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BUAA's Newest Affinity Group - BAILA

by Melanie Pagan ’09 and Cirilo “Lilo” Hurtado ’86

Hoping to assist their fellow alumni to “become a Brave again” through volunteerism, engagement, and leadership, Melanie Pagan ’09 and Cirilo Hurtado ’86 have, along with several other enthusiastic alumni, founded Bradley University Alumni Association’s (BUAA) newest affinity group – Bradley Association of International & Latino Alumni (BAILA).

The BUAA approved the new group’s charter at their Spring 2013 board meeting, making BAILA the fourth ‘official’ BUAA affinity group along with the Black Alumni Alliance, Forensics Alumni Network, and Communication Alumni Network. BAILA recognizes that diversity is truly valued at Bradley, and wants to project that value to prospective students and community members.

The mission of the group reflects that:  to actively engage Bradley Latino alumni in identifying and positively addressing the issues facing Latinos at Bradley and within Latino communities in the United States and abroad. BAILA will achieve its mission by offering its membership meaningful and sustainable opportunities for networking, collaboration, and advocacy.

BAILA was founded to provide mentors and networking opportunities to current students, as well as to organize meaningful engagement opportunities for all Latino alumni. Students may not always realize the importance of campus involvement and BAILA hopes to help students understand the opportunities that can be afforded to them through involvement. They want students and alumni alike to have the opportunity to be exposed to their culture while having a community to share it with.

During their time at Bradley, Pagan and Hurtado were both extremely passionate about being involved on campus. They participated in various organizations including residential life and Greek life, respectively. Pagan graduated with a major in Art History and a minor in Sociology and is currently working as the Assistant Director of the Multicultural Center at Connecticut College in New London, CT. Hurtado graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering and is working for ExxonMobil Corporation in Cicero, Illinois.

Pagan and Hurtado both believe that student involvement is a high priority for students at Bradley. They also believe in taking advantage of the resources available at Bradley, because they will shape and mold you into the person you will be later in life. BAILA wants to connect current students with alumni to provide increased networking and mentoring opportunities that may lead to valuable internships, jobs, and ultimately, success!

The group is planning their first major alumni reunion on campus in conjunction with Latino Heritage Month, September 20-22. In collaboration with ALAS (Assoc. of Latino American Students) and the Multicultural Center, the event promises to be full of opportunity, learning, and fun!

BAILA is open to anyone who believes in their mission, and encourages everyone to get involved. For more information, email bradleylatinos@gmail.com

Congratulations to the founding members of the newly formed Bradley Association of International & Latino Alumni (BAILA) board of directors. Pictured (L to R):  Liliana Barajas '09, Melanie Pagan '09, Cirilo "Lilo" Hurtado '86, Jamie Rasmussen '10, Natja Guzman '94 MSIE '98, Anita Pacheco '91 and Adrian Alvarez '89 (not pictured but called in to the meeting) met on January 5 in Chicago.