News from The Mahurin Honors College
Kevin Diaz-Cruz - Scholar Spotlight
- Sydney Windhorst
- Wednesday, October 19th, 2022
Hispanic Heritage Month extends from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. During this time especially, the Mahurin Honors College (MHC) seeks to honor our Hispanic and Latinx scholars such as Kevin Diaz-Cruz (MHC ‘24), a junior majoring in Exercise Science with a concentration in Physician Assistant.
Kevin is incredibly proud of his heritage, and his time in college has allowed him to see different aspects between cultures.
“Hispanic culture really taught me to live as a collective. One's own achievement is your family's achievements. When you do something good, it makes your parents proud, but if it's bad, it reflects on them too, so you always want to do your best for them.”
He is especially excited about his upcoming study abroad opportunity. Having been selected for the Hagan Scholarship Foundation, Kevin is currently planning a trip for next summer.
Kevin also noted his family and Hispanic culture emphasize a work-life balance.
“I also notice my culture is more laid back. We enjoy life. One of the best things that my parents told me growing up was that I needed to strive for a balance in my life. In the past, I have chosen to take classes that I enjoy, not just the ones required.’’
Family bonds are Kevin’s deepest motivation. He works to take advantage of every opportunity that some of his other family members were never offered.
“It makes me truly happy to be in college because the poverty my parents experienced did not allow them the same opportunities. He (my father) was very smart, but he didn’t have a choice. So the fact that I'm in school right now really motivates me to push myself more and be the best I can for them.”
Kevin understands that not every Hispanic student is supported by the same love that he received from his family. Many Hispanic students chose not to pursue college because they believe they are not meant for higher education.
“I feel like most Hispanic students do not go to college because some come from a poorer or immigrated background. As a first generation college student, I know adjusting can be a struggle. You feel pressured to go directly into the workforce. If that’s you, let me tell you this- never let what other people say dictate what you want to do or what the norms are for ‘someone like you.’ Find your passion and chase it.”
The MHC and WKU offer many programs to directly support scholars like Kevin. These include Scholars of Color, Intercultural Student Engagement Center (ISEC), or Hilltopper Organization on Latin America Students. Kevin enjoys attending campus events and connecting with his fellow Hispanic peers.
Kevin has also found a supportive and engaging environment in the MHC. His most treasured MHC aspects are the designated honors classes.
“In HON 251, we discussed a lot of difficult issues, such as racism, that really helped me see different views. I feel like the honors classes are based on debate and discussion and have become something I enjoy and find really insightful.”
We are so proud of how hard Kevin works and cannot wait to continue to watch his ascent toward excellence.