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UofL expects school’s largest class of Latino students

113 Latino freshmen set to begin school this fall

LOUISILLE, Ky. (Aug. 18, 2015) — The University of Louisville’s 2015 freshman class is expected to have the largest number of Latino students in the institution’s history.

Latino success program are, l to r: student and graduate instructor Sara Alvarez; assistant professor Steven Alvarez; assistant director of the Cultural Center Sarah Nunez; and student Luis Arduz.
From left, Latino success program student and graduate instructor Sara Alvarez, assistant professor Steven Alvarez, assistant director of the Cultural Center Sarah Nunez and student Luis Arduz.

UofL Cultural Center Director Tierney Bates said 113 Latino freshmen are expected this fall. Nearly 4 percent (628) of all undergraduate students, including freshmen, self-identify as Latino.

“We continue to see an uptick in our Latino student population just about every year,” Bates said. “We want to do everything we can to help these students network with others and tap into university and community resources.”

As part of those efforts, the center will host the 2015 Louisville Latino Education Outreach (LLEO) program Aug. 21 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Shumaker Research Building, Room 139.

This is the first time UofL has hosted the event, which brings together supporting organizations that include the Americana Community Center, National Society of Hispanic MBAs, Jefferson County Public Schools and Greater Louisville International Professionals.

Sarah Nunez, who directs the center’s Hispanic and Latino Initiatives, said bringing LLEO to the university “seemed like an ideal way for students to feel connected to campus and our community partners.”

The Cultural Center has for years hosted an Early Arrival Program for under-represented groups. The program helps students transition from high school to college with opportunities for discussions, networking, social activities and strategies for academic success. This year’s Early Arrival Program runs Aug. 19-21 and includes the LLEO event.

LLEO is a project of the Kentucky Latino Education Alliance and is funded through the Lumina Foundation.

Edgardo Mansilla, executive director of the Americana Community Center and a longtime advocate for Louisville-area initiatives that support immigrant and Latino populations, said, “Our efforts to collaborate show how different entities can galvanize behind a common cause that enriches the next generation of Latino students.” Mansilla also has been an instructor in UofL’s Kent School of Social Work.

For more information, contact Nunez at 502-852-0230.