IES Abroad's Hernando Sevilla-Garcia Promoted to Assistant Director for Special Initiatives – Diversity Recruiting & Advising

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In celebration of amazing accomplishments from IES Abroad staff, we’d like to congratulate Hernando Sevilla-Garcia for his recent achievement in being promoted to Assistant Director for Special Initiatives – Diversity Recruiting & Advising.

This promotion is more than well deserved, as evidenced by Hernando’s years of work not just at IES Abroad, but in the field of International Education. From the IES Abroad Tu Mundo initiative, designed to help more students from established and emerging Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) study abroad, to reviewing applications for President Obama’s “100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative,” to engaging and hosting conversations with current students and alumni about their identities and experience abroad, Hernando’s efforts and advocacy show an unrelenting dedication to diversity and global leadership. 

To properly congratulate Hernando on his promotion, we took a look back and compiled 10 highlights from Hernando’s career during his time at IES Abroad:

  1. IES Abroad Staff Becomes Part of President Obama’s 100,000 Strong Initiative (December 2016) - Hernando was accepted to be a reviewer for President Obama’s “100,000 Strong” Initiative in the Americas, which was aimed at increasing international study in the Caribbean and Latin America. The competition Hernando reviews applications for specifically promotes study abroad programs in engineering, physics, geology, and geophysics by providing grants to higher education institutions in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, Mexico, and the United States.
  2. Launching Our New Diversity Initiatives: Tu Mundo & Take Off with IES Abroad (January 2018) In 2017, through two new diversity outreach initiatives, Tu Mundo & Take Off with IES Abroad, we partnered with ten schools each to help inspire diverse students to study and intern abroad. Led by Diversity Relations Manager, Hernando Sevilla-Garcia, Tu Mundo is designed to help more students at HSIs/Emerging HSIs to study abroad and intern abroad.
  3. The Power of Advocacy: Mobilizing the Study Abroad Community (April 2018) - After being awarded a 2018 NAFSA Advocacy Day Grant from the International Educators of Illinois, Hernando had the privilege to spend two days on Capitol Hill raising awareness for two critical components of higher education: study abroad programs and international students. He also discussed The Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act and the countless contributions that international students add to campuses throughout the country with lawmakers.
  4. IES Abroad Customized Program Introduces Latinx Students to Japanese Culture (October 2018) – The collaboration of Hernando’s HSI-initiative, Tu Mundo, IES Abroad Customized and Faculty-Led Programs, and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) made it possible for several Latinx students to participate on a study abroad program exploring the history and culture of Japan. UTRGV was named one of the top 50 universities for Latinos by Latino Leaders Magazine and serves the largest number of Latinx students of all Texas universities.
  5. A Weekend at The Clinton Global Initiative-University: Engaging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (November 2018) - During his master’s program in Education Administration & Policy at Northwestern University, Hernando was invited to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University representing Northwestern, based on his and his classmates Commitment submission “Juntos: Chicago Hispanic-Serving Institutions Abroad.”
  6. “‘I dedicate this to my country, to the Latinx community…and to every single student who dreams of going abroad,’ Hernando Sevilla-Garcia wins NAFSA Diversity Award (October 2020) - Hernando was honored with the 2020 NAFSA Region V Conference Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in International Education Award, which 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.
  7. Juntos: Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Latinx Students, and the Future of Study Abroad (October 2020) Hernando presented an abridged version of his research study titled “Missing Abroad: (Under)Representation of Latinx Students at Hispanic-Serving Institutions in Study Abroad” and interviewed a student panel comprised of Latinx study abroad alumni who shared their unique perspectives on their international academic experiences.
  8. Intergenerational Black Experiences Abroad: A Celebration of Black History Month (February 2021) - Hernando hosted this powerful panel discussion in honor of, but not limited to the context of, Black History Month, featuring three IES Abroad community members speaking to their Black experiences abroad at very different times in our shared world history.
  9. Fireside Chat with Fascinating Faculty: IES Abroad Cape Town’s David Reiersgord on Mandela Day and the Influence of the Rainbow Nation (August 2021) – With IES Abroad Cape Town Center Director David Reiersgord, who teaches a courses on the titular subject matter, Hernando discusses Nelson Mandela’s legacy not just in South Africa, but around the world, and the impact his work has on students and in the context of study abroad. 
  10. Voices from Abroad: A Student Conversation Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month (October 2021) – In celebration of Latinx Heritage Month, Hernando hosted a discussion with four IES Abroad IDEA Correspondents, who were currently abroad, about their Latinx heritage and how their experiences at home and abroad intersect with their identities.

Please join us in congratulating Hernando for these honors and recognizing his hard work and continued commitment to diversifying education abroad – thank you for all that you do, Hernando!

Learn more about the Tu Mundo initiative and our partnership with HSIs.


About Hernando: Hernando Sevilla-Garcia, MS, is an Assistant Director for Special Initiatives at IES Abroad. After spending a year in the organization's Academics department as a Program Associate, he now strategizes with international higher education stakeholders to implement Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives and to ultimately increase the participation of minoritzed students in study abroad. A recipient of the Gates Millennium and QuestBridge scholarships, he started his undergraduate career at the University of Pennsylvania and then completed a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science with Minors in Portuguese and Interdisciplinary Latina/o Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Hernando also received a Master of Science from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy. While a graduate student, he conducted research on the factors that play a role in enrollment of Latinx students at Hispanic-Serving Institutions in study abroad programs. Due to his work at the intersection of higher education, internationalization, public policy, and social justice Hernando’s work was recently recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative-University, Google’s Pay It Forward Challenge, and NAFSA’s Region V inaugural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in International Education Award. An Adjunct Faculty in the Department of History and Political Science at Saint Xavier University, his academic interests focus on the Latinx experience in the U.S. and formation of diaspora communities. Born and raised in Cali, Colombia Hernando is also active in his native country’s revitalization of internationalization in the post-secondary education system.

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