Spring and Awards Culminate the 2016 – 2017 Academic Year

With the arrival of spring, the robins returned to Notre Dame.  High school prospects visited the campus and undergraduates basked in the sunshine between the days of liquid sunshine.  During the end of the academic year, we saw bookstore basketball games, awards ceremonies, and students partaking in academic conferences on and off-campus.

Congratulations to the 2016- 2017 Student Leadership Awards winners. The announcements at the April 10th event acknowledged the following MSPS leaders: Ms. Jessica Pedroza for her work giving a voice to the voiceless – Irish Clover and Rev. A. Leonard Collin C.S.C. Leadership Awards and Xitaly Estrada recognized as one of the outstanding Student Leaders. I would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the rectors, who supervised the winning halls, Elaine DeBassie – Farley Hall and Eric Styles- Carroll Hall. Both were humbled and mentioned their students did all the work.


Thank you to the student leaders for the 2016 – 2017 academic year. Your efforts in leading your respective clubs has not gone unnoticed. Your signature events continued to enrich and educate the Notre Dame community.  We applaud the efforts of the formal and informal leaders, who rose to address controversial issues and topics. You represented student activism and how it is implemented at Notre Dame from forums to demonstrations.  Seeking opportunities to hear opposing views and voice yours is paramount in the collegiate experience and one of the purposes of institutions of higher education is intellectual engagement.

MSPS is an advocate for providing leadership development opportunities for students. It is important to enhance your leadership skills. Taking advantage of professional conferences from ACC Student Leadership Conference to the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity is a beginning. The Multicultural Pre-Medical Society sent a cohort to the Student National Medical Association Conference in Atlanta, Georgia over Easter Break. The MPMS representatives attended Pre-Med track sessions focused on preparedness for the medical school application process. Student Activities Office took several ND students to the 2017 ACC Student Leadership Conference.  MSPS took Carrera Brown, Adriana Cantos, Yuko Inoue to NCORE in Fort Worth, Texas. Their reports will be featured on the MSPS website throughout the summer.

Lastly, take time to enjoy your summer break. Get some R & R, if you are attending summer school stop by in July to meet our new assistant director for Diversity Education, Outreach and Assessment, Paige Jackson.


Ms. Iris Outlaw `90 MSA

Director, MSPS

Spring Semester Comes to an End

2016 Nidia and Luis FragaThe spring semester has been exciting and exhilarating.  It began with a two- week celebration highlighting the morphing of the civil rights movement from 1960 to 2016. Multicultural Student Programs and Services’ Interrace Forum and Africana Studies and Institute for Latino Studies luncheon covered the various components of the civil rights movements.  MSPS compared the 60’s efforts led by Dr. King to the Black Lives Movement, where Africana Studies and ILS did a comparison of the Black and Brown movements. They also discussed possible collaborations.  The Fr. Hesburgh and Dr. King mosaic project featured in LaFortune Student Center was a effort between students, faculty, administrators and staff representing the joining of two men committed to the betterment of society.  Thank you to our co-sponsors and Notre Dame Community members, who worked tirelessly to send the message that Our Lady’s University aspires to be a place that is welcoming to all and a place where civil discourse is appreciated.  This is another form of intellectual growth for all who are “Under The Dome.”

Throughout the remainder of the spring, Dr. Shannon Dee Williams, professor of History at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville revealed the history of blacks within the Catholic Church as the keynote for Black History Month. She shared the struggles and successes of nuns and priests. As part of the Asian Heritage Month, Jennifer 8 Lee, former New York Times journalist, shared the history of Fortune Cookies and Asian Cuisine. The misinformation and assumption of what is Chinese food was entertaining and educational.

The year ended with many of our students being recognized for their contributions to the Notre Dame Community. Congratulations to Hesburgh Award Winner – Preston Igwe `16 and the other Student Award recipients: Ray `Von Jones `16, Chizo Ekechukwu `16, and Leana Jonassaint `16.

