Latino Communications Institute Launch: To the Future and Beyond

             Pictured from left: Dr. Inez González, Director of the Latino Communications Institute; Lesley Guardia ’16; Eric Reséndiz ’16; Cynthia                  Montes ’17; Esmeralda Cisneros ’16; Shaira Aria ’17; and Dr. Edward Fink, interim dean of the College of Communications.

            The Latino Communications Initiative (LCI)  officially launched into an Institute on December 15, 2017. While the reception was attended by dignitaries and VIPS, including outgoing California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) President Dr. Mildred García, the alumni who shared their stories were the obvious stars.

             Started in 2013, by Dr. Inez González as a way to prepare students to enter the competitive Latino-oriented communication industry, the LCI has become so much more. González explains that the LCI has been able to show students that having their dream job is possible. “They can’t want what they can’t see, but now they do see themselves working in a newsroom and in a top PR agency because they see other Titans doing it.” Through the initial LCI roundtable, a group of Latino leaders working in media, the LCI was able to give students an avenue to work in various media companies, and from there González describes it as a snowball effect. Networking rolled into internships, which turned into permanent jobs, which led to alumni inspiring current students to fall into their footsteps.

             Several alumni were on hand to show their support for the LCI, and to express what the Institute meant to them. From the numerous networking opportunities, Shaira Arias ’17, landed an internship, which eventually led to a permanent position at the Univision station in Philadelphia. “Without the LCI my career would not be possible” stated Esmeralda Cisneros ’16, who currently works for News-Press & Gazette Company in Yuma, AZ. Lesley Guardia, class of 2016, explained that “it takes that one person or organization to believe in you…. the LCI played that role for me.” The stories were countless, but the message was clear, the LCI played an important role in helping these alumni achieve their dreams.

             Through the LCI, students can pursue the Spanish for Hispanic Media professional certificate in conjunction with the Department of Modern Language and Literature. Students are required to complete an internship as part of the certificate program. They can also work for Al Día, or be involved with other student media on campus to help gain hands-on experience.

            Dr. Edward Fink, interim dean of the College of Communications explained that the LCI “has a three-part mission”, to prepare students to enter the Latino Communication workforce, to provide educational and extra-curricular activities for students, and to participate in research.More than ever, bilingual students are in demand, especially in the communications industry. Thanks to partners Southwest, Univision, and CASANOVA//McCANN, the LCI can continue to help students pursue their dreams, and breakdown barriers to get their foot in the door.

For more information, or to make a donation to the LCI, visit