Latino Outreach Director: Erin Howard
Erin Howard is the Latino Outreach and Services Director for Bluegrass Community and Technical College. She earned a Master’s of Arts in Spanish from the University of Tennessee and completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish from Tennessee Technological University. Erin also studied at la Universidad Nacional Autónoma in Costa Rica.
Under Erin’s leadership, the Latino Outreach Office has developed award winning comprehensive educational outreach and support programs that have resulted in improved enrollment, retention, and graduation rates of Latino and immigrant students attending BCTC. BCTC Latino Outreach was a finalist for the Example of Excelencia Award, a national competition that identifies programs that accelerate Latino student success in 2013 and was selected as a Bright Spot for Latino Student Success by the White House in 2015 that culminated in a visit to the National Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration.
Outside of her role as Latino Outreach Director, Erin served as a board member for United We Dream, a national immigrant youth organization dedicated to achieving equal access to higher education and advocating for the rights of young immigrants. Erin’s efforts with UWD continue to this day as an advisory council member for the Dream Educational Empowerment Program, an effort that focuses on creating opportunities in higher education and educational empowerment for immigrant youth and a board member of the United We Dream Action Pack dedicated to fighting anti-immigrant legislation and promoting civic engagement. Along with immigrant youth, Erin co-founded the Kentucky Dream Coalition, and she teaches Latino Studies and Immigration and Social Justice courses at BCTC, Eastern Kentucky University, and has taught in Costa Rica with the Kentucky Institute for International Study administered by Western Kentucky University.
She loves her job and is most proud of directing the Latino Leadership and College Experience Camp, a program she created in 2006 that has produced many Latino college graduates and young professionals who are actively giving back to their communities as they pursue their own personal and professional successes. She is a gymnast, artist, a mentor to many youth and young adults in her community, and mom to her son Isaiah.
Latino Outreach Coordinator: Elizabeth Medina
Elizabeth, also goes by Ely, moved Lexington, KY in 2014. She is originally from Iowa, but has strong roots to her parents’ hometown in Jalisco, Mexico. Elizabeth received her B.A. degree from the University of Iowa majoring in Spanish and Communication Studies, with a minor in Latin American Studies. She then continued her education at the University of Kentucky in the Educational Policy Research and Evaluation department, receiving her M.S. in Higher Education. Her passion is in helping every student achieve their greatest potential by providing them as many opportunities as possible.
Elizabeth, o Ely, se mudó a Lexington, KY en el 2014. Ella es originaria del estado de Iowa, pero tiene fuertes raíces en la ciudad natal de sus padres en Jalisco, México. Elizabeth recibió su Licenciatura de la Universidad de Iowa con especialización en Estudios de Español y Comunicación, con una licenciatura en Estudios Latinoamericanos. Luego continuó su educación en la Universidad de Kentucky en el departamento de Investigación y Evaluación de Políticas Educativas, recibiendo su Maestría en Educación Superior. Su pasión es ayudar a cada estudiante a alcanzar su mayor potencial, tratando de ofrecerles todas las oportunidades que sean posibles.
Coming soon! Bios for the Latino Outreach Student Staff:
Intern: Armando Buenrostro
Intern: Alexandra Rojas
Intern: Cesar Matute