Published Fall 2012
By NJ Revilla-Garcia, The Voice of Hispanic Higher Education
Three student contestants listened intently for the first question. “In what city did the U.S. Congress start Radio Marti, the radio station designed to reach Cuba’s citizens? Was it, (a) Tampa, Florida (b) Miami, Florida (c) Marathon Key, Florida or (d) Palm Bay, Florida?” The student quickest to the buzzer responds correctly, “b. Miami, Florida.”
The question is one of 150 prepared for the 2012 Hispanic College Quiz TV show, which features college and university students from HACU-member institutions in a national broadcast this fall.
Nine students, selected from entries submitted by faculty and/or staff member nominations, were notified of their selection this summer. For approximately six weeks, students, mentored by their coaches, prepared for the competition focused on Hispanic history in the areas of arts and design, film and media, performing arts, music and theater. The prize? A chance to receive one of three scholarships ranging from $1,500 - $5,000 in the championship round.
The students took every opportunity to study, including during their flights to Chicago, where the taping took place on July 28, 2012. Carlos Alvarado, a sophomore at Los Angeles Harbor College, said he made about 200 note cards from information in “Hispanic Firsts: 500 Years of Extraordinary Achievement” by Nicholas Kanellos, the book selected by Central City Productions (CCP), the producers of the show.
“I studied over two hours a day,” said Karen Marlene Herrejon, a sophomore at Columbia College Chicago, who also studied during the train ride into Chicago for the show. Ivan Ramirez, a sophomore at Victoria College, said he spent approximately 3-4 hours a day studying.
During the taping of the shows, the students were thrilled with the production experience, appearing professional and at ease with the green screen backdrop, the technology process commonly used in weather broadcasts and Hollywood films, and selected to debut in the production of this year’s quiz show.
In a small production room on another floor, the coaches that accompanied the students wished each other the best of luck before the first show began. “They are having a good time, so that’s good,” said Marvin Martinez, president of Los Angeles Harbor College. “I’m probably more nervous than they are.”
By the third round, coaches from Columbia Basin College, Victoria College and Adams State University were at ease and played along in the speed round, and by the end of the day, everyone cheered on the finalists.
“It was a really great experience for all those who attended and took part,” said Morgan O’Sullivan, assistant director of student services and coach to Lisette Villegas from Lynn University. A month since the taping, he said, “I know that Lisette is still in contact with some of the other students from the event, which was one of the great bonuses from the Hispanic College Quiz experience.”
The purpose of the Hispanic College Quiz is to encourage the appreciation of Hispanic/Latino heritage in an entertaining quiz show format. The Hispanic College Quiz show, sponsored by State Farm, is scheduled to air nationwide, Sept. 15-Oct.14, 2012 during Hispanic Heritage Month. This is the fifth year that HACU has partnered with CCP on the quiz show.
CBC CONTESTANT & COACH
Veronica Ortiz is a sophomore majoring in criminal justice at Columbia Basin College. Ortiz is involved with the CAMP organization as well as the Latino Cultural Club. Her coach is Martin Valadez, vice president for diversity and outreach. The president of Columbia Basin College is Richard W. Cummins. The school mascot is a hawk, and the colors are blue and white. The college is located in the Tri-Cities of southeastern Washington State encompassing the three municipalities of Pasco, Kennewick, and Richland. Website - http://www.columbiabasin.edu
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