All posts by Anthony Otero

LANSU President

Alumni Profile: Sarina Morales ’08


Please introduce yourself, the year you graduated, and what was your major when you graduated?

Hello! Sarina Morales here. I graduated in 2008 from Syracuse University. I majored in broadcast journalism at Newhouse School of Public Communication.

What was your Syracuse University experience like when you attended?

It was a new and very eye opening for me when I first got to Cuse’. I grew up in the Bronx, lived in NYC my whole life, so going to Syracuse was just an overall wild learning experience for me.

I did my best to immerse myself in every aspect of the Syracuse community. I had a radio show Saturday nights called the “Danger Zone” at Z89. I was president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Newhouse chapter. I was a mentor. I was an RA for a semester. I was able to study abroad my third year in London. I volunteered and went down to New Orleans and helped Hurricane Katrina victims. So yes, I kept very busy, but I thought that was the key to my happiness and my success. It was important to me to be an active part of the culture and the Syracuse family.

What did you do post-SU?

The year I graduated, was the same year as the Financial Crisis in 2008. It made getting a job difficult… any job. I decided to buy a one way ticket to London and leave the states for a bit. It was a great time for me to leave, I was able to, once again, challenge myself by traveling on my own.

What’s the best advice you would give to current students?

Don’t stress about not picking a major your first year, take a bunch of classes and find yourself. Discover new skill sets. I think we get so tied on finding a job that is already made for us, when sometimes; the best job is created for an individual. Especially now, we need to learn to be flexible, there is always something new in technology, and those will ultimately affect the way the job market hires new people.

What do you think about LANSU Scholarship?

First and foremost, what a wonderful organization! Bridging the gap between the alumni and Latino students is so important because it provides real life results of a Syracuse University education. With the cost of a college degree at an all-time high, it’s great to see students benefiting from this scholarship.

Gracias Sarina!

You can watch Sarina Morales weekdays on SportsCenter:AM. You can also follow Sarina on Twitter.

Interested in doing an Alumni Profile? Fill out our form and submit one!

Alumni Profile: Misaell Cabral ’14


Please introduce yourself, the year you graduated, and what was your major when you graduated?

My name is Misaell Cabral and I was born and raised in The Bronx, NY. I double majored in Psychology and Neuroscience while attending SU.

What was your Syracuse University experience like when you attended?

Syracuse University was and forever will be my home. This place provided me the safe haven and the opportunity to develop as a man – academically, socially, culturally, and internally.

My Syracuse University experience was monumental in making me the that man I am today. Every semester provided me with new challenges that I inevitably overcame. I was exposed to an environment that I was not familiar with, both academically and socially. I was forced to adapt in order to succeed despite the obstacles in my path.  I made many great friends and met awesome staff that have counseled, supported, and encouraged professional and life goals. They have played such a major role in my everyday life. The classes, the fun, the opportunities were all perfectly wrapped up in an orange bow.

There is nothing like Syracuse University. Oh, and the parties were great too.

What did you do post-SU?

After graduating Syracuse U, I perused further education and I am currently working towards my Masters of Education in Counseling. Furthermore, I was able to seriously focus on my passion as an artist and I have been promoting, commissioning, and selling my artwork professionally.

I’m currently pursuing my Mental Health Counseling License in Hunter College’s Graduate program. I am also developing my own brand as a visual and graphics artist.

What’s the best advice you would give to current students?

Take advantage of every opportunity possible. College is the time to explore and flourish into the person whom you want to be. You never know what’s truly out there for you unless you expose yourself to it. Whether its an academic or social, just do it. Every experience you partake in will make you a more rounded, open, and well-versed individual in the future.

Furthermore, College is the time to be irresponsibly responsible. Have fun, for you will never really be able to do so in that context again,  but never forget that you are there for a degree.

The SU network is a real living thing and being able to say, “I went to Syracuse University” will at times carry you a long way. Enjoy yourself and never turn down any opportunity to be better. Never back down away from a challenge.

What do you think about LANSU Scholarship?

