8 Celebrities that Went to HSIs

By Stephanie Mayo

Though Hispanic Heritage Month officially ended on October 15, we’d like to cap off the month by featuring Latino/a celebrities that have attended HSIs. Please join today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up in celebrating the work HSIs have done to empower the Latin@ population!

1. Vanessa Marcil (College of the Desert)


Born in California, Vanessa Marcil attended school at College of Dessert in Palm Desert, CA. Vanessa is famous for her acting career. Her first big hit was when she was given the role of Brenda Barrett on General Hospital. She then landed her first film as Carla Pestalozzi in The Rock. She then joined the drama Las Vegas as Sam Marquez. Later, she played the lead role in The Nanny Express and currently in Stranded in Paradise. In addition to her acting career, she has also done a bit of activist work regarding domestic abuse and homelessness. She recently opened a home for mothers and children in L.A.  She has won four awards in acting and one awarded the Sojourn Service Award for her humanitarian work.

2. Edward James Olmos (B.A. at California State University, Los Angeles & A.A. at East Los Angeles College)

Edward James Olmos

Edward James Olmos is famous for his acting career and dedication to humanitarianism. As an actor, Edward James Olmos played iconic roles, such as William Adama in Battlestar Galactica, Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver and Abraham Quintanilla, Jr. in Selena. His work humanitarianism encourages students to pursue a higher education. Having once served as a U.S. goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, Edward has proven his dedication to increase higher educational enrollments. James Olmos has been awarded twenty-two awards in his acting career.

3. Cheech Marin (California State University, Northridge)

Cheech Marin

Cheech Marin is known as a comedian, actor and voice actor. Cheech Marin began his career as a part of the comedy act, Cheech & Chong. He has played Padre Esteban in The Perfect Game, Captain Delgado in Underclassman and Ignacio in Paula. Additionally, Cheech has voiced many characters in various Disney movies, such as Oliver and Company, The Lion King, It’s Tough to be a Bug!, Cars, and many more. Cheech Marin has won a total of six awards.

4. Benjamin Bratt (University of California, Santa Barbara)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 23: Actor Benjamin Bratt attends the Fulfillment Fund Stars 2013 Benefit Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 23, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)

Benjamin Bratt, native of California, is an actor and voice actor. The roles that made him famous were his portrayal of a Native American ranger in The River Wild and his role as the field officer for American soldiers in Clear and Present Danger. He was then given the lead in Texas and soon given the role of Detective Rey Curtis on Law and Order. As for his voice acting career, he played Manny in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and Eduardo/El Macho in Despicable Me 2. Recently, he has played Javier on Modern Family. He has received a total of nine awards.

5. Mia St. John (California State University, Northridge)


Native to San Francisco, California, Mia St. John attended California State University, Northridge before deciding to pursue her boxing career. Mia St. John has participated in a total of 60 fights, with 47 wins and 14 losses and 2 draws. Additionally, she participates in activist work through her foundation, the Mia St. John Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting health and wellbeing for Latinas in the U.S. She has previously spoken about her experiences navigating poverty, mental illness, and addiction to increase awareness and support for individuals who struggle with these issues. She has been a three-time international boxing champion and the recipient of the World Boxing Council Goodwill Ambassador Award for her activism.

6. Raymond Cruz (East Los Angeles College)

Raymond Cruz

Raymond Cruz is known for his acting career in various movies and television series. Some of the movies he has played roles in are From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money, Under SiegeCleveland Abduction, The Rock, and Perfect Crimes. A few of the television series he is a part of and is more renowned for are Breaking Bad as Tuco Salamanca, The Closer as Julio Alvarez, Nip/Tuck as Alejandro Perez and My Name is Earl as Paco. He has won two awards.

7. Andy Garcia (Florida International University)

Andy Garcia

Born in Cuba, Andy Garcia moved to the U.S. at the age of 2 where he grew up and pursued his college education at Florida International University. Andy Garcia is famous for being an actor and director. He has appeared in many movies. He was Vincent Mancini in The Godfather Part III and Agent George Stone and Giuseppe Petri in The Untouchables. More recently, he starred as Terry Benedict in Ocean’s Eleven. Additionally, he directed and starred in The Lost City. He has won a total of seventeen awards thus far in his acting and directing career.

