HISPA is showcased at the Raritan Valley Community College

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 15, 2009


The public is invited to join Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month with a host of activities, including dance and musical performances, and samplings of ethnic cuisine. All events will be held at the College’s North Branch Campus.

This year’s national theme is “Embracing the Fierce Urgency of Now!” All events are free of charge unless noted otherwise. The following programs have been scheduled:

Opening Day Ceremony, “Embracing the Fierce Urgency of Now!” Tuesday, September 22, 12-1:30 p.m. (RVCC Conference Center, Rooms A, B & C):

The kickoff event will feature a keynote presentation by Dr. Ivonne Díaz-Claisse, president of The Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) Organization. The program will highlight this year’s national theme, “Embracing the Fierce Urgency of Now!,” as it relates to youth and education.

HISPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to proactively encouraging students’ success by coordinating Hispanic/Latino professionals’ visits to schools across New Jersey. The main objective is to expose students to a diverse group of professional role models who, with their stories, will inspire them to pursue higher education. The event also will feature a celebration of Latin culture with traditional food and music and a special presentation by RVCC students. For additional information about HISPA, visit www.hispa.org.

Hispanic Literature Celebration, Thursday, October 1, 12-1:30 p.m. (Atrium):

RVCC students and staff will recite poetry, literary works, original work and selections from their favorite authors. Selected readings will focus on social issues and some will be recited in Spanish. For more information, contact Professor Beth Tremallo, 908-526-1200, ext. 8536, or btremall@raritanval.edu.

“Latin Swing” Dance Party, Friday, October 9, 7-11 p.m.; $6 per person or two tickets for $10 (RVCC Cafeteria):

RVCC students and staff will demonstrate dance steps and provide instruction for a variety of Latin-themed dances, such as Salsa, Merengue and Bachata from 6-7 p.m. The evening also will feature a live performance by Ray Rodriguez y Swing Sabroso. The singers will perform their debut album, Baila Con Swing Sabroso. Since the group’s inception in 2001, Ray Rodriguez y Swing Sabroso has generated a growing number of loyal fans with a hot “Salsa Dura” sound. The band’s distinctive style is the result of the unique and extensive musical backgrounds of its individual members. These artists performed and recorded with some of the most recognizable names in Latin music before joining together to form Swing Sabroso. For additional information about the group, visit www.swingsabroso.com. The evening will include an additional charge for food and snacks.

To purchase tickets for the “Latin Swing” Dance Party, contact Eva Fontanez, 908-526-1200, ext. 8939, or visit the College Advancement Office (first floor, College Center) weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“Honoring Hispanic Heritage: The Strength of Culture” Discussion, Thursday, October 15, 6-8 p.m. (RVCC Conference Center, Rooms A & B):

Dr. Debbie Salas-Lopez, a nationally recognized speaker and educator in the area of cultural competency and medical interpretation, will discuss the strength of Hispanic culture as it relates to health care issues. Dr. Salas-Lopez, an associate professor of Medicine at Penn State College of Medicine, is the chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and vice chair of Medicine at Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network. She is one of only two Latina chairs of medicine in the U.S., according to data from the American Association of Medical Colleges. She also serves on the National Institute of Health study sections, with a special focus on health literacy and access to healthcare.

For additional information about RVCC’s Hispanic Heritage Month programs, contact Alaysha M. Walker, HHM 2009 chairperson, 908-526-1200, ext. 8274, e-mail awalker@raritanval.edu or visit the Student Activities Office, located on the 2nd floor of the College Center, Room C-206, weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

RVCC, located on 118 Lamington Road in North Branch, NJ, and serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for over 40 years, offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates. In addition, customized training programs and non-credit courses are available for those seeking personal and professional development.

The College is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community’s businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.

Contact: Donna Stolzer
908-526-1200, ext. 8383