CLS members receive Latinx Staff/Faculty Awards

May 4, 2022

The MSU Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions presented several awards to CLS community members at their recent Latinx Achievement Gala. The award winners are as follows:

Latinx Staff/Faculty Awards

For giving of him/her/they to a future generation of Latinx students.

Dr. Eric Juenke, professor of Political Science and CLS Core Faculty

"Dr. Eric Juenke is an exceptional example of the impact faculty can have on Latinx students, both undergraduate and graduate. I first met Dr. Juenke when I chose to attend Michigan State University in late summer of 2017 and since then, he has remained a close mentor, colleague, and friend. Dr. Juenke serves his students beyond the classroom. During my move to Lansing, he remained connected and committed to helping meet my needs as a graduate Latinx student moving from deep south Texas to the north. He knew my roommate, also from Texas, needed furniture for our new apartment. In doing so, he gave us a couch to help furnish our apartment. It’s the small details with Dr. Juenke that makes the greatest impact. That small gesture assured me that I had a faculty member at MSU who had my interests at heart and that I could go to him if I ever needed help. To add, Dr. Juenke–recognizing that MSU is a predominantly white campus–makes sure that his students feel a sense of belonging at MSU. My first year, Dr. Juenke reached out to me and my friend Dianey to see if we wanted to pick up Dolores Huerta from the airport. It was such an honor to know that he trusted in me and my colleague to host an icon from our community. Similarly, he made sure I was part of the selected students that would meet honorable Sonia Sotomayor. And just recently, yet again, he invited me to his classroom to meet Tejana musical artist, Gina Chavez, where I was able to see firsthand how he incorporates out-of-the-classroom experiences into his curriculum and pedagogical approaches that enhance Latinx, student learning and sense of belonging at MSU."


For empowering Latinx students into a new cadre of community leadership.

Amanda Flores, HALE PhD and CLS graduate certificate student

"For empowering Latinx students into a new cadre of community leadership. Amanda is receiving her doctorate in only a short 5 years this May and while she’s been on campus, she was instrumental in coordinating RUEDA Latina graduate student organization and mentored many Latinx students. Amanda also made time to serve in the NSSC Latinx Student Success committee where she contributed to literature review and data drives practices for Latinx student support."


For his tireless commitment & dedication to the services of Latinx students.

Samuel Saldivar, CLS Dual Major PhD with English alumnus

"For giving of himself to a future generation of Latinx student success. Sam has done a terrific job supporting students through mentorship and volunteering in many panels and initiatives throughout his time at State. Sam always responds and shows up for Latinx students when called and is a true champion for Latinx inclusion and belonging. Sam’s energy and positive demeanor is contagious, and students appreciate him. He is often seen helping students through difficult situations and even loaning out his car. He is service minded and always asks how he can help or be of service. God only know how he makes time for it all and his genuine care doesn’t go unnoticed."