Hispanic Heritage Month is a time of celebrating culture, pride and family. For Carroll University Executive Director of Alumni Engagement Dolores Ocampo Brown '99, M.Ed. '10, this month holds special significance as she reflects on her personal story and the influence of her Mexican heritage.
Both of Dolores' parents were Mexican immigrants who made their way to Waukesha in 1967. This background deeply shapes her perspective on Hispanic Heritage Month. "When I think of Hispanic Heritage Month, I think of culture. I think of pride. I think of roots. It's personal for me," she shares.
Dolores' connection to the institution dates back to her student days. Initially reluctant to attend Carroll, Dolores eventually embraced this educational path, finding her place and passion within the campus.
Her journey was defined by academic achievements and active involvement in various campus organizations, including the Latin American Student Organization (LASO). "It was a huge part of my experience at Carroll. It was really family and family that I still keep in contact with today," she explains.
Transitioning into her first professional role at Carroll, Dolores joined what is now known as the Office of Intercultural and Diversity Engagement. One notable initiative spearheaded by Dolores was the Civil Rights Pilgrimage. Partnering with fellow educators, Dolores organized a pilgrimage that took students to historical civil rights landmarks, meeting and learning from living civil rights activists. This initiative marked a turning point, setting the stage for many other impactful endeavors.
Among her enduring legacies at Carroll are programs like Horizontes en Carroll (now CU Rising Scholars), a pre-college program designed to prepare middle and high school students for the transition to college. Dolores is proud to see the longevity and sustained effect this program has had beyond her tenure.
Over the last 11 years, Dolores has strategically led the alumni engagement team, focusing on creating meaningful connections with over 23,000 Pioneers through engaging and effective programming. Her journey is an inspiring testament to the power of one individual's dedication to fostering positive change and celebrating heritage. As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close, her story serves as a reminder of the importance of embracing and cherishing one's roots.