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Seton Hall University

Meet the 2018 Graduating Class of Unanue Latino Institute Scholars  

Photo of Commencement 2015The Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute is thrilled to recognize nearly a dozen scholars graduating this upcoming May 2018! We've compiled a series of profiles highlighting our scholars' varied achievements, future professional endeavors, and inspirational reflections on the next chapter of their lives.  

These graduating Latino Institute Scholars embody the diversity of Seton Hall University and personify the servant leader spirit, and we are proud to have been a part of their academic journeys. Congratulations and felitiaciones to our 2018 graduating scholars!

Adol L. Mayen
Erika S. Ota Liedtke
Brenda Y. Delgadillo-Mera 
Julianna T. Cianfano
Derlyne Gardiner
Kristal Corona
Naomi A. Shuyama Gomez 
Smital Patel
Sarah Maclovia Rizvi
Helen Hernandez
Jacquelyn R. Coletta

Photo of Adol MayenName: Adol L. Mayen 
Majors/Minors: Diplomacy and International Relations Major, Arabic and Political Science Minors
College: School of Diplomacy and International Relations

Clubs/Orgs/Leadership Positions: 
African Student Association, Vice President
National Council of Negro Women, Member 
"The Latino Institute has taught me to embrace the differences that we have amongst each other, and more importantly, to ensure that we do not let these differences manifest themselves as barriers between our human experiences but as a transition into bridges that we can use to both communicate more effectively."
Past internships or jobs held during your college career: 
World Wide Orphans Foundation, Onondaga County District Attorney's Office, Peaceful Schools Inc., Say Yes for Education, Clay4Kids & Work Study for Philosophy & Religious Studies Department.

"This past Fall, we took a trip to El Museo Del Barrio to visit Belkis Ayon's exhibit. It was awesome to not only read about her Afro-Latino background but personally see her work. This trip was especially interesting since I got to learn about a new connection between Latin America and Africa. Moreover, as an African, it was great to see Belkis work which paid homage to her Afro-Cuban heritage through art, a medium that really resonated with me as an avid art enthusiast. Also, during our trip, we got to visit a community art center a few floors above the exhibit. On one of the walls turning into the hallway towards the elevators, was a mini-exhibit of work completed by students within the community about their personal identities/mantras on ceramics plaques. Two plaques, in particular, stood out to me since they really embodied the mission of the Unanue Latino Institute: 
- Fear Not, Be Brave. by Brianna Ramos. 
- You Are Not Alone. by Ruby Guerrero"

Future career plans: Peace Corps, Morocco

Photo of Erika LiedtkeName: Erika Ota Liedtke
Majors/Minors: Finance, Marketing with IT and Entrepreneurship Certificates
College: Stillman School of Business

Clubs/Orgs/Leadership Positions:
Evangel Hispanic Church Youth Leader, Dance Group Founder & Artistic Director; National Society of Collegiate Scholars Chapter President & Treasurer; Stillman Newspaper International News Writer & Tech and Innovation Writer; SHU Women in Business: Founder and President

"Meeting with Sam's Club/Walmart executives to represent the Unanue Latino Institute and pitch for funding initiatives was one of my favorite memories. The Latino Institute has connected me with such a powerful network of inspiring academics and scholars, as well as executives & amazing opportunities. But more so than that, it has made it possible for me to finish my college career as a first generation student by providing me with financial resources and a strong community support." 

Harvard Business School Venture in Management; International Young Leaders Assembly Leader; SHU Representative to the CFA Research Challenge; Yale Emerging Leaders Program Fellow; SVMP Ambassador; & Joseph A. Unanue Scholar.

"My favorite quote is Joshua 1:9. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. My mother is my childhood hero. I hope to continue traveling the world and one of my dreams is to solve third-world country credit issues."

Future career plans: Accepting job offer at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as a Financial Market Infrastructure Analyst

Photo of Brenda Delgadillo-MeraName: Brenda Delgadillo-Mera 
Majors/Minors: English Literature Major, Political Science Minor
College: College of Arts and Sciences
Clubs/Orgs/Leadership positions: International/Domestic buddy club

"My favorite JAULI moment was when we went to the MoMA and saw all the art painted by Latino artists!"

