Center established at CSUS
State University, Sacramento has created a new research and cultural
center focused on Latino issues. The Serna Center - named in honor
of the late Joe Serna Jr. and Isabel Hernandez-Serna - will formally
open in spring in the University Library next to the Multi-Cultural
The center will promote research on Latinos in the Sacramento Region,
and sponsor lectures, conferences and other special events.
"The Serna Center will be studying the new California, the
increasingly diverse California," says Joseph Sheley, dean
of the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies.
"The changes you now see occurring in California, you'll soon
see in the rest of the country. We think that it is important to
understand those changes and to help shape responses to them. At
the state's Capital University, we have an excellent opportunity
to do that."
The center will be directed by David Leon, who heads the University's
Chicano studies program and is a professor in the ethnic studies
Leon says that while the center's mission is to study Latinos, it
will welcome people from all backgrounds and scholars from many
disciplines. Areas of possible study include art, politics, health
Leon's first goals include creating an undergraduate internship
program for studying Latino issues and starting a community leadership
program for CSUS students from all backgrounds.
"We want to provide training so students can go out and be
leaders in their community when they graduate," Leon says.
"That's important for our communities, and it is a good reflection
of the values held by Joe and Isabel."
Discussions about the new center began during the University's "Year
of Unity" in 2000. Its naming honors Joe Serna Jr., a longtime
CSUS professor and Sacramento mayor who passed away in 1999, and
his wife Isabel Hernandez-Serna, a longtime CSUS professor and administrator
who passed away in 2000.
More information is available by contacting David Leon at (916)