Rider students chosen for Hispanic Fellows program – The Rider News

By Kaitlyn McCormick

Three Rider students spent their summer participating in the New Jersey Governor’s Hispanic Scholars Program and learning from work placements and leadership experiences at internships such as the American Red Cross and Bristol Myers Squibb.

The desire to apply

Karla Lopez-Rosa, a senior political scientist who was placed remotely with the American Red Cross in the New Brunswick region this summer, said she had heard of the scholarship program for the first time. by political science professor Micah Rasmussen during his fellowship with the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics, of which Rasmussen is the director.

“I have the state of mind, where [if] there is an opportunity, I jump on it, because every opportunity is an experience,” Lopez-Rosa said.

Lopez-Rosa worked in the Outreach and Community Partnerships department during her internship and focused primarily on engaging Hispanic Latinos in the New Brunswick region, she said.

His application process consisted first of an essay portion and a CV section, then an interview with the director of the Center for Hispanic Research and Policy at the time. Notice of acceptance followed about a week later.

Senior management and leadership major Nanci Menchu ​​were encouraged to apply for the program after speaking with Ivonne Díaz-Claisse, CEO of Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) in a Latinos in College program through Rider.

Menchu ​​was placed at Bristol Myers Squibb with senior finance major Juan Molina, who had also heard about the program through Latinos at the College.

Menchu ​​and Molina both worked under the Global Patient Safety umbrella under the direction of an oncologist in the department of epidemiology, Molina said.

Menchu ​​was also part of the global market supply operations team and worked in communication with various other contacts around the world, including Switzerland and Belgium.

Big picture to take away

Throughout their stay in their internships, the students talked about the practical, professional and personal skills they acquired during the summer.

Molina spoke specifically about the importance of networking, especially in a new environment such as his internship.

“Your connections and your network base become so big that at some point you look back and realize… ‘I can really call on every one of these people,'” Molina said. “At the end of the day, it’s not just about networking; it’s networking with a purpose.

Menchu ​​said the experience gave her an opportunity to battle the “impostor syndrome” she suffered as a first-generation college student.

“I feel like I learned to defend myself,” Menchu ​​explained. “I too deserve a place at the table.”

Menchu ​​is the president of Rider’s Gail Bierenbaum Women’s Leadership Council, and also noted that this autonomy and confidence will be applied in her experiences on campus, especially in predominantly white spaces.

People who “look like me”

Each of the students involved in the scholarship program spoke about the importance of having programs specifically designed to support Hispanic students.

Lopez-Rosa said, “It was nice to see other people who looked like me were on the program and it’s a program for us.”

Menchu ​​said, “I was able to talk to successful people in industries and businesses that were similar to me. They also went through the same struggles of being first generation[eration].”

Molina shared a very similar sentiment; “You’re there with like-minded people who want to see a young Latino succeed, and they’re there every step of the way. … They want to help people who ultimately are able to make it to the university and have a similar course to this one.

Originally printed in the 9/21 issue.

Latinos in College will hold a information session September 30 at 1 p.m. at Lynch Adler 202

Earnest L. Veasey