Hannah Conner – NOCO’s 30 Under 30

By: Staff

Hannah Conner

Director, Social Research Lab at UNC 

Tell us about yourself, your history and how you came to be where you are now. 
I am a first-generation Latinx graduate from the University of Northern Colorado (I received a Master’s in Sociology). I grew up in Northern Colorado and decided at a young age I wanted to pursue Sociology to one day give back to my community. After many years of schooling, mentors and support from loved ones, I am now the director of the lab, where we aim to provide data to the community.   

What are you passionate about professionally and personally, and why? 
Professionally, I am passionate about creating a learning lab for students at UNC and helping Northern Colorado nonprofits build efficient and strategical programming through data. Personally, I am passionate about being an advocate for vulnerable populations in the community and actively fighting for human rights and to continue to learn through a diverse, equitable and inclusive framework. I am also passionate about “Stranger
Things 4.”

What is your superpower? 
My superpower is to always take constructive feedback. I have so much to learn and grow, and I want to stay excited about that.   

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment, either professionally or personally? 
My biggest accomplishment is seeing students from the lab graduate and thrive outside of the university in their professional pursuits.   

Who has been the biggest influence in your life? 
My mom, Cyndi Conner, has been the biggest influence in my life. She taught me the importance of empathy, integrity and leadership through her own example. Professionally, Dr. Josh Packard, director of Springtide Research Institute, had had the biggest influence on my ability to successfully run a research lab.   

Where do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years? 
In five years, I see myself continuing to work in the Northern Colorado community, whether it is providing research or in other aspects. In 10 years, I see myself partnering with an organization that works to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion in the community.  

What piece(s) of advice would you give to your 18-year-old self? 
I would tell 18-year-old Hannah to take all the opportunities, even if it feels scary. It took me a long time to realize that I needed to just jump in and make things happen for myself.  

What do you enjoy doing in your downtime? 
I enjoy hiking around Colorado, going to national parks, eating at local restaurants and watching
“Stranger Things 4.”

What would you like to give back to your community? 
I’d like to utilize my skills in leadership and data management. Large picture strategical plans always need a foundation of data from the community, and I would love to help leaders gain access to different perspectives to strengthen local long-term goals.