Meet Campus Celebrity Ro Alvarado-Parker!

HC: What is your position on campus?

Ro: I coordinate Multicultural Student Services for Boise State University. 


HC: Give us a little bit of background about yourself.  How long have you worked at BSU?

I’ve been here 10 years.  I actually went to Boise State and my undergrad is in Bilingual Elementary Education and my graduate focus is on Intercultural Communication from Boise State as well.


HC: Tell me a little bit about your department:

Ro: Our dept. is charged with creating education and programs for students who come from different cultures and our focus is helping people understand the dynamics within each group.  We absolutely are here for all students on campus.


I think traditionally we get thought of as “only for students of color” but we do have programs that target white students as well as students of color.  The idea is to help students in the dominant culture understand the dynamics and how they’re different for their group than for someone who comes from a non-dominant group. We do that a lot through programming, training, workshops, movies, speakers, and presentations. We want to raise awareness about issues that aren’t’ discussed in the mainstream.


HC: What are your hopes for any upcoming programs this school year at MSS?

This is the first year that we are doing a program that is going to target first generation students [called First Forward].  First generation students tend to be disproportionately students of color, lower socioeconomic, and women so I think with [that] in mind we really need to focus on programs that highlight the issues in those communities.  I think that it goes really, really well with the things that we’re already doing for Tunnel of Oppression.  For example, we do a training for our Tunnel of Oppression and this year we’re actually going to be merging that with the discussion group that was formerly called Dismantling Dominance; so that’s helping people understand how systems of oppression work and how we participate in systems all the time.  In order to not be oppressive we have to understand what those systems are and how we might be inadvertently or unintentionally participating in them so that we stop doing that and change the impact of that on those target groups.


HC: What is your all time favorite karaoke song to sing?

Ro: I think its “I Try” by Macy Gray because I love to mimic her voice when she sings.  It’s a little bit nasally, and it’s a really different voice and I love Macy Gray.


If you’re interested in finding out more about First Forward, Tunnel of Oppression, or would like to meet Ro yourself, stop by the Diversity Center on campus in the SUB!