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'From the Farmworker Fields to Stanford University'

March 27, 2013

Gloria Velasquez, Ph.D, an internationally acclaimed author who holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University, is the guest speaker for Colorado State's Cesar Chavez celebrations. Her talk is titled, 'My Life Journey: From the Farmworker Fields to Stanford University.'

Velasquez and her brother, Fini, in the cotton fields.
Friday, March 29
11:30 a.m.
Lory Student Center Theatre

Remarkable beginnings

Gloria Velásquez's life story is a juxtaposition of many beginnings, each more remarkable than the last. 

A native of Colorado, she began her childhood in the cotton fields and later as a motel maid. She got her early and high school education in Johnstown, Colorado.

After high school, Velásquez began working full time at Hewlett Packard in Loveland stacking transformers, then later as a secretary while attending night classes at a local college. Her hard work and the extraordinary promise she showed earned her a fellowship to the University of Northern Colorado.

By the time Velásquez was 29, she'd graduated with a bachelor's degree from UNC; she is an honored alumni of UNC and the first Chicana inducted into UNC's Hall of Fame.

She was admitted to Stanford University, one of the most prestigious universities in the world. She earned both her master's and Ph.D. in Spanish literature from Stanford.

Velásquez is now a professor of Chicano Literature and Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

Velasquez performing on the guitar. She was a featured author at the 2013 Tucson Festival of Books and held a book signing there.Poet, writer, musician

Velásquez is an internationally acclaimed author of poetry and the creator of the popular Roosevelt High Series for the young adult audience. Each novel in the series features Chicano/Latino as well as African American characters, something very rare in the young-adult genre.

Her work reflects the reality of her early life, its poverty, and instability. In her fiction and poetry, she expresses her deep yearning for equality for Chicanos. 

Her personal creed is: "I want to inspire social change and get people to care about human dignity. I want to educate our youth. I want to politicize them." 

Velásquez is also a song writer and musician. She has two CDs, the Superwoman Chicana CD and a recently released bilingual children's music CD, the Double Bubbleheads.

'My Life Journey'

In connection with CSU's Cesar Chavez celebrations, Velásquez will speak on Friday, March 29 at 11:30 a.m. in the Lory Student Center Theatre (main level).

The title of her talk is, "My Life Journey: From the Farmworker Fields to Stanford University."

Bring your own lunch. Cookies and punch will be provided. Sponsored by Elcentro and the Cesar Chavez Committee.

Contact: Kayla Green