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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue: September 16, 2002
Volume 38, Number 5

UNM participates in ‘Celebra La Ciencia’

By Michael Padilla

UNM is among community groups, local museums and other educational organizations teaming up to expose families to science in a fun, hands-on way during a special event at the New Mexico State Fair on Tuesday, Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Celebra La Ciencia (Celebrate the Science): Changing the Face of Science,” funded primarily by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is a national effort to increase Hispanic participation in science and health education programs. The goal of Celebra La Ciencia is to increase awareness and participation among Hispanic parents and youth in informal science and health education.

UNM co-organizer Eleanor Sanchez, UNM Marketing and Communications Department, said UNM is playing a major role in the event.“It has been exciting to be part of a program that is embracing youth and exposing them and their families to the fun, wonder and opportunities that the sciences have to offer,” Sanchez said.

SRF helps Hispanics

By Todd Burns

Celebra La Ciencia is one more way the Self Reliance Foundation (SRF) at UNM helps Hispanics succeed.

Though community service is a big part of SRF, its main goal is to assist Hispanics across the country. SRF student fellows input data into a national database that can be easily accessed by Hispanics. The data includes information on legal, health, educational and consumer issues. Fellows contact organizations that are willing to provide low cost or free assistance in those areas. Individuals can call the national hotline at 1-800-473-3003 and speak to a bilingual operator to receive a referral to helpful parties in their local area. The SRF concentrates on Hispanics, but offers services to anyone need.

Student fellows are part of a work-study and volunteer program. SRF is a joint project between UNM, Pepperdine University and University of California San Diego.

SRF staff advisor and Associate Director for Recruitment Services Lawrence Roybal directs the fellows using his national and even international contacts. When fellows are not inputting data, Roybal helps them plan community service projects, which consume a third of their time. Recently, the fellows translated the tours at the Zoo Day and Biological Day. During the Summer Bridge Program, they mentored 10 students in math and English.

The SRF is not a just a job, it is enjoyable and “it’s very rewarding,” said student fellow Julia Tapia. “I feel I’m making a difference.”

With a current membership of seven fellows, the SRF is looking to recruit three more bilingual students. To become a member, an individual must fill out an application and go through an interview process. For more information about the SRF or its upcoming events, contact Daisy Ortega at 277-0593 or Lawrence Roybal at 277-1804.

Entertainment from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ford Pavilion includes performances by the Mariachi Infantil East San Jose, Miguel Caro - Mexican Fiesta Dance, Duke City Stars Dance Team and Mariachi Lobo.

The official welcome will be given by Thomas Tinnin, State Fair chairman; UNM President F. Chris Garcia; and Maddie Zeigler, from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. Master of ceremonies will be Fred Baca from KABQ radio. Dignitaries from the Self Reliance Foundation will also participate in the official welcome.

Participating UNM departments include UNM Cancer Research and Treatment Center, Biology, Biomedical Communications, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, Chemistry, Continuing Education, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, Emergency Medical Services Academy, UNM Family Development Program/Wemagination Center, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, Mechanical Engineering, Recreational Services/Natural High Program, UNM School of Medicine with Diagnostic and Theraputic Programs, North West New Mexico Regional Science Fair, UNM Valencia and UNMH Maternity and Infant Care Program.Event co-organizer Daisy Ortega, UNM student and Self Reliance Foundation fellow, said the event also focused on community involvement. “It is great to see how Celebra La Ciencia has brought so many science-related community organizations together,” she said.

Local sponsors and partners for Celebra La Ciencia include the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Explora Science Center & Children’s Museum, the Albuquerque Public Schools, UNM, LodeStar Astronomy Center, The National Atomic Museum, The Albuquerque Aquarium and Botanic Gardens, the Albuquerque Zoological Park, Self-Reliance Foundation, Hispanic Radio Network, Las Mujeres de LULAC, New Mexico Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement, Inc. (NM MESA), KUNM, Clear Channel Communications, El Hispano News and others.

Shuttle bus service will be provided for the UNM community. Buses will depart from the Fine Arts/Popejoy Hall bus stop (corner of Cornell and Redondo) to Domingo Road at the Fairgrounds on the hour and return from the State Fair on the half hour. Admission to the Fair is $1 before 2 p.m. and $4 thereafter.