Alumnus takes over as coordinator

By Gloria Carr

An NIU alumnus will be taking over as the student programming coordinator for the University Resources of Latinos.

Michelle Bringas graduated in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in family social services and a minor in psychology. She recently worked in a youth guidance program for at-risk youths in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.

As programming coordinator, Bringas will work with students and organizations to schedule events, including a mentor program, conferences and recruitment efforts.

“They (students) seem very enthusiastic and they have very good leadership skills,” she said. “I am very happy and excited with what I see.”

Her goal is to meet as many students as possible. “I’m looking forward to spending time with students,” she said.

Although clubs and organizations offer support to students, Bringas said academics is the most important thing for them to concentrate on.

“I think academics is a number one priority and (students should) take advantage of resources and opportunities available to stay in school and be successful,” she said.

Bringas said there are more Latino oriented programs and organizations compared to when she attended NIU. “I think there’s been tremendous growth in the solidity of programs and the visibility.”

One challenge facing Latinos is education, she said.

However, she said a report in Hispanic Times Magazine from September 1992 said Latinos are the fastest growing minority group in the labor force.

“In view of growth, the biggest need is to give students the opportunity for higher education,” Bringas said.

Bringas commutes from Mount Prospect but plans to move to DeKalb soon. She also hopes to begin classes next spring.