Renowed media woman joins Unanue Institute

Denisse Oller, journalist, writer and media personnel, has been appointed to the position of executive director of the Joseph A. Unanue Institute for Latin Studies at Seton Hall University.

The Joseph A. Unanue Institute is a non-profit organization “created to foster dialogue, to further advance intercultural understanding, and to encourage the study of latin experience in the U.S.,” Oller said.

The Institute is intrinsically linked with the Latin American and Latino/Latina Studies program in the College of Arts & Sciences directed by Dr. Matthew Escobar.

Denisse Oller took the job as executive director of the Unanue Institute for Latin Studies with no hesitation.”As a journalist, it is my job to know as much as I can about everything,” Oller said. “Mrs. Unanue is one of the most respected philanthropists in our community and when she wanted to meet me, I did not hesitate for a minute.”

Before a career at Seton Hall, Oller, a San Juan native, studied at Georgetown before transferring back to the place she loved, New York City. Oller graduated with two majors, finance and theatre and film criticism, and two minors, French and interpersonal communications.

After a successful collegiate career Oller moved on to have a journalistic career over a 20 year span. In those decades Oller was a national news anchor and correspondent and has received five Emmys, nine Emmy nominations, two Gracie Awards, five A.C.E Awards, and the Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in investigative reporting.

She was also named by “Hispanic Business” magazineas one of the 100 most influential Hispanic personalities in the United States.

Outside of her impressive professional career Denisse Oller is a friend, a chef, a reader, a writer, a traveler, a theater and opera aficionado, a lover of all things music and a perfect fit for Seton Hall.

Joan Guetti, associate professor and interim dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, believes that Oller is the right choice not only because she is an award winning journalist and media personality but because she brings “a great deal of warmth and energy to the position.”

“Her interests in writing, art, and health issues complement the focus of the Institute, and her promotion of these interests make her well known and loved in the Latino community,” Guetti said.

While she is a part of Seton Hall’s community, Oller plans to “raise the profile of what the institute within Seton Hall is and beyond.”

“I want the institute to be more proactive engaging students in our programs,” Oller said. “My goal is to make this a one-of-a kind, nationally recognized organization for its commitment to the student body and for promoting the empowerment and intellectual growth of its Latino students.”

Her role here at Seton Hall far exceeds the normal job description.

“I see my role as a communicator, a motivator and an educator,” Oller said. “I hope that my energy, discipline, and ‘joie de vivre’ are contagious.”

Ashley Duvall can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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