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Greetings from the Latinx Center of Excellence (LCOE),

This Fall marks the third year of operation for the Latinx Center of Excellence at the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare.  In this newsletter, we’d like to tell you about what’s new, what has gone well, and what we’re working on.

LCOE Staffing Updates

Luna Calderon, founding director of the LCOE,  is now the Training and Community Outreach Consultant for the LCOE. In this capacity, Calderon will focus on developing and implementing La Red de Apoyo, our intergenerational mentorship program as well as culturally-responsive training for our students and community partners. Calderon will continue to teach Introduction to Generalist Practice, Narrative Practices for Vulnerable Populations and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy.

Lissette Flores has been appointed to the position of  Associate Director of the LCOE. In this capacity, she will oversee the Center's functions and growth.  A Berkeley Social Welfare alumni, Flores is thrilled to be supporting Latinx students working towards their graduate degrees.

Jessica Martin Gonzalez joined our team on September 30.  She will be serving as Latinx Center of Excellence’s Program Coordinator. She has extensive experience working with Latinx and Guatemalan indigenous immigrant communities. Prior to joining Berkeley, she worked at a local non-profit increasing academic and employment opportunities for Oakland youth. This experience strengthened her passion to create equitable educational opportunities for underrepresented students in academia. Jessica hopes to contribute to the success of all LCOE Scholars. Jessica earned a BA in Politica Economy at UC Berkeley. She also attended the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile as part of an exchange program during her undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley. 

Adrian Aguilera has been appointed to the position of Principal Investigator and Director of the LCOE. Dr. Aguilera will oversee LCOE activities and build on the great work done so far. He is very excited to be in this new role and looks forward to continuing the mission of increasing Latinx representation in social work and behavioral health.

LCOE Wants to Support You!

"I want to thank the LCOE for providing the professional development stipend that provided the opportunity for me to attend the 2019 California Association of School Social Workers Conference this past Saturday."                     
 - Silvia Avila-Garcia, MSW Candidate & LCOE Scholar 

LCOE Mentoring Programs

La Red De Apoyo BA/MSW Mentoring 

Earlier this month, we kicked off our annual orientation for La Red De Apoyo Mentoring Program by pairing undergraduate students interested in the field of social work with current Latinx MSW students. In a collaborative effort,  MSW Latinx students built the vision for the program and engaged in fruitful conversations with their undergraduate mentees. The calendar with suggested activities for current Mentors/Mentees can be accessed here.  
Our mentoring program is part of a larger effort to recruit Latinx undergraduate students to Berkeley Social Welfare's MSW and Ph.D. program, with special attention to students interested in community behavioral health.

MSW/Alumni Mentoring 

This program pairs current Latinx MSW students with current MSW Alumni,  who can provide professional development support and encouragement for reaching mentees' professional and academic goals.  Click here to access the online application. 

Unidos por DACA

Last Tuesday, the University of California appeared before the Supreme Court to challenge President Trump's Executive Order to rescind DACA.  Berkeley Social Welfare Dean, Linda Burton, along with LCOE staff/faculty made themselves available to talk to all SSW students. A supportive drop-in space was also provided. It is our hope to create a safe space for all students. 

For ongoing information and support, UC Berkeley's Undocumented Students Program is an excellent resource for students, and the Graduate Division has information specific to grad students. DACA updates and additional resources can also be found here. 

If you missed it ...

LCOE Celebrates Dia de los Muertos!

On Monday, November 4th Haviland Hall celebrated Dia de los Muertos with a beautiful opening prayer led by doctoral candidate, Valentin Sierra. Everyone who attended had the opportunity to contribute to the community altar which was displayed in the Haviland Commons. Special thanks to the Latinx Caucus for making this event possible!  
LCOE Latinx Speaker Series

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the inaugural Center's Latinx Speaker Series titled, Blending Implementation and Health Disparities Research to Improve the Health of Latinx with Serious Mental Illness. Special thanks to Dr. Leo Cabassa, Associate Professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis for presenting on this important topic and meeting with our doctoral scholars. 
A copy of Dr. Cabassa's powerpoint presentation can be accessed here

Bienvenida Dean Linda Burton

Last month, our Latinx community warmly welcomed Linda Burton, new Dean of the School of Social Welfare.  Our intergenerational gathering, including alumni, LCOE faculty, and staff took place at Oeste Cafe. 
Read more about Dean Burton by clicking here. 

Employment Announcements

Pact is looking to hire an Adoption Social Worker, On-Call Bilingual (English/Spanish) 
Pact, an Adoption Alliance is a non-profit organization, located in Emeryville, California whose mission is to serve adopted children of color.

Huckleberry is currently hiring for two positions:  Senior Academic Case Manager and Case Manager position
Huckleberry strengthens families and empowers young people with services that promote safety in times of crisis, physical and emotional health and well-being, social justice in communities facing inequality, and educational success.

Funding Opportunities 

Doctoral students from all departments and schools are invited to apply for the 2020 SURF SMART graduate/undergraduate research mentoring program. The program will run from May 29 to August 7, 2020. Each graduate mentor, will receive a summer stipend of $5,000 for approximately 200 hours of work; each undergraduate mentee will receive a summer stipend in the amount of $5,000 for approximately 320 hours of work. 

Informational meetings for graduate mentor applicants will be held on two dates this semester:
Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 3:00-4:00 p.m., 309 Sproul Hall; and
Tuesday, November 26, 2019, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., 309 Sproul Hall.

Deadline for Graduate Mentor Applications: Wednesday, December 4, 2019.

Information about the SURF SMART Program and a link to the graduate mentor application form are located on the SURF SMART website.


Scholarship Opportunity for LGBTQ Students!
The Point Foundation Scholarship is open to LGBTQ undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled or intending to enroll full-time at an accredited college or university based in the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, in the fall of 2020. OPEN NOW | DEADLINE: JANUARY 27TH


The LCOE wants to hear from you! 

Do you want to give a shout out to a peer, faculty/staff or Latinx behavioral health professional? Do you have any quotes from your readings, lectures, life experiences that resonated with you and relate to the field of social work? Any resources you would like to share?

Know of some exciting events or employment opportunities coming up? Perhaps you have any ideas to make our program even better? 

If so, we want to hear from you! E-mail your materials to Jessica Martin Gonzalez at

The Latinx Center of Excellence is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $3,398,332 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit
Copyright © 2019 Latinx Center of Excellence (LCOE), Berkeley Social Welfare. All rights reserved

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Latinx Center of Excellence · Haviland Hall · Berkeley, CA 94720-0001 · USA

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