MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

September 10, 2016 

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with us at Mayville State


September has been designated as Hispanic Heritage Month at Mayville State University. A number of activities have been planned, and we invite the community to be part of the celebration during activities that will be happening throughout the month of September. The events have been organized with communication participation in mind. We hope your schedule will allow you to get involved.

Hispanic Heritage Month was kicked off on Sept. 1, with music, prizes, trivia questions, and more at the MSU cafeteria.

While two sessions have already taken place, there are two additional sessions of basic Latin dancing on the schedule. They will be held Thursday, Sept. 15 and Thursday, Sept. 22. Both sessions take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Education Department, room 118. We are fortunate to have two dance instructors, who are from Colombia and the Dominican Republic, leading the lessons. They live in Fargo, N.D.

The Lunch & Learn Series will feature Dr. Kandace Creel Falcon, Xicana, professor, scholar, writer, and activist. She will lead sessions entitled “Latinos in the USA.” The conversation will be regarding the state of Latinos in the United States, and the social challenges they face with the contestation of their identity in the political rhetoric. Sessions will be held Wednesday, Sept. 14 from 11:50 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. in the MSU Campus Center Heritage Room, and Thursday, Sept. 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., also in the Heritage Room. Lunch is included. There is room to accommodate 15 people in each session. Please RSVP to Robyn Haines at 701-788-4710 or

Kandace Creel Falcon is an assistant professor of women’s and gender studies at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Her research interests include feminist digital media making, and the intersections of gender, race, sexuality, and class. Specifically, she uses creative and interdisciplinary research methods to explore the lives of Chicanas in the Midwest. She is interested in pedagogical approaches that inspire critical thinking and civic engagement for her students. She believe we have the capacity to make this world good for all.

A performance by Ballet Folkloric Mexico Azteca (BFMA), featuring traditional Mexican dances, will be held in the Classroom Building Auditorium from 7 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30. This group comes from Minneapolis and is formed by individuals with Mexican heritage, representing the various states of Mexico. The BFMA has rapidly become one of the most esteemed Mexican Folk dance companies in the Upper Midwest. Founded in 2009, the Minneapolis-based troupe has been under the artistic leadership of Edgar Galvan, one of its principal dancers. A highly valued cultural and artistic resource throughout the Minnesota region, the Ballet Folklorico Mexico Azteca boasts a repertoire that includes traditional folkloric dance pieces as well as indigenous rituals that are fused with elements from contemporary movement.

Hispanic Heritage Month is being sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Mayville State University, which is directed by Dina Zavala-Petherbridge. The office is fairly new to campus and indicates our strong commitment to fostering an inclusive campus community that values, respects, and supports diversity in multiple forms.

If you’re interested in learning more about the activities planned by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, go to We value the relationships formed between members of the campus and community and truly hope that you’ll participate in the many activities that are planned.