As summer winds down, lots of new faces are welcomed to the HWS campus. But for Darline Polanco ’09, it’s a different story.
Having graduated in May with a B.A. in public policy, Polanco returns to HWS this fall as the new programming coordinator for the Office of Intercultural Affairs.
“It’s exciting,” she says, “but I’m a little nervous, making that transition from student to staff.”
Polanco’s first day was Aug. 3, and she’s already begun planning for the semester. “I want to work with students, staff, and faculty to branch Intercultural Affairs out, to get crossover with other offices.”
As programming coordinator, Polanco will work mostly with student clubs, in close collaboration with the Office of Student Activities, to help create strategies and events designed to further inclusivity and diversity of not only heritage, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, but of interests and ideas.
“This year, we’re trying to be more inclusive, to bring as many different types of people and groups together as possible,” says Polanco, who will also organize and schedule long-running Intercultural Affairs events, such as a cross-cultural coffee hour.
Polanco is also hoping to connect HWS student clubs with the greater Geneva community.
“We’re really trying to get more clubs to be community oriented and get involved on and off campus,” says Polanco, who will be inviting student clubs to help out at Boys & Girls Club of Geneva’s “Kids’ Day,” on Sept. 26.
Polanco knows that participation is only the beginning; after all, her involvement with the Latin American Organization led to both community service and her relationship with Intercultural Affairs, which blossomed into her job.