Thursday, April 26, 2007


President Arevalo to speak on Hispanic Achievement

EWU President Dr. Rodolfo Arevalo will speak tomorrow night at Columbia Basin College in the Tri-Cities for the Hispanic Academic Achievement Program.
Here's the article from the TriCity Herald.

Eastern's Arevalo to share his story

Expect Rodolfo Arevalo to know how to inspire students at the Hispanic Academic Achievement Program ceremony Friday.
He has lived the advice he'll give them.
"My principle message is that there are a lot of barriers to them being successful," he said. "But it's important for them to look at situations that are difficult and focus on the end goal.
"In doing that, it helps you pick yourself back up, dust yourself off and continue to work as hard as you can to achieve that goal."
Arevalo knows the humble roots of the children of migrant farm families. His parents worked the fields in the valleys of both the Yakima River and the Rio Grande more than 50 years ago.
And as the president of Eastern Washington University, he also knows the heights to which education can take a person. To his knowledge, he's the only Hispanic college president in the state.
"I'm very familiar at least with some of the hardships families face and some of the difficulties that students have faced as they go through the public schools," he said.
One hardship children of migrant workers face is the inconsistency in their schooling, he said. Starting over at different schools is an obstacle to academic success that anyone -- Latino or not -- can relate to, he said.
But Hispanic students also have faced an uphill battle with educators' attitudes toward them, Arevalo said.
"I think quite frankly public institutions haven't paid much attention to the Hispanic population in terms of providing alternatives other than to see them as farm workers," he said.
Arevalo served as provost at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, before coming to EWU, a four-year public university in Cheney.
The college has just more than 10,000 students, of whom 16 percent are ethnic minorities. About 8 percent are Hispanic.
But the school's population is growing, and last fall, about a quarter of the freshmen were students of color.
"So our population of minority students is growing at Eastern," he said. "My suspicion is over the next five years you'll see a dramatic shift in the makeup of the campus."
Arevalo expects to meet students with goals of higher education when he serves as keynote speaker at the Hispanic Academic Achievers Program ceremony, 6 p.m. Friday at TRAC in Pasco.

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