By Mandi Enger
As part of the Provost Speaker Series, Nevada State College (NSC) welcomed Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner, president-elect of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) to campus on Monday, Nov. 19 to speak to an audience of faculty, staff, and students on the topics of mentoring Latino students and improving student success.
NSC is dedicated to promoting intellectual rigor and professional excellence throughout our campus, said Provost Erika Beck. Becoming a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution is key to ensuring the success of our entire student body and we are honored to have had Dr. Turner speak at the college to advance these goals.
Turner currently serves as a professor and graduate coordinator for educational leadership at California State University, Sacramento. Additionally, she has published several books including Diversifying the Faculty: A Guidebook for Search Committees, and has been published in numerous journals, including The Review of Higher Education, the Journal of Higher Education, the Harvard Educational Review, and the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.
Turner’s lecture titled Mentoring Latinas/os in Higher Education: Intentional Cultivation of Talent, focused on the critical conditions that must be met for students to grow and develop. These elements include formal and informal mentoring (between peers as well as faculty), building a sense of belonging within each student, and working with students to develop an understanding of college processes and practices.
According to Turner’s research, many students may feel as though they are visitors at the college and are therefore unable to become comfortable in their new environment due to the lack of materials, administrators, faculty members, etc. that reflect their backgrounds.
It’s important for students to know that they are not guests at the college, said Turner during the lecture. They are owners of their own learning experiences. The longer we wait to foster the talents of our Latino students, the larger the gap will become.
The next event in the Provost Speaker Series is tentatively planned for March 2013.