Hispanic Heritage Month: Randy Zea
Randy Zea is a medical imaging major with plans to pursue radiation therapy who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to parents of Dominican and Ecuadorian descent.
Zea stays active on campus as a resident assistant and member of the Student Organization of Latinos and the National Council of Negro Women, while also playing club volleyball.
“The Hispanic culture is rich in history and has undergone beautiful growth throughout the years,” Zea says. “What I truly love about the culture is its layers and its different variations. I understand my Dominican roots very well, but I’m fascinated by how every Hispanic has their own way of interpreting and showcasing their country.”
According to Zea, his favorite aspect of his culture is the intricacies of dance.
“I grew up dancing bachata, merengue, and salsa,” Zea says. “My mother believes there is a deeper layer of communication with a person when you dance with them, which led her to teach me at a young age. She taught me the inner workings of these dances and forged a love for them in me that is now overflowing.”
As the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration continues, Zea hopes the Bloomsburg community takes time to recognize music genres that aren’t as represented and mainstream.
“I love that Hispanic music is being implemented in American, culture which is amazing progress,” Zea says. “I would like to us acknowledge other genres like reggaeton, salsa music, Latin ballad, Latin R&B, and merengue. I would also like our campus to learn more about our food since it’s very hard to find authentic Hispanic cuisine around Bloomsburg. My favorite Hispanic food is ‘Un Mangu con los tres golpes’ which is mashed plantains with salami, eggs, and fried cheese!”
But it all comes to dance for Zea.
“Latin dance has been my outlet when college life gets a little too overwhelming, and I would love the world to start acknowledging the art,” Zea says. “As Latin music becomes more known I believe that dance should as well. It’s a beautiful expression of culture and life that can be shared with another person. The partner work is what people mostly overlook and I think that’s the best part. This aspect of Hispanic culture allows you to connect with any person you dance with without knowing their name or saying a word.”
As a freshman, Zea was eager to join the Student Organization of Latinos.
“Seeing Hispanic representation on campus and meeting people that can connect with me on a deeper level was gold,” Zea says. “It’s opened doors for me to meet a plethora of people who look and sound like me around campus and made it easier to make Bloomsburg my new home.”
Additionally, he says the Multicultural Center is an amazing resource to find new clubs that may pique your interest.
“I joined NCNW (National Council of Negro Women) to support some friends, and I’ve grown to love the organization,” Zea says. “Though I may not identify with the organization's name, that’s the beauty of the Multicultural Center. These resources inspired me to create a new dance team on campus that will be active soon! It will be called Sabor Latino and will be focusing on Latin styles of dance around the world!”
College has proven already to have had a major impact on Zea.
“I’ve learned to be more mature as a person and student which I truly value, but I also learned the importance of working in a team,” Zea says. “College throws a scary number of curveballs at you, and as a student not only do you have to learn how to manage these unexpected twists, but you need to also manage your own life.”
He adds, “Joining organizations on campus gave me the opportunity to meet people that I value and have learned from tremendously. Whether it’s in a volleyball game or with a dance team I’ve learned how to work in unison with other people and I value that skill as a student and person. A vital aspect of my maturity was facilitated also by my position as a resident assistant. The resident assistant position has made me more responsible but also has allowed me to meet people that I will forever cherish and care for.”