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HUNTINGTON BEACH : Director Relates to Intercultural Center

Brunilda Nunez Cronk, a Puerto Rican native and Spanish instructor, has been appointed Golden West College’s first intercultural and international education coordinator.

Cronk will direct the activities of the college’s intercultural center, the only such facility at an Orange County community college. The center has been run by volunteers since it opened about a year ago.

Golden West spokesman Fay L. Hendry said that appointing a paid coordinator such as Cronk is the first major step to expand and refine the facility’s services.

College officials, teachers and students have lauded the intercultural center for helping to improve immigrant students’ speaking and English writing skills and smooth their way into a new environment.

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The center also provides reference materials on other nations and cultures, information on local support groups and agencies and activities that serve the college’s ethnically diverse student population.

A bilingual teacher at Westminster High School before earning a master’s degree in comparative cultures, Cronk joined the Golden West faculty in 1976. She will continue teaching some Spanish classes while coordinating the center’s activities.

Cronk said she envisions the center becoming a far-reaching vehicle for bridging cultural differences among students, faculty and community residents. So far, she said, the center has lacked the staffing to penetrate the community beyond the student population.

She said she hopes to add a staff assistant and expand the center’s volunteer network to keep the facility open during evening hours. She also plans to connect the college’s single-parent support program with the center to better assist those students.

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Noting that she moved to Southern California from Puerto Rico in 1960, Cronk said: “I understand how these people feel. I’d like to see international students receive more guidance and better services. I’d like this to become a place where they can come together, share their concerns and find solutions.”


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