Latest News


Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Mirna Acosta

September is National Hispanic Heritage Month! Gadsden State Community College’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee is spotlighting this beautiful heritage through a series of interviews with students and employees.

The first National Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight is on Mirna Acosta, the Student Support Services advisor on the Ayers Campus.

What is your background and ancestry?

My father is from Puerto Rico, and my mother was from the Republic of Panama. My maternal grandmother’s father came from El Salvador, and my maternal great-grandmother was native Bugle from Panama. My paternal grandparents were of Taino descent.

I was born on Feb. 1 in Colon, Republic of Panama. My father was in the United States Army and was one of 15 children. My mother had a brother and a sister. I have two brothers and three sisters. We are the typical Hispanic family. My parents made sure we knew both the Spanish and English languages.

What are ways you honor your Hispanic culture daily?

I honor my Hispanic culture by cooking and eating traditional foods, speaking Spanish at home and listening to Hispanic music.

Is there a specific part of Hispanic culture that you want to pass along to others?

I want to pass on the language to my children. Too many second-generation Latinos do not teach their children the language because they are afraid that they will be discriminated against.

Describe your experience as a Hispanic student and then instructor in higher education?

As an Hispanic student, many of my instructors thought I could not speak English and were surprised that I could. I felt I had to work harder to prove myself. I started my education at Gadsden State and transferred to the University of West Alabama, where I majored in chemistry. I was the only female chemistry major and the only Latina. I am grateful for that experience because it made me stronger. Working in higher education as an instructor and as an academic advisor allows me to help students from all walks of life. Most rewarding is that I can help students meet their potential.

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

Hispanic Heritage Month means it’s time for people to reflect upon the vibrant historical, cultural and social influences of Hispanic and Latinx people within the U.S. and throughout the world.

Graphic with Hispanic Heritage Month logo and photo of Mirna Acosta