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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Alumna, scholar honored with race

The life of Consuelo Aguilar, a UA alumna devoted to the field of Mexican-American studies, was celebrated Sunday with a benefit race held in her honor.

The second annual race, a 5K run and a 2K walk, was hosted on the UA Mall to raise money for the Consuelo I. Aguilar Scholarship Fund. The department of Mexican-American Studies oversees the fund, and scholarship monies are awarded to exceptional high school seniors pursuing a degree in that field.

The race also aimed to promote ethnic studies and bring awareness to the controversy surrounding it, said Roberto Rodriguez, an assistant professor in the Mexican-American studies department.

“People tend to think that ethnic studies are a bad thing,” he said. “They aren’t. All you would have to do is examine her (Aguilar’s) life to understand that.”

Aguilar, who died of cancer in 2009 at the age of 27, was a Mexican-American studies scholar. She was also a great organizer and brought people in her field together, Rodriguez said.

“She was somebody very beloved by our community,” he said. “Her life was a ceremony, her life was an integral part to us.”

Mario Aguilar, Consuelo Aguilar’s father, said that after his daughter died in 2009, it took him and his family about two years to create the event and the scholarship. But once last year’s race came into fruition, he said, it allowed people to commemorate her life and get inspired through her beliefs.

“She liked to help people,” Mario Aguilar said. “So this event really represents her passion for doing so.”

Last year, the event raised about $10,000, said Bettina Trujillo, the event’s director and a junior studying psychology and Mexican-American studies.

This year, Trujillo said, there were additional volunteers and the event was better organized. More people also signed up to race, she said, which raised more money.

Organizers added new elements to the race, including a DJ, a mariachi performance and a tent where kids could play while their parents were racing.

Rosalia Garcia, who had been friends with Consuelo Aguilar since junior high school, said she was always busy promoting and spearheading events in her field, calling her a “non-stop kind of person.”

“Consuelo would be proud of the work being done,” Garcia added, “because she was always an organizer and a pursuant of going to events that raised awareness about something such as this one.”

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