When I met Orlando Ruiz, he unabashedly told me of his propensity for playing Pokémon Go, love of hockey and weight-lifting, and pride in his ride – a Subaru WRX that runs on E85. Ruiz has many interests that play a huge part in the way he identifies as a true “melting pot of cultures,” and makes him immediately likeable.
Nic Flores is from Olton, Texas – a small town between Lubbock and Amarillo in the state’s panhandle. As he explains it, this is the “Texas” part of Texas, an agri-business community where white farmers employ a predominantly Mexican and migrant workforce. Education brought Flores eastward, when he was accepted to DePauw University, a liberal arts college in Greencastle, Indiana. The Midwestern context awakened Flores’s consciousness, raising specific questions of self-identification and societal perceptions of “whiteness” as practice and privilege.
As an energetic kid with a penchant for science and math, Nathali Bertran dreamt of building a spaceship and visiting the moon. Her current job isn’t lightyears away from this either. She now builds more terrestrial machines as a design engineer for Honda R&D Americas in Raymond, Ohio. In addition to engineering cars, Bertran is also part of a team working to streamline and simplify the process of applying for DACA (that’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status that allows recipients to attend public universities and garner U.S. work authorization.
Luis Fernando Macías not only co-edits ¿Qué Pasa Ohio State? Magazine with Marie Lerma, he is also a doctoral candidate in Ohio State’s Department of Teaching and Learning’s Multicultural and Equity Studies in Education. His lifelong interests in education and immigrant rights are present in his dissertation work which analyzes the tuition equity movement in Ohio led by diverse youth and young adults raised in the state, but with uncertain immigration status.