MESA is a faculty/staff led committee that serve the Hispanic students at VSU. Our role is to provide resources, services, and connections to Hispanic students through mentorship, engagement, support, and academic achievement. The purpose of MESA includes:

  • Develop activities to promote student engagement amongst themselves, the university and the community at-large.
  • Organize group and individual academic assistance programs.
  • Inform and provide resources to support Hispanic students personal and economic well-being.
  • Increase visibility of contributions Hispanic Students make to the university and community through publications and events.  

Each letter of the acronym represents a component of MESA with each having its own subcommittee: Mentor, Engage, Support, and Achieve. 

Please contact Phenix Culbertson via or (229)333-5942 to learn more and get involved with MESA!


Learn about MESA

  • MESA Scholarship for VSU Hispanic Students

    Congratulations to the MESA 2020-2021 Scholarship Recipients:


    Joanna serves as mentor to first-year students of College Assistance Migrant Program, PAL Facilitator for English 1102, and Diversity and Inclusion Comprehensive Task Force. “The essence of America is the idea that anyone can emerge from humble situations and do extraordinary things and it is that dream that I seek to accomplish. Though I have gone through a variety of hardships—I have yet to give up. I am constantly seeking new opportunities, new goals, new ways to better myself, and most importantly: new ways to help my community. I want to live a life of service.”


    Diana has taken advantage of numerous opportunities including Study Abroad trip to Senegal to learn French, Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society, PAL facilitator for the POLS 3100 class, and National Council of Undergraduate Research. “Living in the United States has blessed me with many chances for better education, better health, and more safety overall. Unfortunately, I understand that the rest of the world does not have equal opportunity. I know I am not yet at a stage of my life where I can make a major difference but one day I will be. But it all starts by listening and hearing everyone’s story. Not only this, but I want to leave an impact on lives by building relationships. I want to be remembered as someone who made a difference in someone else’s life for the better."


    Yasmin is an active member on campus who has participated in VSU Ambassadors Program, Honors Student Association, Tri-Beta, Latin American Students Association, and VSU WNV Mosquito Surveillance Program. “As a member of the less than 3% Hispanic population of my hometown, I have experienced the fear and uncertainty that many families face in health care due to language barriers and cultural differences. Through my experience with migrant farmworkers, I have strengthened my determination towards becoming a Pediatrician. My goal as a future pediatrician is to become a healthcare provider that will bring comfort, relief, and inspiration to people who are not fluent English speakers.”


  • MESA Mentorship Program


    Students: Sign up for a MESA Mentor! 

    A MESA Mentor is a faculty/staff member who will meet with you monthly and/or as needed to assist with your academic, social, and extracurricular success at VSU.

    Please complete the form here so we can assign a MESA Mentor to you based on compatibility. Contact should you need additional information. 


    Faculty/Staff: Sign up to be a MESA Mentor & Join the Committee! 

    As a mentor, you will be assigned 1-2 students and meet with them monthly and/or as needed to assist with their academic, social, and extracurricular success at VSU.

    Please complete the form here so we can assign a MESA Mentor to you based on compatibility.  Contact should you need additional information. 


    Thank you to our current MESA Mentorship Program participants!

    MESA Mentors:

    • Dr. Gwen Scott Ruttencutter
    • Dr. Hoa Nguyen
    • Dr. James Martinez
    • Dr. Linda de la Garza
    • Dr. Meagan Arrastia-Chisholm
    • Dr. Nandan Kumar Jha
    • Dr. Terence Sullivan
    • Kevin Overlaur
    • Lizbeth Heath
    • Nicole Bustos
    • Octavio Aguado
    • Sandra P. Barrios
    • Yvonne LeRoy-Landers

    MESA Mentees:

    • Daisy Avelar
    • Diana Hernandez
    • Flavio Cesar Cano
    • Jair Portillo
    • Jean Lopez
    • Joanna Olguin
    • Maria Herrera
    • Selena Chavez-Gomez
    • Tecquitla Scott
    • Yaritzi Flores
  • Engagement

    Engagement Subcommittee Chair: Erica Chaviano 

    List of related cultural student organizations 

    • Please access Blazerlink Presence to view student organizations and contact to learn how to get involved. 
    • Caribbean Student Association 
    • College Assistant Migrant Program 
    • Latin American Student Association 
    • Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Incorporated 
    • Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority 
    • Society of International Students 
    • Spanish Club 
    • Student Government Association (all cultures) 
    • Campus Activities Board (all cultures) 


    Past events    

    Pachanga! Inclusive Latinx Festival


    Not Hidden Figures: A Workshop on Diversity & Inclusion in Undergraduate Research
    Collaboratively hosted by MESA & Blazer Summer Research Institute Steering Committee



    Consejos from Across the Industries: Tips for Success



    Educational Opportunities & Success, Guest Speaker Representative Brenda Lopez Romero (First Latina Lawmaker in Georgia Legislature)



    Moving Forward: Tools for Success, Guest Speaker Ricardo Munoz 


    Academic & Career Workshop Collaboration with MESA, Career Opportunities & Academic Support Center 


    Queer Migrations and the Latinx Television Reboot



    Salsa on the Lawn


    Selling the Value of Diversity & Language to Employers


  • Support

    Support Subcommittee Chair: Dr. Meagan Arrastia-Chisholm 


    Scholarship Recpients 2020-2021

    Joanna Olguin


    Diana Henriquez


    Yasmin Guzman


    Scholarship Recipients 2019-2020

    Marisa Lauer



    Eddy Castellanos 



  • Achieve

    Achieve Subcommittee Chair: Dr. Terence Sullivan

    Please access the following resources to augment you academic and career achievement. 

Leadership Team: 

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