Western New Mexico University School of Business Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Finance Dr. Miguel Vicéns works to make WNMU’s designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution meaningful. “One of the reasons we reach out to these communities is we usually do not see college as their path,” he says. “It’s a blessing to be able to be part of that.”
Dr. Vicéns takes students to Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities conference each fall. “They not only go out of town with all expenses paid; they are introduced to different organizations that specially deal with Hispanic students and interact with multinational companies one-on-one,” he says.
Some of the participants Dr. Vicéns has taken to the conference have been foreign, others DACA recipients, and the remainder U.S. citizens. “I’ve had the chance to work with a variety of students in this HACU representative position. I just realized how diverse they are,” he says.
Under Dr. Vicen’s direction, the WNMU School of Business established initiatives to help the freshmen who are Hispanic or from other cultures to get more comfortable with the Silver City and U.S. culture. “We meet one on one and do group conversations and meetings — in and outside of class,” he says. “In my classes, I create projects with the objective of having multinational teams.”
The WNMU School of Business also has partnerships with two universities in Mexico. “We currently have six undergraduates from the University of Sonora doing dual degrees. We have one master’s student interested in a dual degree with the University of Nuevo Leon,” he says.
He’s working to build similar partnerships with universities in Chihuahua and Puerto Rico, where he’s originally from. “We’ve been talking for two years to see how can we collaborate and create student exchange, faculty exchange, cultural projects,” he says.
While Dr. Vicéns has worked at WNMU for six years, he has been in an administrative role for the past two. “I came back to the classroom this semester. Our students are amazing. They’re the reason for me to come here every day,” he says.
As part of the Hispanic serving Institution mission, Dr. Vicéns says he tries to help not only the Hispanic students but every student. “I like for them all to be exposed to different cultures. It’s not about one culture. It’s about many cultures,” he says.
This piece is part of a series WNMU produced in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and Hispanic Serving Institution Week.