HLA

Bianca Z. Quiñones will officially start her role as the new Program Director of Hispanic-Latinx Affairs on July 1. 

A new program director of the Hispanic-Latinx Affairs will join the UF familia.

On July 1, Bianca Z. Quiñones will arrive at UF to take over the job.

William Atkins, associate dean of students and senior director of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs at UF, said one of Quiñones’ goals is to engage with students, future generations of Gators and alumni.

“Her combination of critical thinking, professionalism and commitment to students are the reasons why she was chosen as the new program director,” Atkins said.

Quiñones previously worked at Texas State University, serving as the coordinator for Veteran Programs in the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion. She also served as a case manager for Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults in Houston.

She holds a bachelor’s in human development and family sciences from Oregon State University and a master’s in higher education administration with an emphasis on student affairs administration in higher education from Texas A&M University.

Quiñones was contacted but is unable to give an interview until she begins work at UF. However, Atkins said during her presentation for the position, Quiñones said her focus would be listening to the needs of students.

“Students are ready to support her and help her be successful at UF,” Atkins said.

Brianna Then, a 20-year-old telecommunications junior and a Hispanic-Latinx Ambassador, said she hopes Quiñones will have fresh, creative ideas for programs and initiatives to serve the students.

“I hope that this new director finds innovative ways to bring more Hispanic-Latinx students to ‘La Salita’ and ‘La Casita’ because that is who we’re supposed to be serving,” Then said.

La Casita, along with the Institute of Black Culture, has been under construction and is scheduled to open in the Fall.

She also said the last program director, Gabe Lara, always sought out new ideas to foster Hispanic-Latinx success at UF, like PODEMOS, a first-year readiness program.

“Gabe always had long-term goals, so the new director should definitely have their own unique ideas to bring to the table,” she said.

Lara served as the previous program director of Hispanic-Latinx Affairs for about three years and is currently pursuing an associate dean position at Harper College in Illinois.

Madison Rodas, a 20-year-old political science senior and a Hispanic-Latinx Ambassador, said she hopes Quiñones builds a strong relationship and presence with not only the ambassadors but also with the students of the Hispanic-Latinx community at UF.

“Being a part of the Hispanic-Latinx community at UF means finding a home,” Rodas said, “I am grateful to be a part of it.”