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National Coalition for Hispanic Development in the Human Sciences

Proposal for
National Coalition for Hispanic Development in the Human Sciences

The growing Hispanic population and the apparent low numbers of professionals and leaders in the human sciences community lead Kappa Omicron Nu to the conclusion that a direct initiative is required to enhance diversity in organizations, including Kappa Omicron Nu, that serve the human sciences. Diversity has been a priority of Kappa Omicron Nu since the launching of this theme in 1991 and the publication of Leadership for a Culturally Diverse Society module in 1993. The demographic statistics and issues in the larger society, such as the English-only movement for schools and discrimination in general, add to the need for addressing Hispanic participation. Three Hispanic-Serving Institutions have chapters of Kappa Omicron Nu (California State University-Northridge, University of New Mexico, and Texas A&M University-Kingsville), and members at Florida International University have used Kappa Omicron Nu resources. Although the Kappa Omicron Nu membership is diverse, the future will require more involvement by Hispanics in leadership, and it is our position that other organizations within the human sciences are in similar need.


The Kappa Omicron Nu Board of Directors invites the partnership of members as well as other Hispanic-Serving Institutions to explore ways to develop a coalition (or another alternative) to accomplish goals similar to those achieved for Black development.

What's Next

Kappa Omicron Nu is assembling a team of members to explore possible approaches to enhancing Hispanic leadership. The first meeting was held during the 2003 AAFCS Annual Meeting. The following suggestions were made:
  • Feature Hispanic leaders in a Legacies issue of Kappa Omicron Nu FORUM - recruit authors
  • Consider a Leadership Development Workshop
  • Discuss a "People of Color" initiative with the Coalition for Black Development
  • Explore relationship with HACU
  • Explore a graduate student organization
  • Develop relationship with Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for travel grants
  • Explore Hispanic-Serving Community Colleges
  • Develop a list of doctoral institutions, majors, and mentors for Hispanic students
  • Call for supporters-make connections with PhD institutions to form mentoring relationships
  • Identify students who could benefit from mentoring during graduate work
  • Develop proposal for panel about mentoring Hispanic students - San Diego AAFCS Annual Meeting to explore academic pipeline with faculty and administrators
  • Build sensitivity about the issue of diversity
  • Explore how students "strike out on their own"
  • Use FAEIS data to survey institutions
  • Conduct Focus Groups at other meetings
  • Explore support from other Human Sciences-related associations


  • Identify friendly places for Hispanic students -support group and mentors
  • Propose programs for conferences of related organizations 
  • Focus on publications - series of articles on cultural diversity
  • Conduct research in differences that affect leadership -Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Religious
  • Develop network with Chicano Studies, Women's Studies
  • Explore funding
Attendance: Alyce Akers, Jan Van Buren, Ann Vail, and Dorothy Mitstifer In addition to the above goals, the next stage for What's Next involves recruiting individuals and organizations to gain volunteers, ideas, and support for this initiative. It should be understood that the name of the initiative is not carved in stone.


    Janis B. Van Buren
    Texas A & M University-Kingsville 
Human Sciences, MSC 168 
Kingsville, TX  78363   
    T - 361.593.2192
    e-mail - 
    Dorothy I. Mitstifer
    Kappa Omicron Nu
    1749 Hamilton Road, Suite 106
    Okemos, MI 48864
    T - 517.351.8335
    e-mail -