Alumna Brings South-Central Students to the Bluff

For Karla Arvizu ’05, M.A. ’11, bringing her students to visit her alma mater was a special reunion.

Arvizu is vice principal at Mother of Sorrows School in South-Central Los Angeles, and an LMU double alumna: a B.A. in Spanish and political science and M.A. in education. And last week, Arvizu returned to the bluff with 50 middle schoolers from Mother of Sorrows to give them a glimpse of life in college. On hand to help Arvizu was friend and fellow LMU alumna Victoria Lau ’05, now an assistant professor of Spanish at LMU.

The Modern Languages and Literatures Department and its chair, Alicia Partnoy, coordinated a full day for the middle school group, including campus tours, class visits and guest speakers from across the university – from science labs to Spanish class.

“Many of these students may be the first in their families to go to college,” said Arvizu. “Visits like this open up their world to the possibilities.” The event allowed seventh and eight graders from South L.A. to discover the “gem of Loyola Marymount that very few people know about in our area,” she added.

The students particularly enjoyed attending language classes. Having previously toured larger universities in the region, the students expressed interest in sitting in on actual college courses. So, they divided into small groups and attended Chinese, German, Italian and Spanish classes. In one empowering moment in an upper division Spanish literature course, Mother of Sorrows students easily joined the discussion, since many are fluent in Spanish.

The Modern Languages and Literatures Department was glad to host the Mother of Sorrows students, and hopes that a future Lion or two may now know that a premiere education at LMU is within reach.

Pictured above: Karla Arvizu ’05, M.A. ’11; Alicia Partnoy; Victoria Lau ’05
Pictured below: Herbert Medina, associate dean of the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering, welcoming students to LMU’s Life Sciences Building. 

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