University of Connecticut

Puerto Rican and Latin@ Studies Project

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Mission Statement

The mission of the Puerto Rican and Latin@ Studies Project is to prepare social workers to competently serve Latin@ communities, and to advocate and promote changes that safeguards and enhances the quality of life for Latin@ individuals, families and communities on local, regional, and national levels.

Program Goals

  • Increase Latin@s recruitment, retention, and MSW degree completion
  • Train service providers
  • Disseminate research findings about issues affecting Puerto Ricans/Latin@s in Connecticut

Project Faculty Members

Dr. Antonia Cordero, 2013–2015 Project Director
Dr. Catherine Havens
Dr. Catherine Medina
Dr. Lirio K. Negroni
Dr. Lisa Werkmeister-Rozas
Dr. Cristina Wilson

Puerto Rican and Latin@ Studies Project (PRLSP)

The PRLSP was originally founded in 1980 under the leadership of Dr. Julio Morales as a model program funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The mission of the project is to prepare social workers to competently serve the Latin@ community and to advocate and promote changes that safeguard and enhance the quality of life for Latin@ individuals, families and communities on local, regional and national levels.

Project Objectives

  • Establish a focus area of Puerto Rican/Latin@ Studies (courses) as part of the Social Work curriculum
  • Participate in community and institutional partnerships in order to promote the well-being and quality of life of Latin@ individuals, families and communities
  • Provide social service agencies with consultation on Latin@ client systems
  • Gather, utilize and disseminate information about issue related to Latin@s as a contribution to the Latin@ community
  • Advocate on behalf of the Latin@ community
  • Engage in research and scholarship around issue affecting Latin@s
  • Contribute to the empowerment of for Latin@ individuals, families and communities

Students have the opportunity to work with the Project as field work interns, work study students, mentees, and through the many programs that the Project sponsors throughout the year.

Featured Alumni


Joanne Santiago

Joanne Santiago

Received the UConn 2009 Outstanding Woman Scholar from the School of Social Work MSW Program


Celaura Estrada

Celaura Estrada

Received the NASW CT 2009 MSW Student of the Year Award


Dr. Catina Caban-Owen

Dr. Catina Caban Owen

Dr. Catina Caban Owen Completed her Ph.D. in SW at UConn SSW and received the UConn 2009 Outstanding Woman Scholar from the School of Social Work Doctoral Program

Contact Information

Puerto Rican and Latino Studies Project
University of Connecticut School of Social Work
1798 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117
Email: prlsproject@uconn.edu