Awards/Recognitions: Dean's List; Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges & Universities. 
Past internships or jobs held during your college career: 
Saving Literacy Program & Human Resources Manager

"I love traveling. For the past three years, thanks to my parents, I was able to travel two-three times a year. This past spring break I was able to visit San Francisco for five days. My favorite book is Maybe a Miracle by Brian Strause. My favorite quote is "Whatever is, is right" by Alexander Pope."

Future career plans: Accepting job offer as Human Resources Manager and Law School

Photo of Julianna CiafanoName: Julianna Cianfano
Majors/Minors: B.S. Elementary/ Special Education; B.A. Liberal Arts Minor in History
College: College of Education

Clubs/Orgs/Leadership positions: Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority Vice President of Academic Affairs Fall 2016-Spring 2017

"My favorite JAULI memory was attending the Rumba 2016 Gala. It was an amazing opportunity to interact with Latino professionals, hear their stories, and see so many months of planning come together. The Unanue Latino Institute provided both professional growth and personal growth with the aid of people who became like family."

Dean's List; Magna Cum Laude; Joseph & Carmen Ana Unanue scholarship; Perla scholarship; Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation scholarship; Order of Omega & Nu Iota Chapter.

Past internships or jobs you held during your college career:
Placed in three schools throughout New Jersey as both student intern and student teacher. Over the course of the 2017-2018 school year Julianna has held the position of a Student Teacher in a Grad 1 Inclusion classroom. This past Spring, she became a full time student teacher. Julianna has also held positions as a work-study student at the Latino Institute, babysitter, and waitress. 

"I am extremely passionate about music. I play the violin and the guitar. When I am feeling stressed and overwhelmed, music has always had a special place in my life. I love going to concerts and have been to well over 100. Another passion of mine is in the field of special education. Two summers ago, I was give the opportunity to work as a teacher's assistant at the renowned Lakeview School in Edison where I interacted in daily care and education of students with cerebral palsy and multiple disabilities."

Future career plans: Accepted to Seton Hall Graduate School of Health & Medical Sciences, and will graduate in May 2020 with a Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology.

Photo of Derlyne GardinerName: Derlyne Gardiner
Major: Nursing
College: College of Nursing

"The Latino Institute has impacted my college career greatly. With the scholarship award I received, I was able to lower my Spring tuition, and continue with the pursuit of competing my last three nursing classes in order for me to graduate."

Phi-Theta Kappa; SHU Student Servant Leader; Dean's List; SHU Golden Key Honor Society; Patrick Flynn Academic Achievement Scholarship; Edward W. and Stella C. Van Houten Nursing Scholarship; The Lawrence E. Bathgate Scholarship; & The Joseph and Carmen Ana Unanue Latino Institute Scholarship.

Past internships or jobs you held during your college career:
Nursing Assistant in various healthcare facilities. Career in healthcare for twenty-four years.

"I am a God-loving person who loves caring and helping others heal. I strongly believe it is my calling, and I love everything about the nursing field. My beloved mentor is my former Group Dynamics professor, Dr. Maureen Byrnes. When time permits, I love to travel to the Caribbean and surround myself in nature. Two of my favorite quotes are: I can do anything through Christ that strengthens me, and God's time is the right time!"

Future career plans: Immediately after graduating, I intend to work as a Registered Nurse in the Stepdown/Medical Surgical unit for two years, then I plan on furthering my education by going to graduate school to earn my Doctorate in Nursing Practice. I hope to write a self-help book one day about overcoming daily obstacles and challenges in life. I also want to provide my services as a nurse to help lower the statistical rates of the health disparities worldwide.

