Latinx Research and Lounge Center Grand Opening

Sandra Mendez

     A new center for Latinx Research at NJCU will officially be open in March. It will be jointly run by Program Coordinator Dr. David Blackmore and Associate Professor Dr. Cora Lagos from the Modern Languages Department. Lagos says, “I am excited to be able to offer our Latinx students a place they feel comfortable, where they will have opportunities innovating research, job prospects and scholarships.” 

     NJCU is a Hispanic serving institution, which means that at least 25 percent of the students identify as Latino. According to the U.S Census Bureau the demographics of Hudson County are also very diverse with about 43% of Hispanic heritage. This greatly influences the school community and how students relate to academics and the future at NJCU. The Latin American, Caribbean and Latino studies will be introducing a research center with exactly that in mind.     

     The center will be a place where faculty and students from the Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies program and other departments where they can share scholarly interests. The center will bring greater visibility to the community. It will give the University a chance to highlight its relationship involving Latin America. Organizations such as Council on Hispanic Affairs (CHA) are also working alongside Lagos and Blackmore to bring awareness to the cultural traditions and contributions Latin America has to offer. 

     The creation of the research center is important to stimulate collaboration, public programs, workshops and speakers to discuss issues related to the community in hopes that it will resonate with students. In addition, this will also give incentive for scholarships and grants to help students succeed in their endeavors. Blackmore says, “Research shows that if students have a curriculum that includes their background and culture it engages them and gives them a sense of belonging to an institution making them more likely to thrive.” 

     While the center will cater to the Latinx community, all are welcome to join and participate in this new space.  The center is currently in the process of being furnished and will have a lounge area. It will be located in Karnoutsos  Hall room 102. There will be entertaining events such as movie nights and soccer matches shown on television. NJCU is part of an enriching and diverse community where multiculturalism and the academic endeavors of students and faculty are celebrated.