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IU faculty, staff, students and groups recognized for contribution to Latino community

May 5, 2014

IU faculty members, staff, students and groups were recognized Friday, April 25, for their outstanding service to the university's Latino community during an annual ceremony at Oliver Winery.

Israel Herrera

Israel Fernando Herrera

The Latino Faculty and Staff Council Awards recognize individuals or groups that have participated in service and mentoring, promoted diversity initiatives and developed awareness in the areas of culture, arts, health, economy, language or education.

Lauren Robel, IU Bloomington provost and university executive vice president, and James Wimbush, vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs, were present for opening remarks.

“Many of the activities these people do is not just for the benefit of the IU Latino community but for everyone on campus and Bloomington,” said Israel Fernando Herrera, a member of Latino Faculty and Staff Council. “It was an honor to have Provost Robel and DEMA Vice President Jim Wimbush in our ceremony as supporters of diversity at IU.” On May 3, Herrera was named the 2014 Indiana Latino Educator of the Year and was one of three IU Bloomington faculty to receive a 2014 Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching (FACET) award.

The 2014 awards and their recipients include:

Fred Diego, undergraduate student

Diego is an IU senior studying cognitive science in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. A first-generation student, Diego has worked with the IU Diversity Coalition to recruit Latino, Asian-American and African American undergraduate students. Diego is also recognized on campus for his work with IU Dreamers, a group of undocumented students who study at a university level, and for his work with the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Latinos and Native Americans in Science.

He also mentors young Latinos at El Centro Comunal Latino, a local organization that seeks to provide resources for the Latino population, and has been active in pushing legislation for undocumented students to attend state colleges with in-state tuition.

Eric César Morales, graduate student

Morales is a Ph.D. candidate in College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology with a minor in Latino Studies. A first-generation student, Morales served as president for the IU Folklore and Ethnomusicology Student Association in 2008-09, and helped organize the association’s annual conference. During his tenure, Morales planned public outreach activities to increase awareness of cultural diversity through the arts.

He is the recipient of the Bea Roeder Student Award, and has served on a selection committee for the National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship Award in Washington D.C. In 2011, Morales interned with the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, and interned with the Nevada State Arts Council in 2013.

All award recipients

All 2014 Latino Faculty and Staff Council Award recipients | PHOTO COURTESY OF ISRAEL HERRERA

Michaela (Micky) Richter, staff

Since 2006, Richter has been an administrative secretary for IU Bloomington’s Latino Studies Program, where she coordinated public events such as the three-day “Citizenship Conference” in 2010, the “Politics of Language” symposium in 2013, two César E. Chávez undergrad symposia, several “Borderlands Lecture Series” events in 2011 and many other high-profile and labor-intensive events. In the words of those who nominated her, “Micky is, indeed, the heart and soul of the Latino Studies Program.”

John Nieto-Phillips, faculty

Phillips is the director of the Latino Studies Program and serves as an associate professor in IU Bloomington’s Department of History. During his role as director, Nieto-Phillips has increased student enrollment, supported the organization of the Latino Film Festival and Conference and the Cesar E. Chavez Undergraduate Research Symposium in Latino Studies. He has also helped preserve the Chiricú Journal, in addition to organizing talks and smaller projects. 

During his term as director of the Latino studies program, student enrollment in the program has doubled.

Latin American Music Center, event or group

Throughout its more than 50-year history, the Jacobs School of Music’s Latin American Music Center has supported the retention of Latin American and Latino faculty, students and staff. Some of the countries represented by the center’s former and current staff include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

The center includes the Latin American Popular Ensemble, and oversees the annual Latin American Music Recording Competition, the Chamber Music Series and the annual Latin Valentine Concert Series.

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