Latinx Alumni Association Newsletter Spring 2021

President’s Message

Photo of CWRU alumnus Hiram Cortez




Our CWRU history goes back nearly 200 years. As we look back at our trajectory, what does our Latinx history look like? Who were the first Latinx students of CWRU? What are their stories? How has the Latinx student experience at CWRU changed? Knowing this can help us paint a picture of where our community has been and inform a vision for our future.
The CWRU archives hold some clues:
● In 1922, The Reserve Weekly newspaper features an article about a mexican student, Rafael Perez, attending CWRU;
● In 1965, The Case Tech newspaper talked about a new “Monterrey Exchange Project” with the Monterrey Institute of Technology led by Dr. Alfonso Alvarado, Assistant to the Provost;
● In 1979, The Case Tech addresses Racism at CWRU and describes Hispanic enrollment as only a handful of students;
● Throughout the 1990s, articles describe increasing activities by La Alianza, the Latinx student group, including the second annual La Fiesta cultural event in 1995.
To search for more insights, last month several Latinx alumni board members, along with current president of La Alianza (CWRU’s Latinx student cultural group), Vianni Bustos, came together to start a CWRU Latinx History Project. Our goal is to document and celebrate the Latinx history of CWRU.
We might find that the number of Latinx students at CWRU since its inception in 1826 is quite low. Nevertheless, our strength as Latinx alumni community is not measured by our number of alumni but rather by the strength of our relationships, our commitment to support each other, and dedication to serving current students as they launch their careers. We’ll continue researching our history and will report back over the next year.
For now, we are proud to see the class of 2021 about to graduate next month, at CWRU’s Latinx Graduation. We hope you can welcome the class of 2021 to our alumni community on Thursday, May 27 at 6pm EDT through the online live-stream. Look out for details on Facebook.
-- Hiram Cortez (CWR ‘15)
CWRU Latinx Alumni Association President

Join our Committees!

We are happy to announce the creation of two new committees on our board!

  1. The Student Support committee is co-chaired by Mirna Martinez (SAS ‘20) and Andrew Jimenez (CWR ‘19).
  2. The Alumni Engagement committee is co-chaired by Esmeralda Terrazas (CWR ‘19) and Wilmel Cosme (CWR ‘18).

These committees will work on elevating our programming and events. Please feel free to reach out to if you are interested in participating in a committee.

Event Recap: Cafecito with the Board

Members of the Latinx Alumni Association meet for a Cafecito event via Zoom.

Thank you for joining our Cafecito with the Board event on February 25! The event was a fun time and it was great reconnecting with fellow alumni from across the country! About 25 alumni and students were in attendance. We also had the pleasure of being joined by previous CWRU staff member Ms. Laura Saavedra, currently GEAR UP Program Director at University of Michigan.
A big shout out to board members Mirna Martinez (SAS '20) and Justine Bernacet (CWR '18) for leading the fun event!

Event Recap: Avanzando at the Workplace

The CWRU Latinx Alumni Association joined forces with LideresCWRU, Esperanza Inc. and CWRU Post-Graduate Planning & Experiential Education to host the first annual Avanzando at the Workplace networking event on March 24, 2021. A panel of four Latinx alumni started off the program, followed by eight employer break-out sessions for students to choose from. The event was a great success with over 60 students, alumni and employer partners in attendance!
Thank you to our CWRU Latinx alumni panelist for inspiring CWRU students by sharing about your professional journey, academic career, and strategies for career success.
● Aliah Baez (CWR '18): Senior Tax Accountant, EY
● Ettore Fantin (CWR '17): Director of Marketing and Growth, Find.Jobs
● Jaime Capetillo (CWR '19): Aerospace Engineer, FAA
● Olivia Ortega (CWR '16): Director of Government Advocacy, Greater Cleveland Partnership
A special thank you to the event’s employer partners who shared valuable information on internship and job opportunities!
● Rockwell Automation
● Progressive
● Eaton
● KeyBank
● Hyland
● Lubrizol
● PNC Bank

Event Recap: Latinx Alumni Panel with CWRU Admitted Students

A panel of Latinx alumni meet with admitted students via Zoom.

It was great speaking with admitted students on Sunday, April 25 in collaboration with the CWRU Undergraduate Admissions office. We hope students learned more about CWRU and decide to join our CWRU Latinx familia!
Thank you to students Guillermo Fiallos-Gonzalez and Catherine Mohme for moderating the panel, Liana Carroll, Associate Director of Undergraduate Admission, for facilitating, and to our alumni panelists for sharing about their CWRU experience:
• Esmeralda Terrazas (CWR’19)
• Alberto Gonzalez Campos (‘18, ‘20)
• Wilmel Cosme (CWR ‘18)
• Andrew Torres (CWR ‘16)
• Hiram Cortez (CWR ‘15)

Alumni Spotlight - Thomas Franco

Thomas Franco


Congratulations to Thomas Franco (CWR ‘17) on being elected to the Rutland, Vermont Board of Aldermen! Thank you for your service to the community and for being an inspiration for others considering running for office, especially other young Latinos!




Student Spotlight - Ayesha Gonzales

Ayesha Gonzales

Congratulations to Ayesha Gonzales, second-year Physics PhD student, for receiving a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship this year for her work in Associate Professor Michael Hinczewski’s lab. Find out how this second-year PhD student fell in love with the field:

Save the date for CWRU’s Latinx graduation 2021

An image with Latinx Graduation information: Latinx Graduation 2021. Join us for our virtual celebration. May 27, 2021. Via livestream, Facebook and YouTube. Thursday at 6 p.m.

CWRU’s Latinx Graduation is a pre-commencement ceremony that recognizes, celebrates and honors the Latinx Graduates of Case Western Reserve University. Each year, the CWRU Latinx Alumni Association supports this event and welcomes graduates to our alumni community. We encourage you to attend the ceremony and congratulate our Latinx graduates for their accomplishments!
The ceremony will be live streamed via Facebook/YouTube on Thursday, May 27 at 6pm EDT. Look out for details on CWRU’s La Alianza Facebook page.