Photo of Krystal CoronaName: Kristal Corona
Majors/Minors: Diplomacy and International Relations with a minor in Spanish
College: School of Diplomacy 

Clubs/Orgs/Leadership positions: Model United Nations Delegate; All Conflict Is Local Panelist & Éxito Leadership Club Scholar, Program Coordinator

"The Latino Institute has been my home away from home, a place where I feel supported and encouraged. I have developed wonderful friendships through this organization. Some of my favorite moments were coming back from our events and dividing up the leftover food with the rest of the team. Sometimes we would sit and eat cheese cubes while sharing our thoughts, opinions or any personal news. These memories will always hold a special place in my heart."

Dean's List; Cum Laude; Éxito Leadership Club Scholar; Henry King Scholarship; Diplomacy Internship Scholarship & Joseph & Carmen Ana Unanue Scholarship

Past internships or jobs held during your college career: 
Congresswoman Norma Torres' office; Boston Grassroots International Intern; University of Massachusetts Boston, Massachusetts Office of Public Cooperation; ICR2P New York and Research at University of Massachusetts, Boston.

"I am dedicated to providing practical techniques for self-sufficiency. I love hula hooping and dancing for stress relief and increased energy. I have found that this simple activity has inspired body confidence and reinvigorated me in my journey towards healthy living. I am passionate about mental health education by promoting self-love and self-help. In my spare time, I use several social media outlets to share personal experiences and works from philosophers and spiritual leaders to encourage my audience while documenting my own progress and growth."

Future career plans: M.A. Conflict Resolution and Co-Existence at Brandeis University

Photo of Naomi GomezName: Naomi Andrea Shuyama Gomez 
Majors: International Relation/Diplomacy, Creative Writing and Catholic Studies, Honors Program
College: School of Diplomacy & International Relations, College of Arts & Sciences

Clubs/Orgs/Leadership positions: VP of Women for Women International SHU Chapter, Undergraduate President of SHU Latin American Diplomacy, Editor & Treasurer of Corner Pocket Literary Magazine

"I had the tremendous opportunity to study abroad in Cuba on a generous scholarship sponsored by the Latino Institute. On this trip I felt so many of my interests come together which allowed me to better understand the complex impacts of the Cuban revolution on a broader, more global scale."

Dean's List; Magna Cum Laude; Edward J. Loyas '53 Scholarship; Pirate Achievement Award; Joseph A. Unanue New Cuban Revolution Essay Contest; NY State Summer Writers Institute 2017 Full Tuition Scholarship; Leadership Fellows 2017-2018; Éxito Leadership Club Scholar; Joseph and Ana Carmen Unanue Scholarship. Publications in Reflex Flash Fiction Literary Magazine and Mount Hope (Forthcoming Fall 2018)

Past internships/jobs held during your college career: 
Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute Executive Assistant; School of Diplomacy and International Relations Office of External Affairs Assistant; Honors Program Mentor and English as Second Language Teacher.

"Working at the Latino Institute has been the most rewarding experience I've had here at Seton Hall. In this familial environment, I've been given an education in my heritage and the greater Latinx community. This diverse education stems from our various events, programs and resources which span cultural, political, intellectual and educational aspects. The Latino Institute is the epitome of servant leadership and I am proud & fortunate to have been a part of this family."

Future career plans: M.A. in English with a spoke in Creative Writing and Teaching Assistant at Seton Hall University.


Photo of Smital PatelName: Smital Patel
Majors/Minors: Biology, Physician Assistant Program 
College: School of Health & Medical Sciences

Clubs/Orgs/Leadership positions: Maryland Leadership Workshop Planner & Team Leader; Habitat For Humanity; & South Asian Student Association

"Although I have not been with the Latino Institute for very long, but I can say with the utmost confidence that the Institute has had a positive impact on my college career."

Servant Leadership Award; Women's Guild Scholarship & Servant Leader Scholarship.

Past internships/jobs held during your college career:
For the past three summers, I have worked as an inclusion companion coordinator with Howard County Parks and Recreation.  

"Something special about Seton Hall University that really has stood out to me and has helped me broaden my horizons is DOVE.  Over the past four years, I have volunteered with different organizations through DOVE and have gained a better appreciation for helping others. I am in my first year of graduate school and love every moment of it.  It has been a lot of hard work and countless hours of studying, but to see how much you learn and the progress you make in such a short period of time is so rewarding.  I cannot wait to be in the community and improve quality of life."

