National Hispanic Heritage Month Employee Spotlight

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Each year—from September 15 to October 15—throughout the United States, National Hispanic Heritage Month is commemorated. During four weeks of recognition, we celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens who have immigrated or have ancestry from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Hispanic Heritage Month History:

  • In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson began this celebration with Hispanic Heritage Week.
  • 20 years later, President Ronald Reagan expanded it into a month-long observation.

Why a month-long celebration that doesn’t simply start from the beginning to end of one month? The dates chosen are significant.

  • September 15 is the anniversary of independence for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
  • Mexico and Chile’s independence days are celebrated, respectively, on September 16 and 18.

To honor this extraordinary month, CiAM celebrates some of our employees who are of Hispanic and Latino descent.

Mr. Ray Porras, Assistant Registrar/Designated School Official (DSO)

As Assistant Registrar, Mr. Porras helps manage all aspects of student registration, records, and international student advising. For nearly five years, Mr. Porras has worked with international students from all over the world to help them resolve issues, ranging from academic concerns to complex visa regulations and navigating life in the U.S. With a strong student-focused mindset, he makes sure to always have the students’ best interest at heart and works to improve their learning experience. He joined CiAM in Spring 2020 and believes the practical knowledge and experience that CiAM offers is the key to success for students looking to build and launch their careers.


Ms. Nadine Miranda, Human Resources

As an integral part of the Human Resources team, Ms. Miranda helps manage many of the “behind the scenes” components that contribute to CiAM’s success. Joining CiAM in the Spring of 2021, Ms. Miranda’s career has included time working for the YMCA (where she earned accolades for her volunteer work and professionalism from one of the oldest nonprofit organizations in the U.S.), the University of Southern California, and City of Hope. In her spare time, she enjoys Dodger games with her son.


Ms. Astrid Bojorge-Gicquel, Academic Program Coordinator

For more than a decade, Ms. Bojorge-Gicquel has excelled in managing academic and student support services, as well as advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion through her direct involvement at her alma mater, Whittier College. Prior to joining the CiAM team, Ms. Bojorge-Gicquel served as Academic Coordinator/DSO at Kaplan International Languages, managing all academic aspects of an English Language Program meeting the needs of more than 1,000 international students on an annual basis. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Whittier College Alumni Association and is president of Whittier College’s Latinx Alumni chapter. She has extensive experience in program management, educational software programs, community engagement, and has a passion to collaborate with others and help students succeed.


Ms. Elizabeth Vargas, Admissions Specialist/Designated School Official (DSO)

Ms. Vargas is the newest addition to the CiAM team, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience with her. Prior to joining CiAM in Summer 2021, Ms. Vargas served as Center Director/DSO for ELS Language Centers. Some of Ms. Vargas’ most significant work at ELS was done overseas as coordinator for the English Language Program at Kuwait University, managing all aspects of student advising regarding professional, academic, and immigration support services. After returning stateside, Ms. Vargas played an integral part launching the ELS program at Middle Tennessee State University. Higher education and international students have always been a passion for Ms. Vargas, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Global Politics, with a Focus on International Conflict and Resolution.

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