students find a more suitable and inclusive name for the program: Undios, which means “united” in Spanish.

“The students realized the importance of being inclusive, even within their own ethnic group,” Guzman said.

Guzman also developed programming for Latin@ Heritage Month, a month-long celebration of Latino and Latina culture, customs and beliefs. Guzman helped plan and promote events to raise awareness to the Penn community.

Upon receiving an offer for an internship at La Casa Latina, Leticia Oseguera, Guzman’s academic adviser, connected Guzman with Marybeth Gasman, director of the Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) at Penn. Guzman said their mutual interest in minority serving intuitions led Gasman to hire her as a graduate research intern at CMSI.

Guzman’s experience at CMSI was focused on understanding different types of minority-serving institutions within the system of higher education. She worked on a project regarding student success across the nation.

“I learned about the historical component that these institutions have in association to the shift our country has made,” Guzman said. “I was amazed to see how these institutions were established on the basis of changes that have occurred from the civil rights movement.”

Guzman even had the opportunity to meet Ivory Toldson, deputy director of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities White House initiative, who is also a Penn State alumnus.

“Being a first generation immigrant and first generation college student as a woman of color has made me realize the importance of building connections and networking with other professionals of color is crucially important for both my personal and professional development,” Guzman said.

Guzman is now completing the last year of her master’s program. She also interns at the BLUEprint Peer Mentoring Program, participates in the Student Conduct Board’s diversity review committee and works as a bookkeeper and area expansion officer for the Penn State chapter of Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority. She intends to pursue full-time student affairs opportunities upon graduation in May 2015.

By (October 2014)