Media Contact
September 10, 2009

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) observes Hispanic Heritage Month in September and October with events sponsored by the Office of Diversity & Women’s Programs. The slate of activities includes performances, speakers, dinners, and a lecture series that focus on the culture and history of Latin Americans. Events will be held from Sept. 15 to Oct. 13 in WPI's Campus Center as well as at public schools in the city of Worcester as a community service to elementary school pupils.

Since African American, Latino, and American Indian populations have been underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), WPI established the Office of Diversity Programs in 1993 to help change that dynamic. The office runs the Excellence in Mathematics, Science and Engineering Program and cooperates with other WPI departments to support these students during their time at WPI. Specifically, the Office of Diversity Programs works with campus organizations and departments to provide cultural events for the community, runs summer camps and programs for K-12 students, and serves as a resource to the campus for issues regarding diversity and inclusion of underrepresented minorities. WPI is committed to helping underrepresented high school students learn about opportunities in the fields of engineering, science and technology. The university encourages student groups to visit campus and learn about educational opportunities and programs on campus. In addition, the university coordinates community service programs with the Kids 2 College Program, and the Friendly House community center in Worcester.

WPI has been listed on The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine's national "Publisher’s Pick List" for providing significant academic opportunities for Hispanic students. Hispanic Outlook is the only Hispanic educational magazine for the higher education community, and, according to the magazine, "Publisher’s Picks" recognizes colleges and universities that offer Hispanic students "a solid chance of academic success."

Read more about WPI’s Office of Diversity Programs.


  • Sept. 15: Latino Lecture Series: "100 Years of Spanish," with Professor Inmaculada Alvarez, noon to 1 p.m., Campus Center Hagglund Room.
  • Sept. 16: Groupo Fantasia, noon to 1 p.m., Campus Center stage.
  • Sept. 17: Hispanic Heritage Month Dinner, 5:30-7 p.m., Campus Center Odeum B & C. 
  • Sept. 18: Hispanic Heritage Month presentation, 9-10 a.m., Elm Park School, Worcester. 
  • Sept. 22: Latino Lecture Series: "Avatares de una Modern," with Professor Angel Rivera, noon to 1 p.m., Campus Center Hagglund Room.
  • Sept. 23: WPI Social Dance Team, noon to 1 p.m., Campus Center stage. 
  • Sept. 29: Latino Lecture Series -- "Ethnic Perceptions of Puerto Ricans & Puerto Rican-Americans," with Professor Michele Davila Goncalves of Salem State College, noon to 1 p.m., Campus Center Hagglund Room.
  • Oct. 6: Latino Lecture Series -- "Spanish for All," with Professor Maria Warren, noon to 1 p.m., Campus Center Hagglund Room. 
  • Oct. 13: Latino Lecture Series -- "Research and Science," with Professor Luis Vidali, noon to 1 p.m., Campus Center Hagglund Room.