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NEWPORT, R.I. – Cmdr. Mery-Angela Katson will be the keynote speaker at the National Hispanic Heritage Month observance at Naval Station Newport (NAVSTA) on September 23.
 
The theme for this year’s event is “Heritage, Diversity, Integrity, and Honor: The Renewed Hope of America.” The observance, sponsored by NAVSTA Diversity Committee to promote diversity, will be held at 2 p.m. in the Building 690 Atrium.
 
Established in 1988, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the culture and traditions of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Originally proclaimed as National Heritage Week in 1968, Hispanic Heritage Month is now celebrated from Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, which coincides with the anniversaries of the independence of five Latin American countries, Mexico and Chile.
 
At a population of more than 48 million, Hispanics now comprise our nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. This month’s theme reflects the unique experiences and contributions that Hispanics have made to our nation.
 
Katson was born in Colombia, South America and raised in New Rochelle, NY. She enlisted under the Navy’s Delayed Entry Program in 1981, and is a graduate of the Navy ROTC program at the University of San Diego, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
 
She was commissioned as an ensign in May 1991, and earned her Master’s Degree in Manpower Systems Analysis in May 1998 from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, CA.
 
In May 2009, Katson was elected as the National President of the Association of Naval Services Officers (ANSO). She also delivered the opening remarks at the National Naval Officers Association and ANSO joint professional development and training conference in Portsmouth, VA in July of this year.
 
She reported to the Naval War College for duty as a student in February.
 
By David Reese, Naval War College Public Affairs