Breaking Barriers

Victoria Alvizurez is the oldest of 35 grandchildren and the first in her family to attend college. A senior, she is majoring in computer science. Her dream is to become a software engineer. In April 2016, Victoria, along with a panel of her peers, addressed WSU’s National Advisory Council (NAC). “I would not be in college if it weren’t for Upward Bound and my parents, who are my biggest supporters,” she said.

A Weber State Access & Diversity program, Upward Bound helps underrepresented high schoolers build academic and social skills.

Stories like Victoria’s move Enrique Romo to tears.
As WSU’s executive director for Access & Diversity — a new position created in 2015 — Romo’s goal is to “increase the number of underrepresented students in the educational pipeline, and to empower those students to break barriers.”

NAC member Karla Bergeson, a former banking executive, heaped praise on the student panelists. “I want you to know that diversity is power,” she said. “When you share your perspectives with people from different backgrounds, it makes everyone stronger. You are powerful; bring that with you into the world.”

Reflecting Our Community

WSU is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, an organization that champions Hispanic success in higher education. Romo says he would like to see Weber State become a federally designated Hispanic-serving institution (HSI).

To be an HSI, 25 percent of an institution’s total enrollment must consist of Hispanic students. Weber State is currently at 10 percent.

“Ogden has one of the largest percentages of Latinos in Utah,” Romo said. “We want our enrollment demographic to reflect that of our community. To do that, we need to make sure the voices of  underrepresented students are heard and understood, and we will do just that.”

Access & Diversity includes the following areas:

  • Access and Outreach
  • Diversity and Inclusive Programs
  • Center for Multicultural Excellence
  • Transition Programs and Partnerships
  • LGBT Resource Center