Israel F. Herrera-Cárdenas, senior lecturer, outreach coordinator and faculty advisor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded the 2019 Distinguished Service Award for Indiana University Bloomington.
Herrera has strengthened the language program on campus as well as throughout the community since he came to IU as an assistant instructor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese in 2006. He was instrumental in helping to create the IU Spanish Club, Grupo Ñ, in 2014, and he is also the faculty advisor for the campus Spanish theater group, Vision, Identity, Drama and Art.
In 2011, Herrera initiated IU Bloomington’s first Spanish and Portuguese Song Festival. He organizes this festival, where a selected group of students perform musical solos or duets in Spanish and Portuguese, as well as a film series at IU Cinema and other cultural activities for Hispanic Heritage Month. He also serves as faculty advisor for the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society Sigma Delta Pi, the International Latin American and Spanish Student Association, and the Iberoamerican Film Crew.
His involvement in several state, regional and national organizations has contributed to the extension of language learning advocacy. Since 2011, he has served as president of Bloomington’s Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs, advocating for Spanish language courses in Monroe County elementary schools. He also hosts a weekly program on Bloomington Community Radio, “Hola Bloomington,” which received a 2012 Avant-Garde Award. Herrera coordinates activities for the educational Latino program, “La Escuelita para Todos,” and serves on the Monroe County Community Schools Equity, Access and Opportunity Steering Committee as well as its Diversity Advisory Committee.
“Mr. Herrera has had an immeasurable impact on education, not only at Indiana University but throughout the state,” said Eliza Pavalko, vice provost for faculty and academic affairs. “Through his teaching and service, he has advanced the learning experience of students at all levels, expanded the cultural activities on campus and across Bloomington, and been an extraordinary mentor to his many students. We are extremely grateful to Mr. Herrera for all that he brings to our students, our campus and our community.”
Herrera serves as vice president of the Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association and the Indiana chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, and he is an executive board member of the European Association of Spanish Teachers.