New PRLACC director voices goals
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 22:09
Tuesday afternoon Fany Hannon, the new director of the Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC), spoke in Homer Babbidge Library about the organization, and her goals for the future.
“I want PRLACC to be a home away from home for anyone and everyone,” she said. “My vision is to work with faculty and alumni, partner with other campus organizations, and empower all Latino and Latina students here on campus.”
Hannon began the presentation by describing exactly what PRLACC is about as an organization. Its mission is to “improve the status of Latinos and to promote awareness, understanding and appreciation of the richness and diversity of Latinos and Latin American cultures.”
Her presentation also said that the organization strives to “support community organizations engaging in educational and cultural programs to provide services and leadership opportunities, foster connections and educate the University community about Latino issues and perspectives.”
There are many annual programs available through PRLACC, which Hannon explained in detail during the presentation. One of these programs is called “Mentoring, Educating and Training for Academic Success,” or M.E.T.A.S. This special program is a way in which first year and transfer Latino students get assisted with transition to the University. They are paired with a mentor who provides guidance and support through the first year at UConn. Benefits to M.E.T.A.S. include learning about University Resources, and attending the many cultural, academic and social events at UConn.
“From 2011-2012 the enrollment of Latino students has dropped and that is something that she wants to tackle,” said Normaliz Ascinao, 5th-semester political science major and member of PRLACC. “She refers to the mentors in the M.E.T.A.S. program as ‘agents of change.’”
In partnership with the African-American Cultural Center (AACC), PRLACC annually presents K.U.B.E, short for Kids & UConn Bridging Education, Hannon explained. K.U.B.E. is a mentoring program in partnership with PRLACC and AACC where students become mentors for middle school children from Killingly and Windham Public Schools.
More programs that Hannon wants to expand on are Latin Fest and El Pulso. “Latin Fest,” she said, “is our annual spring celebration for community members, alumni and students with countless performers.”
“El Pulso, PRLACC’s own newsletter, provides information about Center developments as well conferences and events pertaining to Hispanics and people of other diversities,” she said.
She also spoke of “Hispanic History Month,” and all the activities involved with it. From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 PRLACC will be putting on many different events for the university. A complete list of these events can be found on the PRLACC website, latino.uconn.edu.
“We want to celebrate the history, the accomplishments, and culture of Latinos through special observances,” said Hannon. “Many programs are held to honor the richness of Latino culture and tradition through guest speakers, performers, films, art events, workshops and many other social gatherings.”
Hannon comes from a background of Higher Education and Student Affairs. “Before coming to PRLACC, I worked at a Community College in Miami Dade, I worked for the Honduras Government and I have vast experience working with underrepresented groups and I have also worked in Alumni Relations,” she said.
Many students and faculty are excited about the prospective plans that Hannon has in store for the cultural center, but also her bubbly personality and commitment to both maintain and expand the programs.
“I absolutely love Fany,” continued Ascinao. “She is very motivated and not only wants the center to be successful, but she is working on getting it to the next level.”