University of Connecticut students recently had the opportunity to meet with the new Dean of Students, Dr. Fany DeJesus Hannon. Hannon was previously the interim Dean of Students and director of the Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center for over a decade.
Initiatives through the Division of Student Affairs and Office of the Provost like “Dinner with the Dean” can provide a crucial bridge between the student body and university leadership by fostering a supportive and inclusive campus environment. At the dinner, Dr. Hannon spoke of her commitment to support the student body of UConn both academically and emotionally.
As Director of the PRLACC in the Student Union, Hannon worked to develop programs designed for Latinx students on campus and taught courses in Spanish leadership and education in graduate programs for Student Development. In the Division of Student Affairs, Hannon’s leadership will continue to reinforce relationships between UConn’s schools and programs between campuses, working with the Office of Financial Aid, the Registrar and Orientation teams to strengthen UConn’s commitment to support students academically and holistically.
“It was a good place to ask questions,” Rob Wen, a first-semester mathematics major, said of the event. “I will reserve a space for the next one, too.”
Prior to her time as the director of PRLACC, Dr. Hannon worked for the UConn Foundation and as an academic advisor at Miami Dade College. The team behind the Dinner with the Dean event expressed how meeting with administrators offers students a chance to seek guidance, both academically and personally. Students can discuss their educational goals, career aspirations and any challenges they face, leading to tailored advice and support. Events like these can also promote a sense of belonging, as students feel heard and valued.
The invitation for students to attend the Dinner with the Dean was sent to every undergraduate student and all were encouraged to RSVP due to a limited event capacity. Students who attempted to apply after all the seats had been taken were met with a message explaining the Dean of Students’ surprise toward the interest and to reserve their for the next event as soon as interested students are able.