ASU September 17 events celebrate Hispanic Heritage and promote local scholarship


Dr. Evangeline Roybal Sena

Adams State University Lifeways of the San Luis Valley, the Cultural Awareness and Student Achievement Center (CASA), and the Sierra Grande High School Scholarship Foundation, Inc. are proud to announce special events to take place on the ASU campus in celebration of Hispanic Heritage on September 17.

From 4:30 p.m. until 6 p.m., the CASA Center, located at 101 Faculty Drive, will provide free horno cooked corn and fresh horno baked bread samples by artisan bread maker, Bertha Garcia from the Santo Domingo Pueblo. Guitarist and Adams State alumnus, Val Sena will provide music as attendees enjoy the light and tasty food samplings. Loaves of bread will be on sale for $8 and all proceeds will benefit the CASA Center. Pre-orders can be submitted to Oneyda Meastas, CASA Center director, by calling 719-587-7687 or

The free Lifeways Lecture, Maria Josefa Jaramillo Carson: My Story, My Voice, begins at 6:30 p.m. in McDaniel Hall room 101. Dr. Evangeline Roybal Sena will deliver a living history presentation on the life story of the wife of General Kit Carson, Maria Josefa Jaramillo Carson.

Sena grew up on a farm in Blanca, Colorado in the San Luis Valley. She earned a bachelor's and master's degree from Adams State and a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

She married Val Sena, educator, musician, genealogist, and historian. They have four children, ten grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

She started her teaching career in Pueblo Public Schools from 1957- 1960. She took time out to have four children and returned to teaching in 1970 in Denver Public Schools where she served as a teacher, school librarian, bilingual director and elementary school principal. She was also a principal in Adams County Dist. 14.

Sena received the Governor's Award for Excellence in Education in 1991 and was a National Distinguished Principals Finalist in 1992.

After her retirement, she spent a number of years mentoring teachers through a class at Colorado University under the direction of the Bueno Center in Boulder. She later trained as a Jeffco Spellbinder and became a story teller so she could continue to visit schools and work with school children.

Her latest venture has been the development of a living history story. After much research, she has developed the story, and impersonates the character of Maria Josefa Jaramillo Carson, the third wife of Kit Carson, the famous guide, hunter and military general.

Sena, better known as "Vangie" was drawn to Maria Josefa's story because of their shared Hispanic heritage. Some of her ancestors, like Maria's, were among the early settlers that accompanied Don Diego de Vargas on the journey in 1693 from Mexico to what is now New Mexico in the re-conquest of New Spain after the Pueblo Indian revolt.

Maria Josepha's story is about a young Hispanic girl from New Mexico who quickly became a woman and fulfilled her destiny as a loyal and faithful wife and mother. Maria's life in the mid 1800's was typical of the lives of many women of her culture at that time. These women faithfully kept their families together while their husbands were off at work, many times far from home

The lecture is a component of the ASU course, Lifeways of the San Luis Valley, which profiles and celebrates the rich history and diversity within the San Luis Valley. The course and lecture series are made possible through grants from the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area and Kenzo Kawanabe of the Boettcher Foundation. Parking is located east of McDaniel Hall. Adams State parking lots do not require permits after 5 p.m.

Sierra Grande High School Scholarship Foundation, Inc. hosts Silent Auction

A silent auction will take place with all proceeds to benefit the Sierra Grande High School Scholarship Foundation, Inc. This scholarship is awarded annually to graduates of Sierra Grande High School to assist in the pursuit of achieving the goal of higher education. Adams State Assistant Vice President for Extended Studies-Academics and SGHS Scholarship Foundation board member, Walter Roybal will present information on the scholarship and the positive outcomes of the scholarship for Sierra Grande high school students and the San Luis Valley community as a whole. Donations to the scholarship fund will also be accepted throughout the course of events.

Auction Items/Rules

Trinchera Ranch Guided Cow Elk Hunt (includes a two night stay for 1 person at Trinchera Ranch Lodge)

  • Bidder must be over 18 years of age, but the hunter can be a youth
  • Cannot have another List A elk license for the 2015 big game season
  • Must have a valid hunter safety card and full hunting privileges in the state of Colorado
  • If auction winner is a non-Colorado resident, bidder is responsible for non-resident elk license and habitat stamp estimated at $630 in addition to amount of winning bid.
  • Approximate Value: $1700

Semi Load of Mixed Firewood (approximately 14 cords of full length logs)

  • Bidder must be over 18 years of age
  • Wood cannot be delivered out of state. Wood will be delivered within the SLV (within the perimeter of South Fork, Saguache, Villa Grove, Fort Garland, Garcia, and Antonito)
  • Approximate Value: $1250

Auction will begin at the CASA Center, will continue 30 minutes before the lecture begins, and will open up again 30 minutes after the lecture concludes.

Please join us in celebrating the rich culture and heritage of our beautiful San Luis Valley and its residents. We hope see everyone there.