The LANSU Scholarship offers Latino students financial support while perusing their endeavors. I learned the importance of my culture and my roots when I was 250 miles away from it. I grew to learn its importance and how paramount it is to support one another.

Gracias Misaell!

Check out his artwork on Squarespace

Interested in doing an Alumni Profile? Fill out our form and submit one!

Alumni Profile: Jesse Ovalles ’12


Please introduce yourself, the year you graduated, and what was your major when you graduated?

My name is Jesse Ovalles. I am of Dominican descent and live in Sleepy Hollow, New York in Westchester County. I graduated from Syracuse University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts in 2012 with a major in Computer Art.

What was your Syracuse University experience like when you attended?

I would say that my experience at SU was very unique. I grew up in a very diverse environment and I am glad to say that that made the transition to Syracuse a little smoother. I found myself making more connections with those pursuing careers in fields such as engineering, business, information technology, medicine, and more as opposed to those in my own field. This only added to the level of diversity that I experienced during my undergraduate years, giving me an insight to other perspectives and ways of thinking. Because of this, I have a pretty solid network established outside of my own industry. In an effort to be active on campus beyond academics, I joined the Kappa Chapter of Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc. in the Spring of 2009. Through this I learned time management, leadership skills, teamwork, and how my computer art skills could be applied to help an organization grow. I went on to apply the same skills to other groups on campus such as the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations, Maxwell School Information and Computing Technology, and La Casita Cultural Center. Overall I would say that my time at SU taught me how to be multifaceted, which in retrospect has allowed me to find opportunities that would have been otherwise unapproachable.

What did you do post-SU?

After graduating from SU, I spent some time exploring my career options. I did this in the form of freelancing and interning for digital marketing agencies, film production companies, and tv post-production studios in the New York City area. After one year, I decided to start pursuing a Masters in Business Administration at Mercy College’s Manhattan campus, concentrating in Marketing. Taking what I learned from my experiences at SU and recent employers, I felt that it was best for me to create a career path that merged my passion for digital art with business knowledge. Being part of the generation that grew up along with social media, it was only natural that this mindset and skillset would find me working in the field of social media marketing. As I started my MBA, I also started working at Cogent Entertainment Marketing in NYC, creating visual content and assisting in account management for a variety of client’s social media channels. Throughout these experiences I’ve also been developing my skills and portfolio in the mediums of photography, video, and animation. I will be showcasing some of my latest work at the launch party/exhibition Part Of Me NYC on May 16th. My work can be found on my website,

What’s the best advice you would give to current students?

Don’t play it safe, you have plenty of time to do that after your undergraduate years. Seek experiences that will take you out of your comfort zone, and connect with people who come from different backgrounds than yourself. If you have a passion for something, figure out how to incorporate it into everything that you do and every organization that you join. I believe that as important as it is to grow and succeed academically, actively exercising your passions can help take anything you do to the next level. Learning how to balance these things is a growing experience in itself. Finding a mentor in your field is also important as well, and is something that I unfortunately did not seek out until after my time at SU. A mentor can help steer you in the right direction when looking for internships, and inform you on key aspects of your desired industry that are not taught in the classroom. Remember, you don’t have to do it all alone, and knowing when to ask for help can be the difference between success and failure. Last but not least, there is no such thing as too little too late. Don’t feel that just because you’re already a junior or even a senior that you can’t start making moves to improve yourself and your Syracuse University experience. The real journey begins after graduation, might as well get any sort of head start that you can.

What do you think about LANSU Scholarship?

I think that the LANSU Scholarship is a great step towards providing Alumni with a platform to give back to those who are in the position that they were once in. Alleviating any amount of the financial burden that comes with pursuing an education can help the right minded student focus time and energy in making the most of their Syracuse University experience. Looking forward to seeing the impact that this program has on our community!

Gracias Jesse!

You can follow Jesse on Twitter and Instagram

Interested in doing an Alumni Profile? Fill out our form and submit one!

Alumni Profile: Jeniva Quinones ’14

Jeniva Quinones

Please introduce yourself, the year you graduated, and what was your major when you graduated?

