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Press Release



September 16, 2015

Multi-Cultural Scholars Program attends speaking engagement

Cowley College’s Multi-Cultural Scholars Program (MSP) kicked off the new school year by attending a speaking engagement at Southwestern College in Winfield.

Co-directors Amy McWhirt and Marlys Cervantes felt the event with author Reyna Grande, an immigrant from Mexico who is an award-winning novelist, was a chance for students to hear firsthand the reasons many immigrants come to the United States and to understand the hardships faced when they do.

“Grande provides a look at the complexities of so many issues we hear about on the news today, and she presents a personal story of tragedy, pain and triumph,” Cervantes said. “She’s a beautiful example of an individual who greatly appreciates the opportunities she has in her new country while still keeping her past and her love for her family and the people of Mexico in the forefront of her life’s work.”

Grande won the American Book Award for her novel Across a Hundred Mountains and the International Latino Book Award for Dancing with Butterflies. Students received a copy of her current novel, The Distance Between Us, a National Book Critics Circle Award nominee, and visited with Grande as she signed the books after her speaking engagement.

“We are so grateful to Dalene McDonald, Director of Deets Library, for hosting Reyna Grande,” McWhirt said. “It was a wonderful experience for our students and the community members who attended the event.”

The next MSP group meeting will be Friday, October 16.

Those pictured are, back row from left, D’Abriean Bush and Oscar DeLeon; middle row, from left, Grande, Nancy Lartey, Lucia Morales, Cervantes, and McWhirt; and front row, Deja Hernandez.