Spotlight: Loren Hanna

Loren+Hanna+graduated+from+Cal+State+Fullerton+in+Spring+2016.

Photo by Christos Watson

Loren Hanna graduated from Cal State Fullerton in Spring 2016.

Xavier Alatorre, Staff Writer

Professor Loren Hanna is inspiring students at California State University, Los Angeles, but before starting her career as a communications professor, she was a student at Rio Hondo College.

While at Rio Hondo, she took advantage of the multitude of resources available to students, to find herself and her passion. As a communications major, she explored her options and was able to intern with a fashion public relations firm and worked for OC Weekly.

The work experience was a great boost to her resume, however, it was the time she spent with professors at Rio Hondo that helped her realize she wanted to make an impact on students.

Shaping this desire to make an impact was Rio Hondo communications professor Wendy Carrera. The two women shared an interest in communications and public relations, yet it was Carrera’s openness and empowerment that inspired Hanna.

Professor Hanna took approximately five years to transfer from community college to Cal State Fullerton. Initially, she transferred as a communications major with a public relations emphasis. However, upon transferring, Professor Hanna stated she had an “academic awakening.” By the time she graduated from CSUF, she double majored, earning a second degree in American Studies.

After graduation, Hanna applied to a few graduate programs. She decided on Cal State LA because it gave her the opportunity to teach while working on her master’s. Now in the position to provide impact, she advises her students to make the most of their undergraduate years.

Professor Hanna emphasizes to her students the importance of networking with professors, especially from those which students wish to ask for letters of recommendation. She shared an anecdote that underscored this advice. When applying for graduate school, one of her professors had denied her request for a letter of recommendation because the professor did not feel she knew Hanna well enough to vouch for her.

Professor Hanna also encourages her students to apply for internships. According to Hanna, many local businesses need help in communications and would appreciate pro bono help from a student looking to enter the field. “If you like surfing and PR, head down to a surf shop and ask if they need help with social media. There are plenty of opportunities for students even if businesses aren’t advertising positions,” said Hanna. It is a perfect opportunity to combine practical experience with your passion.

A prime example of never giving up, Professor Hanna is showing students that it doesn’t matter how slow you take it, as long as you don’t stop moving forward you can get far.