Student Stories: Opportunities and Challenges of U.S. Immigration
Big 12 Room, 2:00-2:40pm (Session Periods 1 &2)
Part I: 2:00-2:45 p.m.
The first part of this session, will provide a brief overview of our immigration system and brief introduction to immigration statuses of our student body (undocumented, DACA-mented, refugees, asylum-seekers). Student panelists will share their experiences (and those of their family) and effect on their college experience.
Part II: 2:45-3:30 p.m.
Student panelists will continue sharing their stories. Panelists and professionals in the areas of student counseling, international migration patterns and immigration law will reinforce our understanding of the current climate. We will discuss opportunities for engagement, collaborations and ways to continue the mobilization on our campus and community in support of these students. Including resources available to undocumented and DACA-mented students via K-State’s DreamZone efforts.
Junior in Marketing
Yulisa Enriquez is from Emporia, KS. Last year she helped established Kappa Delta Chi Sorority on campus, one of two Latina-based sororities on campus. She is actively involved in the Hispanic American Leadership Organization (HALO), and serves as president of K-States Board of Latino Organizations (BOLO). Yulisa will share her experience a student with a family of mixed-immigration status.
Junior in Political Science and American Ethnic Studies
Citlally Orozco is a junior studying Political Science and American Ethnic Studies. She conducts undergraduate research through The Developing Scholars Program (DSP) - a selective undergraduate research program for multicultural and first-generation students. The DSP granted her the opportunity to work for the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work on a project aimed at analyzing how child and family detention, past and present asylum policies, and treatment of migrants at the border suggest a shift in immigration policy in the Obama and Trump Administrations. In addition to being a student scholar, Citlally is also Deputy Director of Young Adults for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) state council. This leadership position allows her to help advance the lives of Latinos in the Manhattan community through community service projects. Citlally's perseverance and determination to help the Latinx community grew from her status in the United States. Being an undocumented Latina in higher education inspires Citlally to follow a career path in law with the dream of helping undocumented immigrants analyze their rights and guide them through the complicated immigration process. Citlally seeks to provide a voice for undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers in the United States. Today, she is eager to share her knowledge and raise awareness on issues of race and ethnicity in American higher education.
Assistant Director, Office of First-generation Students
Rebeca Paz (moderator) serves as Assistant Director of the Office of First-generation Students at Kansas State University. She has worked with first-generation and multicultural students through intentional retention programs and first-year programs during her career span in higher education. She has served in several capacities such as mentor, advisor, advocate, social justice agent, and champion for diversity and inclusion. She was the recipient of the Commerce Bank Presidential Faculty and Staff Award For Distinguished Services to historically underrepresented students at K-State in 2009.
Attorney, Law Office of Jessica Piedra
Attorney Jessica Piedra has more than 15 years of experience in assisting immigrants in their legal journey. Her advocacy on behalf of immigrant youth has been recognized with the Mexican Consulate's Ohtli Award, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's Humanitarian of the Year, and Missouri Lawyer's Weekly's Up and Coming Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year. She has experience with several immigration law firms and advocacy organizations and launched her own firm in April 2016. She speaks fluent Spanish and is a frequent speaker regarding immigration topics. Her accolades include, the 2014 Up & Coming Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year, 2014 Ohtli Award - Mexican Consulate2013 and Humanitarian of the Year - Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Jesus Quintanilla Cruz
Junior in Mechanical Engineering
Jesus Quintanilla Cruz was born in Monterrey, Mexico. He graduated from Bishop Ward High School in Kansas City, KS and attended the University of Missouri in Kansas City before transferring to K-State.
Assistant Director for Student Engagement, Office of the Vice President for Student Life-Division of Diversity & Multicultural Student Affairs
Madaí Rivera (moderator) earned her B.S. and M.S. degree at K-State. She currently serves on Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly's Education Council, and LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) National Board as state director for Kansas. Founded in 1929, LULAC is the oldest Latino/a civil rights organization in the US. Madaí serves other similar interest committees. She has helped establish several partnerships that provide scholarship opportunities for K-State students, in addition to leading and implementing student recruitment and retention initiatives on campus. Madaí has been the primary contact for many undocumented students and families. She directs them to appropriate campus resources. Her efforts to help all students have been recognized with the Commerce Bank Presidential Faculty and Staff Award for Distinguished Service to Historically Under-Represented Students; Division of Student Life Putting Students First Award; Dowley-Scholer Award for Faculty Excellence in Student Development.
Post-Resident Degree Counselor, Counseling Services
Annette Ruiz was born and raised in Donna, Texas, but has lived in the Midwest for half of her life. Annettee completed her bachelor's degree in Psychology at North Dakota State University and master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at North Dakota State University. She joined our K-State Family in August 2019. Her professional desire is to help college students improve their overall well-being regardless if they are stuck in everyday life situations to crises or trauma. As a Latina, first-generation graduate, and person of color, it is her true desire to work with underrepresented students such as first-generation college students, LatinX community, and students who struggle with depression and anxiety. She enjoys sipping on coffee, eating tacos, and spending time with her fiancé and dog.
Dr. Jeff Smith
Associate Professor, Department of Geography
Dr. Jeff Smith earned his Ph.D. in cultural geography from Arizona State University in 1997 and joined the faculty at Kansas State University in 1998. Dr. Smith has numerous publications including one book (Explorations in Place Attachment Routledge), twenty-one refereed journal articles, eight book / encyclopedia chapters, and a co-edited textbook for World Geography. In 2006, he was selected as a Transnational Fellow by the Mexico-North Research Network based on his research that examines patterns of rural Mexican immigration.