What’s it like to be a first-generation American with deep Hispanic roots? In this episode of the College of Arts and Sciences Pokes PodCAS, OSU students Samary Simpson-Jimenez, Monse Solorzano and Nadia Valles give us some insight into their unique experiences — from food and family to school and societal expectations (and beyond!). Along with the rest of the United States, we here at CAS are thrilled to celebrate the cultures, histories, accomplishments and influence of Hispanic Americans during Hispanic Heritage Month — from September 15 to October 15 — and throughout the year.

Juneteenth is a day to celebrate freedom and honor the resiliency of all African Americans. Dr. Belton joins us to discuss the importance of Juneteenth being named a federal holiday, how an Africana Studies minor can impact a student's education and future work life, some historical figures he is inspired by, and so much more.

“It’s a very thin line between appropriation and appreciation,” said Monse Solórzano during our conversation about Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the United States. We’ve all seen the Cinco de Mayo banners, signs and social media posts advertising discounted Mexican food and margaritas. However, how many of us have stopped to consider the history of Cinco de Mayo and what it means to some Mexican-Americans? Tune in to hear about Monse’s journey to OSU and learn about Cinco de Mayo through her eyes.

“Mistakes are only mistakes if you don’t learn from them.” This was just one piece of advice that Orange Gown Recipient Kayla Reed had to share with students as she prepares to graduate with degrees in Psychology, Zoology and Plant Biology. Tune in to this episode of the Pokes PodCAS to hear about the lessons she learned throughout her journey at OSU.

Women have always had a hand in the way that history is made, but they often get left out of the conversation when it comes to their roles in major historical events. This can be especially true for women in minority groups. But despite people’s tendency to overlook the contributions of women in history, it’s important to remember them because they can be role models for young women today. No one knows this better than Kassandra Gaona and Destinee Adams. Kassandra was Miss Hispanic/Latina OSU 2020, and Destinee co-founded Okstate Stand United. They joined me to talk about some women who have made history and the importance of having these types of figures to look up to, especially as a woman in a minority group.

We’re two years into the pandemic, but navigating online and hybrid classes can still be tricky, as can finding safe ways to get involved on campus. We spoke with Brianna Roenbeck, a psychology/pre-med major and our CAS Student Council president. She had some great advice to help students stay on top of their schoolwork and also to get involved on campus safely.

All writers benefit from the outside perspective of a skilled editor. That is why the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of English house the OSU Writing Center. It serves OSU and the surrounding community, helping communicators understand and practice strategies used by effective writers, including brainstorming, drafting and editing techniques. In this episode, the director of the Writing Center, Dr. Anna Sicari, discusses her new role as co-editor of The Writing Center Journal, how research in this field benefits all writers, and why even those working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics should take advantage of these services.

We all have that crazy relative who believes outrageous conspiracy theories or a lot of so-called facts that aren’t supported by the evidence. This person seems to live in an entirely different universe than those of us who are sane, right? The truth is, we are all misinformed to some degree, says Dr. Matthew Motta, a political science professor who studies misinformation. We talk about why people are motivated to find information that supports their beliefs instead of the truth, and how we can have the most success reaching those who have refused to listen to others. He also shares other helpful tips such as, “If you want to know something about the curvature of the Earth, ask a flat-earther,” and why it is important to realize how much you don’t know.

Every semester, one CAS student is selected for the prestigious Orange Gown. Alannah Templon, a double major in Biology: Allied Health and Sociolgy: Anthropology, was selected to represent the class of Spring 2021. Templon reflects on her research, involvement on-campus, plans for after graduation, and some of her favorite memories at OSU.