Raised in the Bronx and living in East Harlem, I am a contemporary artist working mainly in photography. I also have a background in mixed media, performance art, and spoken word poetry. I was initiated into the Gamma Class of the Alpha Chapter of Nu Rho Poetic Society in the Spring of 2013. I received my BFA in Art Photography from Syracuse University in May of 2014.

What was your Syracuse University experience like when you attended?

To be completely honest college was hard for me. Coming from a large family and tightly knit group of friends, I found it very difficult to be so far away from everyone I love. Ultimately I decided to see it through and was able to form a new family of Orange women and men. I would say studying abroad in Florence, Italy and pledging Nu Rho are my most cherished college experiences. Spending a summer in Florence completely on my own taught me independence and it also taught me so much about art and where my passions truly lie. That summer truly shaped my style as an artist today. The induction process of Nu Rho Poetic Society instilled in me the sense of fearlessness with which I have approached everything in life since that point.

What did you do post-SU?

In the year (almost exactly) since graduation day I have made quite a few accomplishments towards my art career. I am a featured artist on BX200 The Bronx Visual Artist Directory. Recently, two of my photographs were accepted in to the Semblance exhibition at the Darkroom Gallery in Vermont. I released my first poetry chapbook called PART OF ME DIED WITH YOU, which chronicles an unrequited love story plagued, by deception and mental illness.

The book is available online at here and will also be available for purchase at the launch party/exhibition Part Of Me NYC on May 16th. I curated Part Of Me NYC to run along side the book launch in hopes of creating a fully immersive artistic and emotion experience for the viewer. The exhibition includes eight emerging Latino artists (including fellow alumni Misa Cabral and Jesse Ovalles) working in photography, painting, illustration, and cinemagraphs. You can find out more about the exhibition at

I am currently working on my first art book entitled Absence: La Mancanza, La Lontananza, consisting of mixed media collages originally created whilst studying abroad in Florence, Italy. I am also beginning work this summer on a collaboration project with fellow photographer Shaira Cher exploring the effects of gentrification on East Harlem entitled Not Your SpaHa.

What’s the best advice you would give to current students?

The best advice I could give a current student is to branch out, take risks, try new things. Do not become too comfortable or too afraid to take full advantage of all the opportunities Syracuse University has for you, especially as a student of color. I would have never been able to visit Italy at the age of 20 if I had not applied for the SU Florence summer program and that experience completely impacted not only my art career but also my life. I would not have had the courage and the technical skill to publish a poetry chapbook at the age for 23 had I not pledged Nu Rho Poetic Society, an organization founded at SU. There are innumerable resources and opportunities for growth all around you and it is your duty and your right as a student of color to capitalize on every single one.

What do you think about LANSU Scholarship?

I think it is an incredible opportunity for Latino Youth to supplement the ever-rising cost of higher education and avoid graduating with crippling student loan debt. I hope this scholarship changes the lives of many future Orange women and men.

Gracias Jeniva!

You can follow Jeniva on Twitter and Instagram
Interested in doing an Alumni Profile? Fill out our form and submit one!

6th Annual DC Orange & Blue BBQ | 7.26.14



Once again the DC “CREW” of enthusiastic SU alum from the 80’s to Y2K’s have planned a SUmmer BBQ for folks in the DC area and beyond!! It will be a fun-filled day full of food and activities for the whole family to enjoy! Please RSVP with EITHER a monetary or food donation:

For more information and tickerts go to Eventbrite:

Giesboro Park
Bolling Airforce Base – Washington, DC
12 – 6pm


SHOW YOUR SU & DC pride by purchasing an official DC Orange & Blue BBQ T-Shirt!!! Available in Orange or Dark blue in the following sizes: Mens (S-XXXL), Womens (S-XXL), Youth (S-L). We also have Dri-fit shirts available! All orders must be received by midnight, July 13, 2014. Select either the orange and blue design. Don’t miss out even if you can’t attend the 6th Annual DC Orange & Blue BBQ. But really…we’d like to see you there!