8. Eva Longoria (B.S. from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and M.A. from California State University, Northridge)

Eva Longoria backstage at the ALMA Awards on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Eva Longoria is well-known as an actress and philanthropist. As an actress, Eva Longoria was in Desperate Housewives as Gabrielle Solis and The Young and the Restless as Isabella. As a philanthropist, Eva Longoria has been active in empowering the Latino population. Her foundation, The Eva Longoria Foundation, mobilizes Latinas across the country, and the foundation she co-founded, Latino Victory Project, focuses on promoting political participation in the Latin@ community. Additionally, Eva Longoria has given back to many charities and spoken out against institutionalized discrimination towards the Latin@ population. She has won a total of eight awards.

7 MSIs with Filipino American Student Organizations


By Marietess Masulit

The Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) began observing October as Filipino American History Month in 1991 to celebrate the first recorded arrival of Filipinos in the United States on October 18, 1587. In 2009, Congress passed House Resolution 780 and Senate Resolution 298 to officially recognize October nationally as Filipino American History Month.

In honor of Filipino American History month, today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up features seven MSIs with Filipino American student organizations dedicated to preserving and raising awareness around Filipino culture on their respective campuses and within their communities.

1. CSU East Bay: Pilipino American Student Association (PASA)

PASA at CSU East Bay engages students through activities and programming to raise Pilipino cultural awareness on campus and within the community. The organization began in 1972 and has since grown to be its own community on campus, providing students with a foundation for support and guidance.

2. University of Hawaii West O’ahu: Filipino-American Student Association of Hawai’i (FASAH)


FASAH at the University of Hawaii West O’ahu was started in 2011. The organization offers students with the opportunities for educational, social, cultural and recreational interests and awareness.

3. UC Merced: Pilipino American Alliance (PAA)

PAA is a social & cultural organization looking to bridge the gap between traditional & modern Pilipino culture as well as spark a movement of youth involvement & action within the surrounding community through art, leadership, & academic excellence.

4. Mount Saint Mary’s University (Los Angeles): Pangkat Pilipino (Pilipino Cultural Club)

mt. st. marys
Pangkat Pilipino is a cultural organization at Mount Saint Mary’s University that aims to preserve and raise awareness around Pilipino culture. Each year they coordinate their annual Pilipino-American Cultural Night.

5. City College of San Francisco: P.E.A.C.E (Pilipino/a’s for Education, Art, Culture and Empowerment)

city college sf
Pilipino/a’s for Education, Art, Culture and Empowerment or (P.E.A.C.E) is a student group that serves the needs of students whom identify or do not identify with being Filipino, Filipina or Filipino-American. They support the goals of students by connecting the history of Filipino/as in a larger context and by providing a space for them to grow as a learning community at City College of San Francisco.

6. University of Illinois, Chicago: Filipinos in Alliance

Filipinos in Alliance strives to educate others in the hopes that one may gain a sense of knowledge of self by realizing their own heritage, as well as the hardships of their ancestors before them, all in a friendly environment with people like themselves. With that goal in mind, the alliance believes in building a sense of belonging and unity with other Filipinos by working together through numerous events and activities to reach as many members in their community that they possibly can.

7. University of Houston: Filipino Student Association (FSA)

FSA has grown to be a very active non-profit cultural organization at the University of Houston as a registered student organization. FSA promotes its mission statement with cultural performances, demonstrations, social gatherings as well as attending camaraderie events in celebration of Filipino culture.

Celebrating Black Poetry Day: 8 Black Poets who attended HBCUs

By Melanie Wolff

Black Poetry Day is October 17th. The holiday is celebrated on the birthday of the first published African American poet, Jupiter Hammon, who was born into slavery on Long Island in 1711. To commemorate this special event, today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up highlights famous poets who attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as well as Predominantly Black Institutions.

1. Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giowanni - MSI Lineup

Giovanni attended undergraduate school at her grandfather’s alma mater, Fisk University. She graduated with honors from their History department.

2. Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes msilineup

Hughes began his education at Columbia University, but left because of the racial prejudice that pervaded the school in the 1920s. He returned to college soon after, enrolling at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.

3. Gwendolyn Brooks

brooks msilineup

Brooks was the first black person to receive a Pulitzer Prize. She attended Kennedy-King College, a Predominantly Black Institution (PBI) affiliated with the City College of Chicago and graduated in 1936.

4. James Emanuel

emanuel msilineup

Emanuel, a poet credited for creating the literary genre “jazz-and-blues haiku,” attended Howard University. He graduated in 1950.

5. Alice Walker

Alice walker msilineup

Walker, writer and poet best known for her book The Color Purple, began her college career at Spelman College.

