Director of Student Advocacy and Education

Carina Olaru (she/her/ella)

Contact: LCC 426 Waldron; colaru@purdue.edu; 765-494-9660; se habla español

Carina Olaru

Carina Olaru joined Purdue University as the Director of the Latino Cultural Center (LCC) in 2016.  In of July 2020, Olaru was appointed as the Director of Student Advocacy and Education. In this role, Carina advocates for all students and, particularly for undocumented students, protecting their rights and privacy when enrolled at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Fort Wayne and Northwest, and supports current and prospective students in their pursuit of academic excellence, promotes leadership development and advises student organizations. Carina is available to meet with undocumented and DACAmented students to provide support focused on legal assistance, financial aid, academic resources across campus and support at the local and state level.   

Prior to joining the LCC, Carina Olaru was an assistant professor in the Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures department at Monmouth College, where she taught Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Literature. At Monmouth, she organized Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals workshops for students and members of the community. She co-founded the community organization Latinos Unidos de Monmouth that organized temporary visitor’s driver’s license workshops, as well as a 5K that raised funds to provide scholarships to local Latino high school students. 

Carina received her bachelor's degree in English and Latin American and Latino Studies with a minor in Spanish from DePaul University. She studied in Mérida, México, and, as a McNair Scholar, conducted graduate-level research in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She received her Master's in Hispanic literatures with a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

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