BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 24, 2003 – Maria Echaveste, the first Hispanic appointed to a national Cabinet-level position, will be the keynote speaker for Hispanic Heritage Month at Virginia Tech on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2003, at 7 p.m. in the Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center auditorium.
Echaveste served as deputy chief of staff to President William Clinton during his second term. The daughter of migrant Mexican farm workers, Echaveste graduated from Stanford University and earned her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. After practicing law in California and New York, she began her political career in Washington as administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division in 1993. It was during this time that she worked extensively on the labor department's anti-sweatshop effort, called "No Sweat," which received a 1996 Innovations in Government Award sponsored by the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and the Ford Foundation.
Echaveste was appointed assistant to the President and director for public liaison in 1997 and became deputy chief of staff the following year.
Other Hispanic Heritage Month events include a talk on Latino stereotypes by Spanish Professor Justo C. Ulloa on Monday, Oct. 6, at 9 p.m. in the Black Cultural Center, 126 Squires Student Center; a Catholic mass in Spanish also on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. in the War Memorial Chapel; and "Musica Latina," a radio program airing each Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the Virginia Tech radio station WUVT, 90.7 FM.