Ms. López was recently bestowed the honor of “Rising Star” by the Hispanic Coalition of NY, where she was selected from nominees statewide. She was also selected as a “Rising Star” of the year, voting is being conducted online to receive this honor. Ms. López begun building her professionalism, altruism and activism in the Hispanic Community at a young age, where she was involved with Hispanics Organized for Progress in Education (HOPE) in Dunkirk, NY, with her mother being one of the founders.
Education is a very important issue for Ms. López. She lives by the motto, “be the change you wish to see in the world”. To this end, Ms. López has been very active in causes that involve education. During her undergraduate studies at SUNY Fredonia, she was integral in advocating for implementation of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, sole student member of the Latino Studies minor implementation committee, a Resident Assistant and President of Latinos Unidos. She was on the dean’s list for the majority of her undergraduate studies, a Rosa Parks Scholarship recipient for her one woman play entitled, “They Sometimes Call me Gringa”, an Alma Matter Society Inductee, for exemplary service to campus and community and a distinguished alumna featured in SUNY Fredonia recruitment publications. Ms. López completed her graduate studies at Buffalo State College in Speech Language Pathology with a Bilingual Extension. Here, she was a grad assistant in the Office of Admissions and Office of Bilingual Exceptional Education as well as a Fellow of the Research Foundation.
She is a current member as well as a previous executive board member, previous Membership Chair, past Treasurer, and past Vice President of the Hispanic Women’s League (HWL). She has spear headed many efforts within the organization such as the HWL’s participation in the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of Western New York, membership drives, and a collaboration with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for a performance and “meet and greet” with Rita Moreno. Continuing her efforts to empower others to further their education, Ms. López was on the committee that created and implemented the Nabta Fund at SUNY Fredonia. This is an endowment fund that provides African American students scholarships to attend SUNY Fredonia. Following this example, Ms. López has also begun the process of beginning the endowment fund entitled “Nuestro Futuro” (Our Future), to provide Latino students scholarships to attend SUNY Fredonia.
She is a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) as well as ASHA’s Division for Communication Disorders & Sciences in Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Populations and ASHA’s Hispanic Caucus. She was chosen from speech language pathologists across the country and bestowed the honor of ASHA “Diversity Champion” at the national convention for her dedication to the Hispanic Community. She is a member of Manchester’s Whose Who, NYSABE (New York State Association for Bilingual Education), a previous SUNY Fredonia Alumni Association Executive Board of Directors member and secretary, and a recipient of the Hispanics United of Buffalo, “Nuestro Orgullo-Star” award for exemplary service to the Hispanic Community of Buffalo. She is trained through the Literacy Volunteers of America and obtained her ESL Certification and tutored adults whose first language is not English and who are not literate. She was also selected as a judge for the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of Western New York. The Black Student Union and Latinos Unidos of SUNY Fredonia also extended an invitation to her to return to campus to present at the “People of Color Concerns Conference”. She performed in Raíces Theater Company’s recent production of “Yo soy Latina”.
Ms. López has influenced many children and families throughout her academic career that has spanned over 13 years. As a bilingual speech language pathologist she worked directly with Latino children in Buffalo with their language abilities to help them gain better access to the curriculum. Currently, Ms. López is employed with the New York State Department of Education, housed at Erie 1 BOCES in West Seneca, NY as the Bilingual Special Education Specialist/Coordinator with the Western Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Center (RSE-TASC). She provides supports to districts in the Western New York region who serve students who are English Language Learners and have, or our suspected of having, a disability through coaching and professional development. In her personal life, she has a 1 year old niece, Megan, and 8 year old nephew, Christian. In addition she also has a 12 year old god daughter, Alexa, whom she met at the age of 18 months as a client.