6. Gilbert “Gil” Scott-Heron

scott-heron msilineup

Famous as a soul/jazz poet and activist, Scott-Heron attended Lincoln University. He chose the school because of its profound influence on one of his role models, Langston Hughes.

7. Lucille Clifton

clifton msi lineup

A two-time nominee for the Pulitzer Prize and the Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1979-1985, Clifton attended Howard University for most of her undergraduate career.

8. Saul Stacey Williams


Williams, known for his blend of poetry and alternative hip-hop, graduated from Morehouse College with a B.A. in Drama and Philosophy.

10 HBCUs with Awesome Homecoming Traditions

Today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up recognizes HBCUs known for their unforgettable homecoming traditions, which are full of alumni events, Greek step shows, awesome football games, college parties, and philanthropic initiatives.

1. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

NCAT Homecoming

North Carolina A&T is known for the Greatest Homecoming on Earth–no really, that’s its actual title: GHOE. The line up for GHOE this year will feature heavy hitters in the music industry, including Future, Wale, Young Dro, Rae Sremmud and Fetty Wap. Other traditions will include the Mister and Miss A&T Coronation and Reception, Greatest Homecoming on Earth Countdown, Homecoming Comedy Show, National Pan-Hellenic Step Show, parade, and the Festival of Praise Gospel Show, all of which take place during the GHOE week.  Go Aggies!

2. Southern University


Southern University celebrates and holds court recognizing Miss Southern University New Orleans (SUNO) each year during homecoming. The Royal Court aims to encourage the student body to actively participate in service activities as well as promote general awareness of important issues. The homecoming event encourages student leadership, activism, and engagement with the university. Homecoming this year will be from October 25th to the 31st.

3. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

FAMU Homecoming

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University‘s homecoming traditions include the annual fashion show, dorm step show, annual Bar-B-Quecomedy and talent show and Greek step show. Homecoming weekend at FAMU is a time for great food and reconnecting with friends and alumni. Homecoming will start on October 16th this year. Let the good times begin!

4. Hampton University

HU homecomeing

Hampton University will host homecoming this year with a full itinerary which includes a fashion show, gospel concert, alumni networking event, greek step show, and Miss Hampton Coronation. Fetty Wap will be performing this year. Homecoming will be from October 4th to the 11th. Hampton will be playing Delaware State; may the best team win!

5. Howard University

Howard University

Howard University‘s homecoming events started on September 26th with the Sprinting for Glory 5K run, in addition to the alumni and friends golf scholarship classic, their new LGBTA Renaissance Reception, ESPN’s His & Hers Live Broadcast, the president’s state of the university address, and the Bison give-back project at Capital Area Food Bank.

6. Tennesse State University

TSE Homecoming

Tennessee State University‘s homecoming is unlike any other and this year’s celebration is expected to be one of the biggest ever because they are celebrating their centennial in academic excellence. This year, Tennessee State alumni will recognize their National Alumni Association with the celebration of their 100 year milestone.

7. Alabama State University

Alabama State University

Alabama State University‘s homecoming, which is affectionately known as Turkey Day, will include Black Nativity which will be presented by the theatre department. Homecoming will also include a day of service for the reading and writing initiative, the homecoming kick off mixer, the Hornet choice awards student gala, and the Hornet nation mix and mingle among many other exciting events. Homecoming will start on November 12th and continue on throughout the week.

8. Morehouse College

Morehouse Homecoming

Morehouse‘s homecoming will run from October 18th to the 25 and include events such as the homecoming opening worship, a hip hop concert, the Morehouse-Spelman Homecoming Parade in conjunction with Clark Atlanta, the President’s Homecoming Brunch, the 2015 Homecoming Game (Morehouse vs Benedict College), and their Greek step show. The city of Atlanta will be the place to be for homecoming!

9. Grambling State University

Grambling Homecoming

Grambling State University‘s homecoming will entail the homecoming gospel explosion, comedy show, concert, parade, and super homecoming reunion. The dates are from October 18th to the 24th.  The homecoming week is full of engaging and exciting events. Black and yellow never looked so good before.

10. Fisk University

Fisk Homecoming

Fisk University‘s homecoming week is from November 8th to the 14th and their wonderful activities include the Fisk Family Worship, the Homecoming Luncheon, a comedy show, the Mr. and Miss Fisk Coronation/Coronation Ball, a concert, and many other events. Don’t miss out!