Through the recent hiring of Dr. Omar Palafox, the Department of Bible, Missions and Ministry has taken a step towards their goal of developing students’ critical thinking and cultural understanding to tackle modern-day issues. Palafox was a missionary in Mexico for 10 years and has a degree in intercultural studies.
Palafox said he is hoping to bring change to some of the general education classes on campus.
“Our goal is to eventually have some general education classes like Intro to New Testament be done in Spanish and have Spanish textbooks more available to those who can’t speak English,” Palafox said. “That’s one of the things we hope to see here on campus. We want to help our students from marginalized communities have more opportunities.”
Becca Soye, a freshman social work major from the Dallas and Fort Worth area, said she has enjoyed being in Palafox’s cornerstone class. She also said she’s been pleasantly surprised by the work ACU is doing for Spanish speaking students.
“ACU as a whole has been doing a really good job,” Soye said. “I feel like they’ve been making it more normalized and making everyone feel like they have a voice and are culturally aware.”
Another one of Palafox’s students is John Cobb, a sophomore transfer with an undeclared major from Plano, who has enjoyed seeing ACU’s involvement in National Hispanic Heritage month.
“I really like Dr. Palafox,” Cobb said. “He’s a great teacher, and I want to see ACU include Spanish speaking students more.”
Palafox said he’s working on a committee to help accommodate Spanish speaking students. So far, he has worked on setting up the National Hispanic Heritage month celebration as well as other tasks.
“It’s a new era that we might be able to connect with our Spanish speaking communities,” Palafox said. “This year we’re laying the groundwork and foundation for hispanic celebration.”