McNair Scholar Awarded LUPE Scholarship
Monica Torres is a junior admitted into the School of Arts and Sciences as a proud Educational Opportunity Fund Scholar and is also in the Douglass Residential College. She is a resident assistant for the Honors College and an Institute of Women’s Leadership Scholar. This summer, with the support of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, and under the guidance of her faculty mentors Professor Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel and Professor Anitha Ramachandran, Torres researched the Native American Welcome Center at Rutgers University. Her research question addressed how the Native American Welcome Center provides social, academic, and spiritual support to the students that it serves, and went steps further to plan policy implementations for her research. As a History major and double minor in Women & Gender Studies and Latino & Hispanic Caribbean Studies, she is devoted to creating spaces where people(s) can create, craft, and control their own narratives.
Monica is the 2015 recipient of the Zulima V. Farber Outstanding Leadership Scholarship Award by LUPE Fund Inc. LUPE Fund, Inc. is a "501c3 organization whose mission is to Educate, Empower, and Engage Latinas to Promote Leadership and Civic Engagement". On June 4th, 2015, during her time in the Ronald E. McNair program, Monica attended LUPE’s Power of Women reception in Newark, NJ with her parents Wilfredo and Maria Torres. She says, “My father, an Air Force veteran and United States Postal worker of over thirty years, and my mother who came to the U.S at the age of seventeen from the Dominican Republic, instilled within me principles of hard work, resilience, creativity, and respect. Bringing them to the banquet with me was a way for me to celebrate them, acknowledging their sacrifices that have in turn, enabled me to give back to them and follow my passion of becoming a United States Senator.”
Torres elaborated on her experience at the Power of Women reception. She stated, “I could not help but feel like I was with my own family. I was surrounded by animated Aunts, Sisters, and Cousins in a welcoming environment. All of the women shared the mutual understanding of Latinas’ potential to be strong ambassadors for political change. They themselves exemplified ambition, wit, and elegance. The women of LUPE are educated Latinas who have careers in law, engineering, education, and healthcare just to name a few.”
Monica was able to address the distinguished audience that of which included United States Senator Robert Menendez and the Assistant Vice President for State Government Affairs at Rutgers University, Gloria E. Soto Esq. As the night concluded, Torres stated that she was able to return to the comforts of her supportive McNair co-"heart" to continue her research on the Native American Welcome Center at Rutgers University.