MADISON — Centro Hispano's new executive director, Karen Menendez Coller, will be one of the emcees at Dance Dances — one of Madison’s most popular summertime events — this Friday, Aug. 16 at the Monona Terrace Rooftop.
The board of directors of Centro Hispano of Dane County recently announced that Karen Menendez Coller has been named the organization's 8th executive director. Her start date will be Aug. 26.
Centro Hispano works to improve the quality of life for Latinos and others living in Dane County by empowering youth, strengthening families, and engaging the community. Menedez Coller will become the eighth executive director in the agency's 30-year history.
Menendez Coller is a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) and has been working in the public health field for close to 15 years, including in academic, local, and state government settings. She earned her MPH from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and her PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Originally from El Salvador, her passion has long centered on how public health programs can successfully improve social determinants of health, especially for Latino families in the United States. She has received several sources of funding for her work through the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, HRSA/ Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Dr. Menendez Coller has a breadth of experience — she has led projects addressing unintended pregnancy in the Latino community, collaborated with organizations working to improved teen mental health, and has provided technical assistance on the development of sustainable community-based partnerships. Most recently, while faculty at UCLA, she directed collaborative projects with high-achieving high schools in Los Angeles, Calif., to understand the impact of family and the educational environment on risk-taking behaviors and aspirations for Latino youth.
Dane Dances is a series of community concerts/dances that attracts an average 4,000 attendees each Friday evening in August on the Monona Terrace Rooftop. The bands that perform are popular, high-energy, local and regional bands. The music is danceable and as diverse as the people who come to enjoy the events. Funk, Latin, R&B, Jazz, Hip Hop and Reggae are all in the mix.
This Friday's Dane Dances will feature the Christopher Project from 6-7:30 p.m. followed by MadiSalsa from 8-9:30 p.m. DJ Pain 1 will also be playing in between sets.
For more information, visit www.danedances.org/