Area woman to receive service award from Hobart and William Smith Colleges students
April 12, 2000 Geneva, NY – In addition to announcing that U. S. Deputy Assistant Ray Martinez is the new keynote speaker who will highlight the Latin American Extravaganza at Hobart and William Smith Colleges on Saturday, April 15, LAO organizers wish to reveal that the recipient of the Community Award to be presented during the festivities is well-known local Hispanic advocate Xochitl Palacios. The public is invited to attend the celebration. See below for ticket information.
Ray Martinez, deputy assistant to the U. S. president and deputy director for intergovernmental affairs, will be the keynote speaker, filling in for Maria Echaveste, deputy chief of staff at the White House, who has been requested by the President Clinton to fly to Palo Alto, California to join him on his national tour discussing many topics, including new markets. Echaveste, in addition to having graduated from Stanford and Cal-Berkeley, is the White House expert on new markets. Her office had not known when President Clinton planned to start his tour in California, which altered her own travel plans.
“While we would have loved to have Maria Echaveste, we are thrilled that Ray Martinez will be able to join our celebration. Ray is a fantastic speaker and is looking forward to coming to Hobart and William Smith,” says William Smith senior Yoselin Genao, president of the Colleges' Latin American Organization.
As Deputy Director for Intergovernmental Affairs since October, 1999, Martinez has been responsible for assisting President Bill Clinton with the nation's governors and other statewide elected officials. Prior to his presidential appointment, Martinez served as Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, serving as Secretary Donna Shalala's personal representative in the region and as the department's principle regional liaison with federal, state, and local officials. In addition, Martinez has served in the Clinton Administration, as a consultant and advisor to a number of federal, state and local officials, as a Special Assistant to the President, the White House Liaison and Special Assistant to the Chief-of-Staff at the Department of Health and Human Services. Martinez also worked for Texas Attorney General Dan Morales.
Martinez speaks extensively on a wide range of subjects including the Children's Health Insurance Program, racial and ethnic health disparities, Head Start and childcare, welfare reform, and U.S./Mexico border health issues. A native of Alice, Texas, Martinez received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and his bachelor's degree in 1987 from Southwestern University. He is married to Beth Stanley Martinez, a clinical social worker.
Following the Martinez' keynote address on Saturday, Genao says they will present Xochitl (So-chi) Palacios, Hispanic Roman Catholic Pastoral Associate for Ontario and Yates counties, with an award recognizing her contribution to them as well as to the area's Latin American community members.
“Xochitl Palacios has been a bridge not only for the Latinos on campus but she has been a bridge between the campus and the community. She has done so much beyond her job title. She is a role model for us all, a spiritual advisor, a guidance counselor, and a translator not only of the spoken word but one who assists the community in interpreting cultural differences,” Genao says.
Palacios of Marion was named to the newly created position of Regional Hispanic Pastoral Associate by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester in 1996. Palacios is originally from Guadaiajara, Mexico, and previously worked with migrants in the Finger Lakes area as case manager, nutrition advocate, and administrative assistant/teacher's aide.
The Cultural Extravaganza will be held from 5:30 until 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, in Bristol gym, and will also feature dinner, the Latin dance group Cultural Explosion Incorporated, student presentations of poetry and dance, and an award ceremony to pay tribute to Hispanic alums and Central New York community members. Dinner will begin at 7 p.m. and Martinez is expected to begin his talk at 8 p.m. Tickets, which include a full-course cultural dinner, are $7 for HWS students and $10 for all others. They are available at The College Store on St. Clair Street or at the Office of Student Life and Leadership in Scandling Center on Pulteney Street.
Founded in 1984, LAO is a group of diverse Hobart and William Smith students who strive to diversify campus and to raise awareness of Latino issues. LAO has created numerous events to highlight the achievements of the Latino community and to celebrate Latino culture through music, food, and showcasing their heroes.
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