Students, faculty and staff celebrate their Hispanic/Latinx heritage with a mural at Fiesta en la Calle at Cal State Fullerton.

Students, faculty and staff celebrate their Hispanic/Latinx heritage with a mural at Fiesta en la Calle at Cal State Fullerton.

¡Si Se Puede!: Latinx Americans of the CSU Who Knew They Could

 

Students, faculty and staff celebrate their Hispanic/Latinx heritage with a mural at Fiesta en la Calle at Cal State Fullerton.

National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15, is an opportunity to celebrate the various cultures, legacies and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans in the U.S. As 21 of the CSU’s 23 campuses are designated Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), the university is committed to being a leader in elevating the lives and experiences of Latinx individuals.

As part of these efforts, the CSU recently launched the Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub to equip Latinx and other historically underserved students for STEM careers.

On the occasion of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize just 30 of the notable Latinx students, staff, faculty and alumni from across the CSU who have served or continue to serve their campuses and communities.

 
Image of Joseph Castro

"Latino students comprise almost half of the CSU’s student body, and they are among our brightest and most engaged. Members of the Latino community are also some of our most gifted faculty, dedicated staff, visionary leaders and involved and generous alumni. It is really the university that owes a debt of gratitude for their contributions."

—Dr. Joseph I. Castro, Chancellor, California State University; first Mexican American and first California native appointed to lead the nation’s largest public university

 
Image of Lucille Roybal-Allard

Lucille Roybal-Allard
Alumna, Cal State LA

First Mexican American Congresswoman, first Latina appointed to the House Appropriations Committee and an original co-author of The Dream Act

 
Image of Mia-Lopez

Vivian Hernandez
Student, Chico State

Trustees Scholar studying the history of women in 20th century Mexico, where they’ve been excluded from the written narrative

 
Image of Madison-Thompson

Dr. Abigail Rosas
Faculty, Cal State Long Beach

Author of “South Central Is Home: Race and the Power of Community Investment in Los Angeles”

 
Image of Rodolfo Acuna

Dr. Rodolfo Acuña
Faculty Emeritus, CSUN

“Godfather” of the Chicana/o studies field and founding chair of CSUN’s Chicana/o Studies Department

 
Image of Lilly Pinedo Gangai

Lilly Pinedo Gangai
Staff, San José State

Inaugural Program Director of SJSU’s Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center, which supports Latinx students through culturally relevant programming and support services

 
Image of Enrique Salmón

Dr. Enrique Salmón
Faculty, Cal State East Bay

Author of award-winning “Iwígara,” an anthology of plants native to the Americas and their significance to the tribes that use them

 
Image of Maria Alvarez

Maria Alvarez
Alumna, Cal Poly Pomona

General manager of Artificial Intelligence Platform in the Cloud + Artificial Intelligence Division at Microsoft

 
Image of Victor Torres

Dr. Victor Torres
Faculty, Fresno State

Director of the Los Danzantes de Aztlán Mexican dance program and Chicano/Latino Commencement Celebration coordinator

 
Image of Ariana Stein

Ariana Stein
Alumna, CSU Dominguez Hills

Co-founder of Lil' Libros, a children's book publisher that celebrates diversity, Latin American culture and bilingualism

"There are so many amazing people out there whose stories just haven’t been told because their stories are barely becoming important in our society, and we want to showcase those."

—Juan Pérez, Student, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; host and creator of the “The First Few” podcast, which highlights the stories of young people of color

 
Image of Perla-Ocampo

"There are so many amazing people out there whose stories just haven’t been told because their stories are barely becoming important in our society, and we want to showcase those."

