Q: Tell us who Luciana is — what skills, lessons, and experiences have you brought into your role as a Director of Student Experience?

Luciana: As a first generation immigrant and college student, and three time alum of U-M LSA, I have always been drawn to how people experience and understand the transformative events that take place in their lives. Those who choose or have the opportunity to pursue higher education understand how transformative the experience can be. My research in Anthropology and History primarily focused on people’s relationships to labor and work, so entering into this role was a natural progression for me, as I’ve always been interested in supporting student career exploration journeys. What initially attracted me to this position were the values of the Hub. My position wasn’t written as “Director of DEI”. By focusing on student experience holistically, DEI is weaved in and centered at every level of how we aim to support students. My role as the Hub’s Director of Student Experience allows me to connect with and advocate for students and help them feel like they aren’t out of place and that their perspectives are meaningful.


Q: Now, let’s think big: What’s your vision for the Hub as it relates to the student experience? What do you want students to feel, think, or do when they encounter the Hub and engage with our services?

Luciana: In an ideal world, I would love for students to recognize us as their partner in their undergrad educational journey, and to know that we’re the place where they can comfortably and intentionally explore the career possibilities they have as liberal arts and sciences students. To initiate and maintain our connections with students, we are focusing on ways to make our programmatic student offerings and events specific to each student’s individual, unique needs and experiences, and to work with many campus collaborators in achieving this. 

I am dedicated to ensuring that students feel like the Hub is an integrated part of their LSA experience; we are their cheerleaders–their people. Many students think or feel that they have a barrier between themselves and faculty and staff. Our goal is to mitigate that, which is why we offer many peer-to-peer connections, as it can be difficult for students to tap into staff and faculty for help. We want them to feel comfortable coming to us for resources. 

Another goal of mine is for the Hub to partner with alums and employers in a way that’s vulnerable where they can share more about their identities and support employees through challenges and life experiences. If we’re going to be honest with our students about what certain careers look like, we should be thoughtful about what opportunities we share with our students and how we do so.


Q: What are some specific initiatives on the horizon at the Opportunity Hub that you are  pursuing that will have a big impact on how LSA students experience the Hub and, by extension, LSA?

Luciana: Over the course of the most recent semester, we’ve held DEI focus groups with LSA students of many backgrounds and walks of life. The data we’ve collected in these focus groups will be used to cater our future student offerings and events to each student’s unique needs. Internally, our team at the Hub has conducted annual planning together as a collective for the first time. I co-designed the process with my colleague Nada Tadros, our communications lead. The vision to transform annual planning into a full team effort was so that all of the Hub staff, regardless of how student-facing their role may be, understands how their piece of work impacts students. The data we’ve gathered plus the change in annual planning will allow us to sit with what we know, and be creative and innovative with how we do our work and serve students. 

We’ve also made great strides in integrating with the larger college and collaborating with a wonderful and engaging group of staff and faculty who represent several departments and units. They’ve helped surface powerful insights on the needs of their particular students and helped us think through how the Hub can meet those needs or remove other obstacles students encounter in their journey.