The University of California Office of the President has hired its first director of Spanish language media services, a position that will expand the university's ability to communicate effectively with California's growing Spanish-speaking population.
The position will be held by Lavonne Luquis, a former newspaper reporter and editor who most recently served as president and chief executive officer of Latino.com, the first Internet startup to target the Latino audience in the United States.
"As Latinos continue to grow in both number and influence in California, it is critical that the University of California keep pace in its communications with this vital constituency," said UC President Richard C. Atkinson. "This new position will help the university provide more and better information to students and their families, and it will provide an additional avenue for dialogue between the university and California's Spanish-speaking communities."
Luquis' position is housed in the Office of Strategic Communications, part of the Division of University Affairs at the UC Office of the President in Oakland. Luquis will serve as a liaison to Spanish-language print and broadcast media outlets, act as a university spokesperson in Spanish, and develop and implement new strategies for communicating with Spanish-speaking audiences in California.
Much of her time will be devoted to UC's educational outreach activities, which aim to improve high school and community college students' eligibility for UC admission through a variety of student academic development programs, school-university partnerships, and informational outreach efforts to prospective students and their parents.
Luquis, who was raised in Puerto Rico,
worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Puerto Rico and
Washington state before co-founding San Francisco-based Latino.com
in 1995. She was named one of Hispanic Business magazine's "100
Hispanic Influentials" in 1999 and 2000, the National Hispanic
Business Group "Businesswoman of the Year" in 2000, and
recipient of the National Association of Minority Media Executives
"Catalyst Award" the same year.
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