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Meet the Graduating Class of 2019 Unanue Scholars  

Image of a Seton Hall graduation.The Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute is delighted to announce the Unanue Scholars graduating class of 2019! Unanue Scholars represent the ideals of the Unanue Institute, first envisioned by its benefactors, Joseph and Carmen Ana Unanue, for students to advance, educate, and transform into the next generation of servant leaders in our global society. These graduating seniors have attained scholastic success, leadership positions in University organizations, and prestigious internships related to their career prospects. They also demonstrate the vibrant diversity of the University community that is dedicated to fostering the leaders of tomorrow.

The following profiles of each scholar were collected to reflect their astounding dedication to community and academic achievement during their time as Seton Hall undergraduates.

The Unanue Institute congratulates all graduating scholars and wishes them the best of success in all their future endeavors!

Image of Alexandra Recupero.Name: Alexandra Kathryn Recupero
Majors: Diplomacy & International Relations, Communication Studies
Minor: Spanish
School/College: School of Diplomacy & International Relations
Clubs/Organizations:

  • J.A. Unanue Latino Institute
  • MLKSA (Director of Community Service & Engagement 2016-2017, Director of Public and Alumni Relations 2016-2017, Class Representative 2018-2019)
  • DOVE (Domestic & International Service Team Leader, Service on Saturday's Team Leader)
  • SHU GERA
  • The Diplomatic Envoy (Staff Writer & Foreign Correspondent)
  • Sociology Club (Founding Secretary)

Past internships or jobs held during your college career:

  • Interned at La Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos in San Jose while studying abroad at Universidad Veritas in Costa Rica.

"I wish that I had joined JAULI earlier during my college experience as it truly provided me with a "home" at Seton Hall. I have found Stephanie Macias-Arlington to be one of the most supportive and encouraging faculty members at SHU. She is always ready and willing to listen to any and all ideas and assist you in reaching your goals. Most of the programs and activities I have attended or have wanted to attend at SHU are sponsored or hosted by JAULI (of course!) JAULI helps to promote inclusion, diversity, and cultural awareness/appreciation at SHU, as well as ensure the continuation and support of the LALS and Spanish programs."

Future Plans: Waiting to hear back from the Peace Corps and wish to teach English abroad. Plans to pursue a career in economic sustainability in Latin America.


Image of Angie Loveday Solano.Name: Angie Loveday Solano
Majors: Broadcasting and Visual Media, Concentration: Film Production
Minor: Asian Studies
School/College: College of Communication & the Arts
Clubs/Organizations:

  • JAULI!!!
  • K@SHU Dance Team (K-pop at SHU)
  • Epsilon Nu Tau Entrepreneurship Fraternity (COO)
  • NSCS (National Society of Collegiate Scholars)
  • KLCC (Korean Language and Culture Club)

"JAULI gave me the opportunity to develop myself in a work environment while allowing me to make meaningful connections with other members. I was also honored with the possibility of networking with influential Latino leaders who support the Institute's mission and values. JAULI allowed me to step up and lead projects and initiatives within the organization as well as gave me the financial support in order to take my major a step further and produce my own original web series, giving me the chance of being a Producer, Writer, and Director."

Past internships or jobs held during your college career:

  • JAULI Work Study
  • Alive Inside Foundation (Assistant Editor)
  • Ars Nova Video Photography (Videographer)
  • WSOU (DJ, Tronner, Newscaster, Assistant Producer)
  • PirateTV (Director and Crew)
  • DOVE ESL (Assistant Language Teacher)

"Being a scholar at JAULI was a great opportunity and a great relief. As an international student, it was the only place at SHU that was willing to aid me with additional financial support. I was given unique opportunities to connect with Latino leaders that I would otherwise never have access to. The Executive Director was also very approachable and always willing to try and help me with whatever I was struggling with in the unfamiliar university environment. Being with the Latino Institute gave me a place and a group of people where I could freely express my cultural identity without leaving everyone confused or judging me on a certain level. It was a home away from home."

Future career plans/goals: Continue to study Film Production and Asian Studies and getting involved with Costa Rican film directors as both a production assistant and as an extra.


Image of Lesley Aguiar.Name: Lesley Aguiar
Major: Nursing
School/College: College of Nursing
Clubs/Organizations:

  • Dove- ESL Class
  • Don Bosco soccer
  • APO
  • EOP

Past internships or jobs held during your college career:

  • Bayshore PCT, University Hospital of Newark Nursing Externship

"I would describe my experience as enriching and motivating because I was able to hear Latino speakers that motivated me to want more myself in life and my career."

Future Career Goals: To become a Nurse Practitioner.


