Immediate:  September 22, 2023

Nassau Community College Celebrates Hispanic Heritage

Month with Two Event Series

Abriendo Puertas - Opening Doors: Celebrating Diversity, Pursuing Freedom, & Driving Prosperity Presented by NCC

Latino Voces Series Presented by the State University of New York  & The Hispanic Institute

Abriendo Puertas - Opening Doors: Celebrating Diversity, Pursuing Freedom, & Driving Prosperity
Dr. Ricardo Santos for more information or (516) 991-1254

Education as a Path to Freedom
Wednesday, September 27
11:00 a.m. –12:15 p.m.
Nassau Community College, College Center Building (CCB), Rm. 252
When our pasts, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds are invoked, it is often as code suggesting that the limits of our potentials have already been set. Our personal histories become the prescribed outcome of our futures. The words of the biblical figure Paul, “except for these chains,” spoken from a prison cell come as a resound disclaimer to the notion that what was will also dictate what will be. This talk will examine a personal – but familiar – history and raise questions about the power of education which seek to implicate us all. At 16, Elias was sentenced to a term of 30-years-to-Life in prison. He served 29 ½ years of that term. He is featured in the Netflix documentary College Behind Bars. Prof. Beltrán will speak about the role education plays in a person’s life.
Prof. Elias Beltrán is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Comparative Literature Department at Cornell University. He teaches Spanish Language and Freshmen Writing seminar courses. Prof. Beltrán is also an Instructor for the Bard Prison Initiative at Bard College, where he teaches incarcerated students. His research focuses on post- and decolonial trauma, as well as the history and culture of the Caribbean and its literature.

Panel Discussion: Overcoming Trauma and Building a Prosperous Nation: True Stories about the Journey to Seek Asylum in the U.S.
Monday, October 9
3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Nassau Community College, College Center Building, Rm. 252
The current influx of migrants and asylum seekers in NYC has precipitated an unprecedent social and political crisis, as well as the resurgence of a new wave of xenophobia and anti-immigrant vilification mythology in the city. In 2022, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced that the global refugee crisis had surpassed the 100 million mark for total displacement. This means that over 1.2% of the global population has been forced to leave their homes. In this panel, we will have the opportunity to meet and hear the true stories of two refugees who are productive members of our local NY area.

  • Fabiola Lemos endured years of psychological and physical abuse prior to being granted asylum in the U.S. based on sexual orientation. In 2001, Fabiola became the first Brazilian lesbian to be granted asylum in the U.S. Currently, she lives in Chelsea and works for NYC agencies that provide healthcare access for the elderly.
  • Jesus Morales was recently granted asylum status in the U.S. thorough The Cuban Adjustment Act. Prior to coming to the U.S., he was a second-year medical student in his native Cuba. Jesus is currently working on an undergraduate degree in Biology. Afterwards, he plans to attend medical school in the U.S.

The Origin and Ongoing Evolution of SARS-CoV-2: Latina Scientists in the Fight Against Covid - 19”
Friday, October 13
12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Nassau Community College, F Cluster, Rm. 237
In this talk, Dr. Marlyn González will share her experience as a Latina female, a scientist and a member of the NYC Department of Health, in the frontline of the war against Covid-19. Dr. Gonzalez will discuss the process how she and her colleagues at the NYC Department of Health and the University of California, San Diego, used the whole genome sequencing of the Covid-19 virus to identify one of the first reported cases of a recombinant variant involving the swapping of genetic material between an Alpha and an Epsilon variant. Dr. Gonzalez will be discussing the significance of these findings for the future of the pandemic.

Dr.  Marlyn González majored in Biology at Queens College and earned her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the Graduate Center of CUNY. Her Ph.D. thesis was on the development of genetic screens for defects in fungal cell wall production to identify anti-fungal drug targets. Since earning her Ph.D., she has held positions as a research scientist at New York University and the New York Blood Center, the Chief of Molecular Microbiology at the NYC Department of Health, and as an Adjunct Professor of Biology at Bronx Community College. She is an author on 22 peer-reviewed publications including Nature Communications. This paper is on the emergence of novel variants of SARS-CoV-2 in patients simultaneously infected with more than one variant of the virus. Dr. González will be discussing these findings during her presentation.

Latino Voces Series
Dr. Leonardo Falcón for more information

Voces AfroBoricuas: Meanings of Home & Alternative Ways of Knowing
Wednesday, September 27
10:20 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Virtual Event - Webinar link: Webinar ID:  984 6485 8449
Award winning novelist Dahlma Llanos-Figeuroa and Dr. Rosie Hurtado will discuss what it means to construct a novel featuring AfroBoricua protagonists and Llanos-Figueroa’s artistic process for exploring unto histories of Puerto Rico. This plática will provide an opportunity to question how alternative ways of knowing that are presented within her novels challenge flattening narratives about “slavery” during the novel’s events, and the importance of literature to create spaces of safety and home.

Voces Past & Present: Rooted in Clay & Latina Feminist Visions
Monday, October 2
10:20 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Virtual Event – Webinar link: Webinar ID: 991 4822 9052
Speakers: Dr. Josie Méndez-Negrete, Verónica Castillo, Dr. Rosie Hurtado

Enjoy both an analysis of Sor Juana’s life, as well as a reading of some of her most internationally renowned works. Ceramicist Veronica Castillo, alongside Prof. Emerita and independent publisher Dr. Josie Méndez-Negrete will officially launch their co-authored book, Rooted in Clay: El Arte de Verónica Castillo. This book is written as a plática in which Castillo shares her life work inspiration, politics and history with Méndez-Negrete alongside images of her sculptures and experiences that led her to be one of the first artists requested to submit work for the newly launched Latino Heritage Museum for the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.

Voces Transcending: Latino Literary Expression Now
Thursday, October 12
3:00 p.m.
SUNY System Administration, 353 Broadway, Albany, New York
In person, SUNY System – Courtrooms will live stream
Please RSVP to by October 5
Speakers: Dr. Leonardo Falcón, Dr. Rosie Hurtado, Dr. Ricardo Nazario y Colón

This event is a celebration of the month’s events with final words by SUNY’s newly appointed Vice-Chancellor and acclaimed poet Dr. Ricardo Nazario y Colón. It features a plática between Drs. Nazario y Colón, Falcón and Hurtado to explore the creative process for creating literary expression, the meaning of representation among the arts, and the importance of cultural aesthetics from Latino communities in contributing to the tapestry of U.S. identity. This event will be open to the public and specifically invite students from local high schools and SUNY campuses to attend.

About Nassau Community College

Nassau Community College, a campus of the State University of New York, provides a comprehensive public college experience designed to transform lives through higher education. Serving 14,000 full-time, part-time and continuing education students, NCC offers more than 80 programs that lead to the associate’s degree or certificate. Through on-campus and online offerings, the College educates local and international students, and boasts 160,000 alumni. Situated on 225 acres in Garden City, Long Island, the college grounds reside in historic Nassau County, one of the most desirable locations to live in the United States and an epicenter for business and careers. Since 1959, NCC has earned a nationwide reputation for academic excellence, affordability, and ease of transferability to four-year schools. 

Media Contact:  Lindsey Angioletti | | C:  (516) 320-0695

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