Latino community honors achievements

The awards will be presented to recipients at Oliver Winery to recognize important contributions by IU undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty and staff, LFASC Director Israel Herrera said. 

“The LFASC distinguishes and empowers individuals whose efforts have contributed to a positive campus environment in tandem with helping support the retention of Latinos at Indiana University,” Herrera said in an email. “It is also meant to highlight exemplary academic and professional work.”

The awards are presented to members or groups that have participated in service, mentoring or diversity initiatives that enhance and support Latinos on the IU campus. There were six awards handed out. They are Distinguished Faculty, Distinguished Staff, Distinguished Graduate Student, Distinguished Undergraduate Student and Distinguished Group or Event. This year there was also an additional award, the Latino Faculty Special Mention Award.

“There is an Award Committee in LFASC who chooses the recipients based on certain criteria,” Herrera said.

The following are the recipients of this year’s awards.

Distinguished Group or Event
 Aidé Acosta, a visiting assistant professor in Latino studies and American studies, and Mintzi Martinez-Rivera, a doctoral candidate in folklore and anthropology put on an undergraduate research symposium in Latino studies on March 21-22 in the Indiana Memorial Union.  
“The first-of-its kind endeavor proved a transformative event for IU students and faculty,” Herrera said. “The purpose of the symposium was to engage undergrads with graduate students and faculty working on issues of race, migration and Latino social conditions.”

Distinguished Latino Undergrad Student
Alicia Nieves is majoring in political science and migration studies in the Individualized Major Program. 

“During the spring 2010 semester, Alicia started with other students the advocacy group on campus called DREAM IU,” Herrera said. “This diverse organization works to raise awareness and support for the bipartisan federal legislation called the DREAM Act that provides undocumented youth a pathway to higher education and citizenship.”

Her sophomore year, Nieves helped to reverse former Rep. Baron Hill’s, D-9th District, position to be in favor of the DREAM Act.

Distinguished Latino Staff
Becky Pérez, research associate at IU’s Center on Education and Lifelong Learning travels throughout the state to implement individual and group behavioral interventions and develop culturally responsive practices that address the needs of students and their families, Herrera said. 

“Her passion for her job goes beyond the training that she does with the staff and takes time to interact with the students while she is on site,” he said.  

Distinguished Latino Graduate Student
Nancy Ortiz is a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry.

“While performing at the top of her class, Nancy cares about outreach and community work and has taken leadership roles in the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists, the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science and the Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate,” Herrera said.  

Distinguished Latino Faculty

Herman Aguinis is a professor in the Kelley School of Business. 

“Professor Aguinis is the founding director of the Institute for Global Organization Effectiveness,” Herrera said. “He secured a $5 million private cash donation, which funds all of IGOE’s operations.”

Latino Faculty Special Mention Award

Daniel Mindiola is a professor in the Department of Chemistry. 

“He has worked tirelessly over the course of his entire career to enhance student and professional diversity in the natural sciences both on campus and nationally,” Herrera said. “He also freely mentors Hispanic/Chicano students at IU and has an open door policy, offering advice to both undergraduate and graduate students.”

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