Story by Jeff Lagrone
This is the time of year when Hispanic heritage is observed, and Lander University senior Aislinn Labra-Arteaga is worthy of being included in the discussion. She has been president of Somos LU, which serves and promotes the interests of the Hispanic community on campus, since the second semester of her freshman year.
Professor of Spanish Dr. Osvaldo Parrilla, who serves as club advisor, said he “was a bit concerned” to name a freshman president, because he “didn’t want her school work to get affected, but through her four years at Lander, she managed to work with Somos LU and maintained a high GPA.”
Labra-Arteaga is involved in other pursuits as well. A chemistry major with a forensic science emphasis, she serves as president of the Lander chapter of the American Chemical Society. She is also a Watson Brown Scholar, a presidential ambassador, and hosts her own radio show, “Cafecito Con Chisme.”
A resident of Spartanburg, Labra-Arteaga chose Lander because it offered the emphasis she was seeking, “and its chemistry department is strong, with highly-qualified, enlightening professors who are passionate in what they do and excited to teach their students.”
She said she is thankful she made the decision to attend Lander.
“I have loved my experience here. My experience has molded my critical thinking skills, collaborative skills, and cultural insight,” she said.
Attending graduate school or working as a chemist for SLED or the FBI are a couple of the career paths that she is considering, “but teaching a few classes at the university level would be awesome, too!”
“My ultimate goal,” she said, “is to encourage other Latinas to pursue their dreams, especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
Parrilla said that Labra-Arteaga “is a superwoman who loves being part of the Lander family. She is a great example of a Hispanic who is here to show that there is no obstacle to grow, in any aspect.”