P. Melissa Hernández

Melissa Hernández has been a dedicated member of the University of Illinois Chicago community for over 25 years. She brings a wealth of experience that includes recruiting, retention, advising, and managing programs that promote student success, wellness, community, and diversity and inclusion.

Hernández is Break Through Tech Chicago’s associate director of strategic initiatives, overseeing the methodologies for increasing women and nonbinary student participation in tech disciplines. Prior to joining Break Through Tech Chicago, Hernández served as a senior academic advisor in UIC College of Medicine’s student affairs office and, before that, as project director overseeing and managing several grant-funded projects for the UIC College of Nursing’s Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Science. She also coordinated the Gold Humanism Honor Society, the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, and started the Medical Student Wellness Initiatives.

She has served on several university and non-for-profit committees, including being co-chair for the chancellor committee that serves latinos at UIC. Among her accolades are the Mentor of the Year Award from the Hispanic Center of Excellence at the College of Medicine, the Graduate Staff Award and Diversity Award at the College of Nursing, and the University of Illinois WOW Award.

Hernández is a first-generation Latina and native Chicagoan from Pilsen. She is very passionate about student success, social justice, and eradicating disparities that impact the marginalized communities. She earned her BA in sociology and MA in higher education, human resources, and leadership development from Northeastern University. She is currently a doctoral candidate in higher education and administration at Illinois State University.