The United Community Center (UCC) is proud to announce the recipients of this year’s Friends of the Hispanic Community Awards, which recognize individuals that have made immeasurable contributions to the development and well-being of the community at large. Honorees will be celebrated at UCC’s 43rd Anniversary Celebration. This year’s award recipients are Dr. Mary J. Meehan, Dr. Larry Pan & Dr. Paula Papanek, and Bob & Phil Perkins.
Ms. Mary J. Meehan, PhD. – Alverno College
Dr. Mary Meehan assumed the role of Alverno College President on June 1, 2004, marking a new era at Alverno as the first lay president to lead the college. Dr. Meehan brought with her extensive leadership experience in the areas of education, health care, and administration. Consistent with the mission of the School Sisters of St. Francis, Dr. Meehan exemplifies the dedication to the area’s underprivileged citizens. Alverno proportionately provides higher education opportunities to more Hispanic women than any other institution in Wisconsin. Alverno’s Latina population is now 15% of first-year students, experiencing a growth by more than 100% over the past ten years under Dr. Meehan’s leadership. Alverno has been the educational institution of choice for a number of Bruce- Guadalupe Community School alumni—including eight BGCS alumni who are currently enrolled—and several members of UCC and BGCS staff.
Mr. Lawrence Pan, P.T., PH.D., F.A.P.T.A. & Ms. Paula Papanek, PhD., M.P.T., ATC/L, FACSM – Marquette University
As faculty of Marquette University, Dr. Pan and Dr. Papanek together have provided educational opportunities in the health sciences for more than a decade. In 2006, they brought their expertise to UCC through a federal grant opportunity funded by the U.S. Office of Minority Health. With the aim of supporting low-income minority youth in comprehensive programming centered on academic achievement, personal development, cultural awareness, and career exploration, Drs. Pan and Papanek have helped more than one hundred BGCS students set a course for lifelong success. They now lead the national evaluation of nearly twenty programs across the country that demonstrate success with minority students who are challenged by a number of barriers found in their low-income urban neighborhoods. As the Director of the Health Careers Opportunities Program at Marquette for over two decades, Dr. Pan and Marquette University offer a wide variety of pre-college and summer programs designed to educate and retain disadvantaged students in physical therapy.
Mr. Bob Perkins & Mr. Phil Perkins – Perkins Malo Hunter Foundation
Mr. Robert Perkins has been an education philanthropist for twenty years. He is driven strongly by a personal conviction that solving social problems will be best achieved by providing inner-city kids with a solid elementary school education. Mr. Perkins founded Perkins Investment Management LLC, Chicago in 1980 and set up the Perkins Malo Hunter Foundation to fund educational initiatives shortly thereafter. Following in his father’s philanthropic footsteps, Mr. Phil Perkins operates as the foundation’s Executive Director. The Perkins Malo Hunter Foundation has provided operational support for Bruce-Guadalupe Community School for a number of years through its affiliation with Schools That Can. In part through the network and evaluation system created by Schools That Can, the foundation’s support has affected more than sixty elementary schools nationwide.