2016 Student Leadership Awards      2016 Gaby Mercurio


The academic year ended with MSPS sponsoring recognition ceremonies acknowledging the academic achievements of two hundred and fifteen MSPS constituents during Commencement Weekend. At the Africana Ceremony, Arienne Thompson Ploude `04 addressed the graduates on their theme “We Did It All” realizing the pitfalls and successes that they will experience as their life journey continues. Latin Honors Cum Lande recipients: Arlia Delphonse – Japanese & Gender Studies Major; Obiageliaku Ekwueme – Psychology & Pre-Health; Adam Henderson – Political Science; Francesca Simon – Political Science & Africana Studies; Dina Yared – Political Science & Spanish were presented with a gift from MSPS as a result of their achievement.  During the Asian and Pacific Islander Ceremony, API Alumni Chair Andrew Mascarenhas ’03 shared his life’s journey and challenged the graduates to remain open to what life has in store for them. The API Board gave their 2016 Distinguished Student Awards to Crystal Chen – Goodspeed `16; Michael Dinh `16, Mike Lin `16, Khanh Mai `16, Gaby Mercurio `16, Sneha Modi `16, Dong Gue On `16, Luning Selina Wang `16 and Hansel Weihs `16.  These students were selected because they demonstrated outstanding leadership and remarkable commitment to the Asian American community throughout their tenure at Notre Dame.  Thank you to Dr. Laura Murillo, speaker for the Latino Recognition Ceremony, Elaine DeBassige `92 and 2016 Honorary Doctorate recipients Pauline Yu and Arturo Sandoval for gracing the graduates with words of inspiration.  Also, I want to extend a heartfelt “Thank You” to the faculty, administrators, staff and alumni, who served in various capacities to ensure this was a memorable weekend for our graduates.

Have a Blessed Summer,

Iris L. Outlaw

Iris L. Outlaw `90 MSA


Multicultural Student Programs and Services


In Like a Lamb: Out Like a Lion

Yes, this is a flipped version of the quote meteorologists use to describe March. Prior to Spring Break MSPS club activities were invisible. The statement reflects how MSPS clubs impacted the Notre Dame and Michiana communities after the break. I had the pleasure of witnessing the multiple talents of our students in the 2015 Luau sponsored by the Hawai`I Club. More than 200 students from the surrounding universities/colleges and cities were immersed in Hawaiian culture ranging from performances to cuisine. It was a pleasurable escape from the sunny yet blistery day.

The following week Shades of Ebony held their Women’s Week Celebration in conjunction with the Gender Relations Center. The week was filled with panel discussions, events including local middle and high school students and their annual dinner.  Dr. Eleanor Walker (`84), Haley Scott DeMaria (`95), and Amanda Peña (`15) shared their experiences as women pursuing their Notre Dame degrees.  They acknowledged the foresight of Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C. to make Notre Dame a co-educational institution and enriched the experiences of those who attended.

The Latino Student Alliance continued the global excursion with the 2015 Latin Expressions Raíces: return to our roots. The audience viewed the Latino Diaspora through the lens of the hosts, who were role playing as prospective students on a campus visit. The audience was engaged and joined the performers on the stage during the closing song. Congratulations to Erik Mendoza and Nidia Ruelas 2015 Julian Samora Scholarship recipients, who were selected after a rigorous interview process and review of their involvement in the Notre Dame and Latino communities. The Hispanic Alumni Board announced the winners at Latin X.

The Black Cultural Arts Council ended the month with their signature fashion show, “Risqué.” Sheldon Day, Marquis Dickerson and Mario Berkley navigated the audience through the world fashion that challenged the senses. The audience rocked to the music and were delighted by spring fashions and entertained by the re-visioning of the infamous Tom Cruise scene from Risky Business. The Black Alumni of Notre Dame presented eight of the fourteen Frazier Thompson Scholarships at the event. Congratulations to the 2015- 2015 recipients:  Derek Bland, Chizo Ekechukwu, Patricia Ekwueme, Kereknaan Fiannaan, Ashley Henry, Ray`Von Jones, Anna Kiely, Lena Madison, Alexandra Rice, Francesca Simon, Trenton Templeton, Amber Thomas, Aaron Vernon, and Steven Waller. These students met the academic requirements and have been actively involved in the African American and Notre Dame communities.

The 29th Annual Student Leadership Awards Banquet highlighted the achievements of MSPS constituents who have made a significant impact on the Notre Dame community. We would like to acknowledge the winners also:  Irish Clover Award – Hermana Abera; Student Leadership Awards – Demetrius Murphy, Ally Kwun, Reagan Li, Deandra Cadet; John W. Gardner Student Leadership Award – Christina Guiterrez;  Mike Russo Spirit Award – Lauren Vidal; Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C. Award – Matthew Wong; and Rev. A Leonard Collins , C.S.C. Award –Juan Rangel.  The last three are the highest Student Affairs Awards given to undergraduate students. Kudos to all the winners and numerous nominees. It was an honor to see these students recognized in the presence of faculty, administrators and their peers.

April has several major events occurring to keep the campus engaged. April 11 – Wabruda’s Black Man’s Think Tank – Finding Your Passion, FASO – 2015 Fiestang KAPAMILYA of the same family, April 17 – Shades’ Skating Party, and  April 18 – Voices of Faith Spring Concert; PFresh Show. Please support these clubs by coming and bring a friend or two.

Lastly, Welcome the Spring Weather. Look forward to seeing you at these events and on campus.


Ms. Iris