The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Nicthé Verdugo Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen.

February 13, 2015


Nicthé Verdugo, the daughter of two Mexican immigrants, was born and raised in Hollywood, California before moving with her family, first to Puerto Rico and then to Chandler, Arizona. After graduating from Hamilton High School, Verdugo came to Oregon State University, intending to major in occupational or physical therapy.

Once arrived, she quickly became involved with a variety of student activist organizations, including the OSU chapter of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA), where she and other chapter members focused on reaching out to Latino and Chicano high school students, encouraging them to attend college and providing them with resources to overcome barriers hindering their pursuit of a higher education. Experiences of this sort led Verdugo to change her major to Ethnic Studies with a focus on Chicano and Latino Studies. She later added a minor in Women's Studies.

Verdugo's involvement with student groups continued to grow over time as she became engaged with the Mesoamerican Student Association, the Centro Cultural César Chávez, and United Students Against Sweatshops, an organization that she co-founded at OSU. Verdugo was likewise active with the OSU Women's Center, working first as a program coordinator and then as a leadership liaison. One component of Verdugo's duties at the Women's Center was to connect with other cultural centers. She also helped to coordinate programming that encouraged the OSU community to talk about women's issues.

Verdugo graduated from OSU as a member of the class of 2015. Her intention is to pursue graduate studies and a career as a community organizer.