Convocation – Expanding our Horizon: Creating our Tomorrow

This year’s Northwest Vista College convocation theme of Expanding our Horizon: Creating our Tomorrow was appropriate for this year’s celebration. Enrollment has come back even stronger since the pandemic; most faculty and staff are back on campus, and NVC welcomes a new president, Dr. Amy Bosley. 

The stronger enrollment means NVC has surpassed San Antonio College as the largest college in the Alamo Colleges district. 

Keynote speaker Cinthia Salinas, associate dean for Equity and Inclusive Excellence at the University of Texas at Austin College of Education, gave an engaging presentation on the importance of learning the stories of people rather than making assumptions. 

For example, she shared how “Rosie the Riveter” represented the iconic picture during WWII of a pretty woman with makeup, a red scarf, and a fitted blue uniform, with her arm raised making a muscle or showing strength. This image was used to encourage women to take on manual labor jobs to help in the war effort. Those jobs included welding and working on the railroad. However most of the women who took on those jobs were either African American or Hispanic (and many were pictured not wearing makeup or looking “feminine”).

Cinthia said the iconic picture of Rosie the Riveter didn’t tell the realistic stories of the women working those laborious jobs. Another story she shared was the Longoria Affair. A funeral home in Three Rivers, Texas refused to bury Army soldier Felix Longoria because he was Mexican-American. Former president Lyndon B. Johnson, the American GI Forum, and his widow – Beatrice Longoria – partnered to bring light to this injustice. 

Cinthia said the then Senator Johnson did what was right to help get Pvt. Longoria buried at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Cinthia added our students are looking to faculty and staff to do “what’s right.” She closed by saying that learning the stories of students allows us to learn more about who they aspire to be, and the stories reveal the complex sociocultural and sociohistorical relationships we have with others and society. 

NVC Vice President Debi Gaitan reminded everyone of the NVC Advocacy Center’s new location at Pecan Hall and how it exists to help students feel that sense of belonging. Boutique Morado provides free clothes, the Store offers free food, and the center provides free mental health and counseling services. 

To close out Convocation, Amy encouraged employees to remember to wear their name badges, tell students hello, ask them how they are doing and try to provide a helping hand. 

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