• 57°

Catawba’s Unanue Scholars Program to target Latina juniors in Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Associate provost

Submitted – Forrest Anderson

Catawba College

Catawba College’s new Unanue Scholars Program is named to honor the memory of alumna Mary Ann Unanue, Class of 1981. Unanue rose through the ranks of Goya Foods Inc. to become vice president before her death in 2009 at the age of 49.

Beginning in the fall, Catawba will welcome a cohort of 16 Latina juniors from local public schools in part due to a grant from the Salisbury Community Foundation. Students will be enrolled in a course focused on exploring their own culture while receiving instruction in academic skills crucial for success at the college level.

“In the course Hispanics in the U.S., students will be able to read a variety of genres, such as memoir, poetry and essays, with the objective of not only honing skills necessary for college success but also gaining a better understanding and awareness of the complex aspects of the Latino immigrant experience,” said Professor Sonia Alvarez-Wilson.

To be eligible to participate, Latina juniors must be attending a public high school in Rowan County. Visit www.catawba.edu/Unanue to learn more about the program and to apply. The deadline is March 15.

Students will be paired with mentors chosen from Catawba’s Latina population, who make up 56 percent of the college’s Hispanic population. Through group meals and field trips designed to advance social capital, the mentors will serve as role models and offer advice on the realities of campus life.

The course will meet from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays starting Aug. 21 and running through Dec. 4.

Associate Provost Forrest Anderson said the course will be free, count for college credit, and “show students that college is attainable and doable.”

Alvarez-Wilson agreed.

“Students will be able to see that, while their own lives are unique, they are also participating in a broader national Latino experience,” she said. “It is exciting to be a part of an effort to ensure that young Latina women have access to higher education and prospects for a promising future.”

Anderson, a veteran director of student success programs, will serve as the administrative lead of the Unanue Scholars Program. Steffanie West, admissions director, will coordinate with local high schools to recruit students.

Alvarez-Wilson will teach the students in SPAN 2051: Hispanics in the U.S. and guide student mentors.

Michael Bitzer, director of the Teaching and Learning Center, will provide the students direction in academic skills. Maria Vandergriff-Avery, honors director and an expert in first-generation student success, will provide guidance on enhancing the students’ social capital. Sheila Brownlow, first-year experience director, will assess and evaluate program outcomes.



RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest


Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction


Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured


Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12


Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September


Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers


Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners


Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs


Amy-Lynn Albertson: Arts and Ag Farm Tour set for June 5

High School

High school baseball: Mustangs top Falcons on strength of hurlers


Biz Roundup: Application process now open for Rowan Chamber’s 29th Leadership Rowan class


Keith Mitchell leads McIlroy, Woodland by 2 at Quail Hollow


States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes


Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack


NC budget dance slowed as GOP leaders differ on bottom line


Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting


People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%


Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots


Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending


Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City


Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow


Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh


California population declines for first time