UWL author explores Latina/o college student leadership
In her new book UWL faculty member Adele Lozano provides the higher education community with a different perspective on college student leadership.
The book, “Latina/o College Student Leadership: Emerging Theory, Promising Practice” was published in December.
Lozano, a lecturer in the Student Affairs Administration program, says her career working with first-generation Latino/a students was the inspiration for the book — the first to specifically explore leadership from the perspective of Latina/o students, staff and faculty members. The book combines research, leadership models, essays, practices and more.
“I hope this book will encourage higher education staff and faculty members to move beyond traditional notions of leadership and support Latinx students as they navigate the college environment while maintaining their cultural values,” she says.
Traditional leadership models often do not take into consideration the knowledge, experiences, and cultural values of Latina/o college students, she says. In her 15 years working primarily in multicultural student affairs, she noticed that, in general, collaboration was more important to Latinx students than having a title. Also, they tended to prefer a humble and collaborative form of leadership that was not always valued or supported by the university, which requires student organizations to select leaders often in a very competitive manner.
Lozano, who is a lecturer in the Student Affairs Administration program, says she will be using the book to teach her students — master’s level students who will enter the student affairs field and work with an increasingly diverse student population. She is also developing a course – Latinx Students in Higher Education.
Latina/o students are now the largest racial/ethnic minority group in higher education. It is essential for student affairs practitioners to understand the diversity of the Latina/o student population, she says.
“We must get away from the traditional ‘deficit’ view of Latinx students and instead, recognize their unique strengths while supporting their development as leaders,” she says.