Future career plans: Master of Science in Physician Assistant (M.S.P.A.) At Seton Hall University's School of Health & Medical Sciences

Photo of Sarah RizviName: Sarah Maclovia Rizvi   
Majors: International Relations/Diplomacy; Modern Languages; Philosophy & Honors Program
College: School of Diplomacy, College of Arts & Sciences

Clubs/Orgs/Leadership positions: Adelante Latino/a Organization VP, French Club PR Officer, Exito Leadership Club

"When I picked up the former US Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, from the airport he offered kind words which continue to inspire me to work at my poetry. Under the guidance of mentors like Mr. Herrera and the encouragement of my Latino Institute family, I completed a creative thesis for my Honors Program graduation which included a curated collection of poems & short stories on immigration."

Pirate Achievement Award; Cum Laude; Sigma Delta Pi National Hispanic Honor Society; Dean's List & Exito Leadership Club Scholar.

Past internships or jobs you held during your college career:
Canvass Coordinator for the Phil Murphy Campaign; Intern at the Office of Assemblymember Blanca Rubio; Executive Assistant at JAULI. 

"Professor Mary Olsen and Assistant Dean Sheila Riley, have always gone above and beyond the call of duty every day for their students. These role models always have a smile or time to chat. Another inspiration of mine is the book 'Bless me, Ultima' by Rudolfo Anaya. This coming of age work describes the relationship a young boy has with his grandmother. Set in the background of World War II and the clash of Catholic values and Native American spirituality in the foreground, this book always reminds me of my own family. I have been so fortunate to have had my grandparents close by and grown up Latina where my extended family is inextricable from everyday life."

Future career plans: Field Representative in the California State Assembly (AD48) under Assemblywoman Blanca E. Rubio and Law School.

Name: Helen Hernandez
Majors/Minors: SOBS/Social Work and Catholic Studies
College: College of Arts & Sciences

"My favorite memory was when I attended the Latino Institute Christmas party and met other students that have received the same award as I did. The Latino Institute has had such a positive impact on my college career by introducing to a bigger pool of wonderful educated people through a multitude of special events that they have hosted while exposing me to different forms of expression like art galleries and interviews with prominent Spanish personalities who are accomplished."

Awards/Recognitions: Dean's List, Joseph and Carmen Ana Unanue Scholarship

Past internships or jobs held during your college career:
Nuclear Medicine Technologist.

"I love knitting and crocheting. I like to travel, my favorite place I have traveled to was Sicily and Rome. This study abroad program was sponsored by the Catholic Studies program. Led by Dr. Murzaku, I learned about Italy in the footsteps of the saints. It was both an enriching and formative experience."

Future career plans: Seton Hall University, School of Health & Medical Sciences, Healthcare Administration program

Photo of Jacquelyn ColettaName: Jacquelyn Coletta 
Majors/Minors: M.A Museum Professions 
College: College of Communication & the Arts 
Clubs/Orgs/Leadership positions: Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute Graduate Assistant for two years while at Seton Hall University and Exito Leadership Club. 
"My favorite Unanue Latino Institute memory was planning and implementing the Institute's Annual Gala, Rumba 2016! in October of 2016. Working this event positively impacted my career by improving my fundraising and event planning skills. Developing my financial, organizational and managing skills has been instrumental."
In the summer of 2017, I joined the M.A Museum Professions program on a study abroad trip to Berlin, Germany. 
Past internships or jobs you held during your college career: 
Joseph A. Unanue Institute's Graduate Assistant since in the summer of 2016; Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia External Affairs Fall 2017 Intern; Penn Museum Cultural Heritage Project volunteer; Volunteer at Intrepid, Sea, Air and Space Museum in NYC within the Evaluation/Education Department. 

Future career plans: I have plans to pursue non-profit and development opportunities within the museum field in the city Philadelphia, PA following my departure from the Institute in June of this year. 

Categories: Arts and Culture , Education

For more information, please contact:

  • Stephanie Macias-Arlington
  • (973) 761-9422
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