Peter Falvey, Reporter
October 9, 2012
Filed under News
The campus community welcomes new staff members, Maria Cabrera as the Multicultural Student Outreach Coordinator and Gary Samuels as the Coordinator of Student Affairs/Community Standards.
Cabrera is in charge of creating and organizing multicultural programming for students and staff. She’s already held several events, including a barbecue and Latin cafe.
Cabrera is also responsible for a number of ongoing series conferences dealing with cultural issues. Truth Talks tackled modern issues in America, including domestic terrorism and racial diversity in comic books. She also created a Taste of the Town event series in which she takes students to different restaurants to experience foods from many cultures.
“The Truth Talks were great because I got to hear the students’ perspective. I like to hear what they are thinking about and their perspective on what is going on in the United States,” said Cabrera.
Cabrera looks to Dan Kimbrough, assistant professor of communications for input on Multicultural events. Kimbrough ran the program in the past and Cabrera thanks him for continuing to help.
“He is great at talking about what we can do to enhance the experience of the students,” Cabrera said of Kimbrough.
Cabrera’s calendar of events include the 3rd annual International Days from October 22-24. The theme for this year’s event is “One World One Beat.”
A Truth Talks event on October 22 will cover Hip Hop, from the use of the “N Word” in lyrics to how women are portrayed both in video and song.
Cabrera’s friend, Cesar Reyes, will provide salsa dancing instruction on October 23. Sujata Nair-Mulloth will teach students about the customs and dance of Indian music on October 24.
This year’s Cultural Lens Film Festival on October 25 to 27 will take place at Wilkes University and Misericordia University. The theme is Music Without Borders. The films cover topics from international opera to punk Islam.
Samuels is also sharing his ideas an creativity for the benefit of the MU community.
Samuels is in charge of the commuter council, transfer student orientation and he oversees the university discipline system for all non-academic infractions.
Samuels has assumed some of the work load off of Dean of Students Kit Foley. He trains resident advisors and directors, serves as the face of discipline, particularly for more serious issues and alcohol incidents. Samuels estimates that there were about 12 incidents so far this academic year.
Samuels also attends commuter council meetings each month and meets with the council president at least once per month. He said commuters have expressed parking concerns this semester.
“I’m always available to hear any concerns that the commuters have, which is part of the reason my office is in this building,” said Samuels whose office, along with Cabrera’s is located in the Cougar Lounge.
Cabrera is also happy with her office placement. She enjoys her interactions with the students and using the remodeled lounge to her advantage.
“There is a lot of student traffic, so I get to interact with the commuter students. We also get to use the kitchen for activities. Its not so office-y. I learned how to block out whenever I need to do work. Before when I came in here during the summer it was empty. Its nice to have interactions and hear their conversations, it’s interesting,” said Cabrera.
Both Cabrera and Samuels have an open door policy and encourage students to approach them at any time with concerns or ideas for events.