Image of Chelsea Dantas.Name: Chelsea Dantas
Major: Biology
Minor: Psychology
School/College: College of Arts & Sciences
Clubs/Organizations:

  • Adelante (President 2 years)
  • Adelante (Special Events Coordinator 1 year)
  • SGA (Arts and Science Senator and Public Relations Chair)
  • Pre Medical Pre Dental Plus (EOF)
  • Resident Assistant

"JAULI helped me gain connections I would never have had. It also formed bonds that will never be broken. Helped me to step out of my comfort zone as well"

Past internships or jobs held during your college career:

  • Intern under Dr. David Kuntz at Jersey Shore Medical Center (Hackensack Meridian)
  • Tutor for Varsity Tutors
  • Work Study in the Chemistry Department
  • Bio Chemistry Prep Lab along with the stock room
  • Distributor through ItWorks

"I had such a positive experience a as scholar. I am honored to be a scholar and to have met many of the board members this year at El Caribe Gala. The doors to the institute are always open and I feel at home every time I walk in."

Future Career Goals: Attending medical school this August at St. George's University in Grenada.


Image of Geraldine Burga.Name: Geraldine Burga
Major: Biology
Minor: Chemistry
School/College: College of Arts & Sciences
Clubs/Organizations:

  • Global Medical Brigades - Fundraising Chair and Medical Outreach Chair
  • Adelante - Member

"JAULI has helped with my leadership abilities/skills because it has helped me realize the importance of taking part in organizations in order to help empower the Latino Community, as well as to increase the Latino representation on campus and local organizations. Through example and guidance, JAULI has provided me with the tools and confidence that helped me become a brigade leader on a clinical/public-health mission trip to Honduras or a cabin leader for the Muscular Dystrophy Association's week-long summer camp."

Past internships or jobs held during your college career:

  • Seton Hall University, Department of Biology - Undergraduate Research Assistant
  • Seton Hall University, Dean's Suite of College of Communication and the Arts - Assistant to Office Manager

"Being part of the Unanue Latino Institute has helped me in many aspects of my life. The most important one is that it has helped me grow closer to my Latino heritage, which I had pushed away for a while in order to fit in while leaving in Spain. Thanks to the events/discussions held by the Latino Institute, their social media posts and all the resources provided by them, I have been able to found my passion for the Latino culture and I have been able to learn more about the history and traditions of my culture. The same way, being a member of the Unanue Latino Institute has given the opportunity to meet people that share my customs, language, and ideas. Through the Latino Institute, I have made more Hispanic/Latino friends and friends to whom I can relate and go for help because, like me, they are first-generation students trying to figure out the college life. The guidance and support provided by the Latino Institute, both economically and educationally, have helped me to focus on my studies and have allowed me to excel in my classes and leadership positions on and off campus."

Future Career Plans/Goals: Future career in Healthcare as a Pediatrician or Pediatric Physician Assistant.


Image of Adam Varoqua.Name: Adam Varoqua
Majors: Honors Psychology and Social & Behavioral Sciences
Minor: Anthropology
School/College: College of Arts & Sciences
Clubs/Organizations:

  • Student Government Association-Senator
  • PRIDE/Allies-President
  • Psychology Club-President
  • Seton Hall Youth Democratic Socialists of America-President
  • POETIC-Vice President
  • GERA-SHU-Vice President
  • The Setonian, The Diplomatic Envoy-Staff Writer
  • Inclusion Alliance-Peer Mentor

"Earning the honor of being hired as the Resident Writer & Researcher, I was able to prefect my writing abilities and research skills. I wrote numerous articles and press releases, covering Hispanic/Cultural events and getting the chance to interview scholars. I also had the amazing opportunity to lead and organize a massive research project where the history of Seton Hall, the Catholic Church, and the United Farm Workers union, was unveiled. All my previous experiences led me to become a better writer and researcher; invaluable skills which will be carried with me for future career/leadership prospects."

Past internships or jobs held during your college career:

  • Office Worker-Parking Services
  • Office Worker-Campus ID Quality Assurance Specialist-Revolutionary Media
  • Resident Writer & Researcher-Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute
  • Collections Intern-Lambert Castle
  • Communications Intern-GERA
  • Intern-Bergen Conklin Youth Resource Center, Department of Human Services, Division of Family Guidance Outreach
  • Intern-Hudson Pride Center
  • Intern-David's Shoes

"My experience has been nothing but extraordinary. I have had the chance to attend multiple events centered on Hispanic/Latino culture and celebrate traditional Hispanic holidays. I always love engaging with other people's cultures and I'm proud to say I was able to do so throughout the year. Also, I met so many of my peer scholars who have become lifelong friends. The Unanue Institute is thus not only a cultural/educational center but a place where scholars are able to meet and engage with one another. Joining the Unanue Institute as a Resident Writer & Researcher and Unanue Scholar has been a highlight of my senior year. Every time I was in the office or at an event, I always felt accepted as a first-generation Queer minority student. My only regret is that I wish I joined the Unanue Institute sooner."

