“For me, while incredibly grateful for this award, this isn’t a testament of my work solely. It’s a recognition of the students that I’m privileged to work with on a daily basis; the administrators; as well as study abroad staff that believed in Tu Mundo from the beginning; and, ultimately, my family who left everything behind in Colombia for a better future. I dedicate this to my country, to the Latinx community in the United States that I will continue to fight for, and to every single student who dreams of going abroad.”
After spending a year in IES Abroad's Academics Department as a Program Associate, Hernando now serves as the Senior Diversity Relations Manager, working to increase the participation of underrepresented students in study abroad with a specific focus on Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). A recipient of the Gates Millennium and QuestBridge Scholarships, Hernando recently received a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration and Policy at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy. In the field of international education, Hernando is an established leader presenting at national conferences such as the Forum on Education Abroad, coauthoring Diversity Abroad’s Latinx Student's Guide to Global Programs, and participating at NAFSA’s Advocacy Day and Collegial Conversations.
The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in International Education Award recognizes an international education professional in the region whose work promotes diversity, inclusive practices, and creates and/or advances equitable systems at their institution or in the field of international education.
Hernando’s continued and unwavering commitment to diversifying the field of international education through advocacy, outreach, and inclusive practices is what earned him this award.
‘How Hernando Shows Up & Commits to Promoting Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion’ Highlights (and we can’t wait see what he comes up with next!):
- Dedicated to Hispanic Serving Institutions and developed the Tu Mundo Initiative to help more students from established and emerging (HSIs) study abroad
- Continues to educate the field and future students on the Latinx student experience and perspective, and the future of study abroad through presentations such as Juntos: Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Latinx Students, and the Future of Study Abroad. He also regularly presents at industry conferences including NAFSA, Forum on Education Abroad, and Diversity Abroad
- Promotes and celebrates underrepresented students’ voices and experiences such as Christian Canizal, Yesenia Ayala, and Omar Nedzelsky Jr who won Diversity Abroad’s Global Student Leadership Award after Hernando nominated him earlier this year
- Continues his own education and outreach by conducting research and sharing findings with the international education community. Recently, Hernando presented an abridged version of his research conducted at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy. The study titled Missing Abroad: (Under)Representation of Latinx Students at Hispanic-Serving Institutions in Study Abroad focuses on the factors (e.g., resources, individual challenges, and institutional obstacles) that play a role in the study abroad participation of Latinx students at HSIs.
- Co-author of Diversity Abroad Latinx Student's Guide to Global Programs
- An active participant at NAFSA’s Advocacy Day
- Served as a reviewer of grant applications for the Competition #12 initiative of 100,000 Strong in the Americas and was a Clinton Global Initiative University attendee.
Hernando is presenting Leveraging Partnerships to Increase Underrepresented Student Participation in Education Abroad: Pre-, Mid-, and Post-COVID-19 at this year’s NAFSA Region V Conference.
Hernando will also receive an award amount of $250.
Congratulations, Hernando! We’re excited to see you recognized for your hard work and dedication! What’s more is that so many students have been and will continue to feel the impact of your commitment to diversity and inclusion.