June 13, 2016

Purdue's Latino Cultural Center selects director

Carina Olaru Carina Olaru
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Carina Olaru, assistant professor at Monmouth College, has been selected as director of the Latino Cultural Center at Purdue University. Olaru will succeed interim director Rosa Acevedo Villarreal at the LCC effective July 18.

"The knowledge and experience Carina brings to Purdue will provide a warm, welcoming atmosphere for our Latino students, faculty and staff, as well as provide a source of education for our entire community," said Deba Dutta, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity.

At Monmouth, she organized Latino College Day, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals events and first-generation college student focus groups to help bring to light the issues facing students of color in higher education.

During her graduate studies in the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Olaru taught a variety of courses, worked as a research assistant, conducted research afforded by the Tinker Field Research Grant and studied in Brazil as a recipient of the Foreign Language Area Studies fellowship. She also worked as an instructor at Brazil in Chicago, where she taught Spanish to native speakers of Portuguese.

"I am excited at the opportunity to engage with the Latino community, on and off campus, to create opportunities for dialogue about issues facing Latinos/as in higher education and to collaborate with students, faculty and staff to contribute to an atmosphere of inclusion," Olaru said.

She 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.

Ximena Arriaga, provost fellow, a member of Purdue's Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Team and professor of psychological sciences, chaired the search committee.

"Olaru brings a vast amount of knowledge, perspective and experience to this position, and we look forward to where she can take the LCC," Arriaga said. 

Writer: Megan Huckaby, 765-496-1325, mhuckaby@purdue.edu 

Sources: Deba Dutta, dutta@purdue.edu

Ximena Arriaga, 765-494-6888, arriaga@purdue.edu

Carina Olaru, cvasquez@monmouthcollege.edu

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