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University Relations

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May 27, 2009
Contact: Mike Krings, University Relations, (785) 864-8860.

KU hires recruiter to assist Latino population in southwest Kansas

Toni Casados

LAWRENCE — Toni Casados, a career educator and community outreach specialist, will join the University of Kansas as a recruitment support coordinator, serving the Latino population in southwestern Kansas.

Casados will focus on early intervention, partnering with community colleges and working with students, families and KU alumni in Garden City, Dodge City, Liberal and surrounding communities.

“We have a great deal of diversity in southwestern Kansas,” she said. “I look forward to working with families in the area to answer their questions about KU and share with them how the university can meet their needs.”

Casados is fluent in Spanish and taught in the Garden City school district for 10 years, instructing bilingual third-grade classes and adult English as a Second Language classes. As president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, Casados has worked extensively in her community, planning and organizing meetings and scholarship fundraisers. She was a literacy coordinator of the Migrant Even Start Family Program in Garden City.

Her KU duties will include working with elementary-aged students and their families to stress the importance of college.

“I believe you have to start early and get children thinking about going to college at a young age,” Casados said. “We’ll show them how important a college education is and have fun as well. We’ll introduce them to Baby Jay and let them know that KU has a place for them when they are ready for college.”

Casados also will work with high school students in the area as well as their parents to answer questions about KU, its educational offerings and how it can specifically assist Latino students. She’ll share information about the numerous organizations that can help students get to know each other, succeed academically, build self-esteem and feel at home. “Tú tienes una casa aquí,” or, you have a home away from home, she said.

The mother of four children, including two in high school, she’ll be able to share a parent’s perspective as well.

“When you initially get to KU, you see it’s a huge campus and that can be intimidating,” Casados said. “But I know from experience that everyone here goes out of their way to help and make you feel welcome, and students who come here will find that support as well. As a parent, I’m going to be experiencing the same feelings as families about to send their children off to college. I have the same questions. I’ll be able to share information about KU from a similar perspective.”

Casados will assist community college students in the area who may be looking to transfer to a four-year institution. She’ll share information on transferring academic credits, admissions, procedures for transfer and more.

Before coming to KU, Casados was a food and nutrition education program assistant with Kansas State University’s Research and Extension Center in Garden City. She holds a bachelor’s in elementary education from Newman University in Wichita.

Although she’ll report to the chief diversity officer in the Office of the Provost, Casados will be based at the KU Medical Center’s Area Health Education Center in Garden City. She can be reached at tcasados@ku.edu or (620) 275-0259. For more on KU’s efforts to serve Kansas’ Latino population, visit www.lavision.ku.edu.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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