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Centro’s Open House Opened New Minds

Last Thursday, Centro opened its doors to Hunter students and it was a success. The west building cafeteria floor became crowded and alive with students rushing up and down the halls several times throughout the period of late morning to early afternoon. Most of the Centro staff was there, willing and ready to engage new faces and new smiles. From the hundreds of passersby, we were able to draw in and engage a gracious bunch and the staff was not disappointed.

Our events coordinator Evelyn Collazo said “The turnout was good, I think every event we do is a success when it brings a few new faces, this time we received many students because this particular open house was for students. The staff was wonderful; we all pitched in and helped giving out information and handing out calendars, book marks and traditional candy. The candy was a hit and we are very thankful to our friends at www.puertoricocandy.com for their generous donation. We accomplished our main goal of bringing awareness about Centro and about what we have to offer to the public and the school community.”

All Centro departments were represented with big smiles and open hearts. Our staff members greeted students and were able to engage them and answer questions. Omar Dauhajre, Centro’s communications coordinator said “I had the chance to talk to several students interested in writing, social media and marketing. Students from all backgrounds; Puerto Ricans, Latinos and beyond, demonstrated interest on the work we do and on the opportunities we are offering to them.” While Noraliz Ruiz, our publications coordinator said "students were very interested in learning more about Centro. Some of them were not familiar with Centro and it was a great opportunity to introduce them to the many resources we have to offer. Students were able to look at our books and even checked out the new e-magazine, CentroVoices at the Publications table, some of them already contacted us interested in writing for the magazine and becoming collaborators."

Centro Researcher Harry Franqui-Rivera said “I actually talked to several students and for the most part they were interested in learning what Centro is about. Most of my conversations with students involved sharing with them about Centro’s mission but also about how they could get involved in areas such as research to archival work and to participating in oral history interviews.” We all found interesting stories among the students we talked to. “I had the opportunity to speak with students that had a background in media and were interested in Centro’s publications, but also with those with a background in data collection and urban planning that were also drawn to Centro and our work. Some other students, with a background in ethnic studies and a focus on Asian studies, were also among the interested in learning how Puerto Rican studies can offer an opportunity to contrast the different experiences among ethnic groups in the country” shared Franqui-Rivera.

Indeed minds were opened when we opened our doors last Thursday, and Centro will always have open doors for students interested in our work and for all of those who want to contribute to the betterment of our community and the enrichment of Puerto Rican studies.

To learn more about the latest on Centro’s work, resources and job opportunties you can visit us at http://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/.

Interested in hosting a Centro showcase event at your school or community organization? Contact Julio Ortiz, outreach and partnerships coordinator, at jo419@hunter.cuny.edu.