—Juan Pérez, Student, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Host and creator of the “The First Few” podcast, which highlights the stories of young people of color

 
Image of James Aguilar

James Aguilar
Student, San Francisco State

First San Francisco State Foundation Board student representative and one of the youngest San Leandro Unified School District board trustees

 
Image of Louie Vega

Louie Vega
Alumnus, CSU Bakersfield

Kern County Superior Court judge who ensures everyone is equal under the law

 
Image of Elli Alaniz

Elli Alaniz
Staff, Chico State

Founder of Chico State’s Dream Center for undocumented students and advisor for the student organization Leaders Educating for the Advancement of Dreamers

 
Image of Alberto Guzman

Alberto Guzman
Alumnus, CSU Monterey Bay

Senior software engineer at NASA Ames Research Center, where he received awards for his work on the NASA Earth Exchange (NEX)

 
Image of Rosalia Armas

Rosalia Armas
Alumna, Cal Poly Pomona

A 2021 sociology graduate who overcame the challenges of a pandemic and motherhood to be the first in her family to complete college

 
Image of Dr. Lilia Sarmiento

Dr. Lilia Sarmiento
Faculty Emerita, CSU Dominguez Hills

Creator of the CSUDH Dual-Language Institute, which increases the number of bilingual educators in Southern California

 
Image of Andres Romero-Ochoa

Andres Romero-Ochoa
Alumnus, Cal Maritime

Office manager at Trident Seafoods, who gives back by connecting current students with internships at his company

 
Image of Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huerta
President’s Medal Recipient, CSU Bakersfield and Honorary Degree Recipient, CSUN

Civil rights activist and co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association (United Farm Workers)

 
Image of Dr. Enrique Murillo Jr.

Dr. Enrique Murillo Jr.
Faculty, Cal State San Bernardino

Founder and director of Latino Education and Advocacy Days and director of CSUSB’s Ed.D. program

 
Image of Dr. Adela de la Torre
 
Image of Dr. Adela de la Torre

"As both an economist and a Latina president, my lens on social inequity is, by necessity, broad. But for Latina leaders everywhere, so too is our navigational capital. This provides a more expansive understanding of the importance of the collective and the richness of community. We lead together. That is the leadership model that will define our future."

—Dr. Adela de la Torre, President, San Diego State; first woman and first Latina to serve as the permanently appointed president of San Diego State

 
Image of Clarissa LaGuardia

Clarissa LaGuardia
Alumna, Sacramento State

CEO of Laguardia Translations, a translation service company serving the legal, health care, education and government industry sectors

 
Image of Christian Trujillo

Christian Trujillo
Alumnus, Humboldt State

Co-founder of Ciencia Para Todos (Science for All), which brings Spanish-language science education to elementary, middle and high schools

 
Image of Daisy Gomez-Fuente

Daisy Gomez-Fuentes
Student, Cal State Fullerton

McNair and Sally Casanova Scholar who helped translate work from civil rights and Chicano movement activists for the Latinx Community Resource Center

 
Image of Dr. Sylvia A. Alva

Dr. Sylvia A. Alva
Executive Vice Chancellor, CSU Office of the Chancellor and Alumna, Cal State LA

First-generation college graduate now serving as the CSU’s executive vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs

 
Image of Dr. Daniel Malpica

Dr. Daniel Malpica
Faculty, Sonoma State

Director of the McNair Scholars Program, Chicano and Latino Studies professor and immigration scholar

 
Image of Dr. Maria Elena Zavala

Dr. Maria Elena Zavala
Faculty, CSUN

First Latina in the U.S. to earn a Ph.D. in botany and recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring

 
Image of Alfredo Aguilar

Alfredo Aguilar
Alumnus, CSU San Marcos

Poet and author of “On This Side of the Desert” recently accepted into one of the U.S.’s most prestigious creative writing programs, Michener Center for Writers

 
Image of Guadalupe Marquez

Guadalupe Marquez
Student, Stanislaus State

President’s Central Valley First-Generation Scholarship recipient who hopes to help other first-generation students in her future career

 
Image of Dr. Selenne Bañuelos

Dr. Selenne Bañuelos
Faculty, CSU Channel Islands

Mathematics professor working to increase access to STEM fields for underrepresented communities and Institute for Pure and Applied Math associate director