| Life at WSU | Student Services | Multicultural Affairs
The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) works with students to make a successful transition to college by enhancing their current knowledge and skills. By focusing on the academic, personal, social, and financial adjustment to university we take a comprehensive approach to increasing the effectiveness and retention of first generation, low-income, or Asian, Latino, African, or Native American (ALANA) college students. The OMA creates a welcoming environment that caters to students and their distinct needs.
The OMA office hosts the following programs: Alternatives for Individual Development, a Worcester State University Summer Bridge Program; Upward Bound; Worcester's 100 Males to College Collaborative; Third World Alliance (TWA), a legacy ALANA student organization; and the Worcester State University Multicultural Programming Committee. In addition there are signature multi-cultural programs and activities. They include programs around Latin Heritage Month, Black History Month, Native American Heritage Month, and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Additionally, the OMA is an integral part of the wider Worcester community. WSU’s capstone program, Courageous Conversations, is an event that brings local, national, and international scholars and campaigners for social justice to campus where they engage with Worcester State University students, faculty and staff, and the wider city community. Similarly, the OMA hosts the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Breakfast. For a quarter century, this key program celebrating the community has been attended by local dignitaries, the Worcester community, Worcester community students, the Worcester State University staff, faculty, and students.
Vanessa Laracuente was one of 20 student leaders from around the United States to attend the Intercollegiate Diversity Congress Summit hosted by the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation. She was selected because of her “tremendous background” in addressing problems with campus climate. “I was honored and felt very humbled to be chosen,” she says. The goal was for each participant to develop a project that would address forms of discrimination on their campus. She is planning to create a video with testimonies of at least 100 students “about their experiences and whether they've ever felt a time when they did not feel included” that aligns with President Barry Maloney’s Five Points of Action.