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Unanue Scholars Program

The Unanue Scholars Program is named to honor the memory of distinguished alumna, Mary Ann Unanue ('81), who rose through the ranks of Goya Foods, Inc. to the position of Vice President before her death in 2009 at the age of 49. The program is intended to serve Latina students with a shared desire to learn and experience higher education. In addition, scholars will be paired with Latina mentors from Catawba College who will meet regularly with students and offer advice on college life.


Latinx Leadership: Youth, Indigeneity and Sustainability
This interdisciplinary course will explore the innovative ways by which Latina and Latino youth are engaging with the sustainability movement across the United States and Latin America. Through the integrated lenses of political ecology, environmental history, leadership theory, and ecofeminism, this course will highlight the significant contributions of the Hispanic community to current understandings of economic, ecological, and social justice initiatives, with a critical lens toward historic and present-day coloniality. Recognition of the role of cultural heritage and cultural identity - as they inform individual empowerment and opportunities for solidarity - will be of central importance to the discussion-based format of the class.


Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 4:30-5:45pm
Professor: Dr. Mercedes Quesada-Embid

Selection Process

To be eligible, young Latina women must:

  • Attend a public high school within Rowan County, North Carolina
  • Currently be enrolled in her junior year of high school
  • Have demonstrated above-average scholastic achievement
  • Have interest in pursuing higher education
  • Provide a copy of a high school transcript
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from a school counselor or teacher

Such students are encouraged to apply  below. The priority deadline to apply is November 15, 2020. The application will remain available until January 20 on a space available basis.


All tuition, fees, and books are covered. Students will be expected to provide their own transportation to and from class.

Contact Us

To submit a high school transcript, recommend a student, or to receive more information please email

Apply for Unanue Scholars Program