Future Career Plans/Goals: Applying for dual Master Degree programs.


Image of Jaquelin Rivas-Tejada.Name: Jaquelin Rivas-Tejada
Major: Nursing
Minor: Spanish
School/College: College of Nursing
Clubs/Organizations:

  • Member of Sigma Delta Pi: National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society
  • Program Coordinator for the Division of Volunteer Efforts (DOVE)
  • Member of the Student Nurses Association (SNA)
  • Servant Leader Scholar: Center for Vocation and Servant Leadership/ SHU
  • Program Coordinator at the Don Bosco Youth Center

Past internships or jobs held during your college career:
Clinical Rotations 

  • Medical/ Surgical Rotation at Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains, NJ,
  • Labor & Delivery Rotation at St. Barnabas in Livingston, NJ,
  • Pediatrics and Acute Nursing Rotation at Newark Beth-Israel in Newark, NJ,
  • Psychosocial Nursing at the VA Hospital in East Orange, NJ,
  • Senior Synthesis- Medical/ Surgical Rotation at St. Peter's University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ,
  • School Nurse Rotation in the Morristown School District, NJ,
  • Community Health Rotation at the Visiting Nurse Association of NJ,
  • Study Abroad/ Interned at the Red Cross (ER and OR) in Oaxaca, Mexico: 2017

"Being a part of the Unanue Latino Institute has been a tremendous blessing. There aren't any words that can describe how grateful I am and will always be. Throughout these past four years I had the opportunity to engage in various lectures and panels, participate at the Annual Galas and I learned how to network and cultivate my public speaking skills. They have also helped me become the leader that I am today. Because of the Unanue Latino Institute I had the opportunity to attend Seton Hall University and be the first of my family to graduate from college. Once again, thank you so much!"

Future Career Plans/Goals: To work in an emergency room.


Image of Desire Almonte.Name: Desire Almonte
Major: Nursing
School/College: College of Nursing
Clubs/Organizations:

  • Adelante (Public Relations Officer 2015-2016),
  • EOPSO (Secretary 2015-2016)

"Through my participation in JAULI I have learned to become a voice for others and to use my skills to better serve those around me."

Past internships or jobs held during your college career:

  • Student Nurse Extern at St. Joseph's Medical Center.
  • Nurse Aid Work study jobs at a clerical level

"Belonging to the Unanue Latino Institute has provided me with a deeper connection to my culture as a Latina. It has also afforded me the opportunity to learn more about and understand the rich history of my culture. Not only has being a part of the Unanue Latino Institute strengthen my sense of identity within the Latino community, but it has given me the skills and knowledge to better help those within the community to also succeed."

Future Career Plans/Goals: To become a nurse practitioner.


Image of Adrian J Orozco.Name: Adrian J Orozco
Major: Political Science
Minor: Africana Studies
School/College: College of Arts & Sciences
Clubs/Organizations:

  • Senate Secretary, Student Government Association
  • President, United Greek Council
  • President, Lambda Theta Phi Fraternity

"The Latino Institute has helped me develop my leadership abilities by increasing the amount of opportunities I have had to make an impact on campus. As president of a Latino fraternity on campus, I have had the opportunity to expose both Latino and non-Latino students to our culture via programming. My time as a scholar has helped me solidify relationships with other Latino organizations and the Institute. The Latino Institute is one of the few spaces that can draw and support Latino student leaders in a predominantly white institution. Not only did it solidify my relationship with the staff and other student leaders, it gave my organization the material support it needed to execute some of the events that shed light on my culture."

Past internships or jobs held during your college career:

  • Legal Intern, Catholic Charities of Newark Immigration Law Center
  • Congressional Intern, Office of Congressman Albio Sires via the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
  • Institute Campaign Treasurer, Chris Diaz for West Orange Board of Education
  • Political Campaign Assistant, Arkady LLC Research
  • Field Assistant Run Ray Run Political Action Committee

"The Institute's programming allowed me to explore cultures other than that of my Colombian background, something that could not have been accomplished by taking a simple three-credit course. The Institute provided one of the few spaces in which I could explore my own culture and thrive as a Latino at Seton Hall University. As important as cultural awareness and social comfort is, my studies and time as a senior would not have been as successful without the financial burned that the Institute helped lift once I became a scholar. As a first-generation student at a school and city so different from my hometown, Elizabeth NJ, the Institute was a niche that provided me with familiarity and comfort away from home."

Future Career Plans/Goals: Teach for America Afterward to become a Congressional staffer.

Categories: Campus Life

For more information, please contact:

  • Spencer Hinton
  • (973) 761-9422
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