Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rest in Peace Steve Casanova...

SCSU prof dies of cancer

A well-loved leader in the Hispanic community and St. Cloud State University associate professor died Thursday.

Stephen Casanova died after a short battle with cancer, friend Eduardo Martinez said. Casanova taught in the Ethnic Studies Department at St. Cloud State. He was a frequent speaker around Minnesota on topics of immigration and ethnicity.

Martinez said Casanova was a model in the Hispanic community and acted as a mentor to many students.

“We lost a role model and true leader within the Hispanic community,” Martinez said.

Each summer, Casanova took students on service-learning trips to Mexico. They helped build houses and irrigation channels. Martinez’s son Dan went on six or seven such trips with Casanova.

Casanova earned his bachelor’s degree in 1978 from Southwest Texas State University. He then moved north, earning his master’s degree in 1987 and his doctorate in 2001 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Martinez said the news of Casanova’s death broke his heart.

“I’m going to miss him very much,” he said.