Chicano Latino Student Affairs
Ernestine “Ernie” Mendoza, Administrative Assistant
If I could set my car on automatic pilot, I’m sure it would find its way to Claremont without a problem. After all, I've been driving here every morning for the past thirty five years. That’s correct! My first job with Claremont University Consortium was in the Office of Admissions for Chicano Students and that was back in 1976. It certainly doesn’t feel like thirty five years. I work in a beautiful setting with great people. Some of my best friends are alums from my early years in Claremont that have become compadres and are still very much part of my life today.
As Administrative Assistant, I am responsible for the student databases used to distribute CLSA correspondence and CHISPAS, the office newsletter. With information gathered by the Office Assistants, I am able to compile CHISPAS and get it ready for editing by Naddia Palacios, Assistant Dean of Students. Along with coordinating both the publication of CLSA’s Chapbook, “Almas Unidas: Nuestra Vision” and a reception for Alumni Weekend are just a sampling of what keeps me busy at the office.
On a more personal level, I grew up in the local area of Rancho Cucamonga. I am one of four daughters born to Ernesto and Amalia Franco. Yes, I’m named after my Dad. I married a Pitzer alum, Ray Mendoza, and we have a 22-year-old daughter, Marisa, who graduated this May from Scripps College. Together, we enjoy a little of everything from camping, fishing, visiting museums and going to the movies.
If you stop by my office you’ll notice that I love collecting bear figurines and, more recently, images of La Virgen de Guadalupe but my favorite hobby is still scrapbooking. I’ve been able to share this passion (more like obsession) of mine with students on campus via the “Fotos y Recuerdos” workshop, occasionally a part of the Latino Heritage Month Celebration held during the Fall Semester. I’ve discovered that there are students equally passionate about scrapbooking.
I also share my Mexican heritage and the love and appreciation for my culture by either teaching the Sugar Skull Decorating Workshop myself or by coordinating art workshops taught by local artists during Latino Heritage Month in the Fall and the César Chávez Celebration in the Spring. These sessions are so much fun and students create their own unique pieces.