IU Latino Alumni Association honoring Monica Medina during Fall Weekend events in Indianapolis

  • Sept. 17, 2014


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In connection with National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Indiana University Latino Alumni Association will honor an alumna during its Fall Weekend events in Indianapolis.

The events coincide with Saturday's IUPUI Regatta and Fiesta Indianapolis, the premier Latino cultural celebration in Indiana since 1980. IU Latino alumni will be among the organizations fielding a team in the regatta.

Monica A. Medina, a faculty member in the IU School of Education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, will be honored Saturday evening as the 2014 recipient of the IU Latino Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award.

The award recognizes the outstanding professional achievements and community service of Latino alumni of any IU campus.

An empowerment brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at Barcelona Tapas Restaurant, 201 N. Delaware St., will wrap up the alumni weekend. With the exception of the awards dinner, all events are free.

Registration for the awards dinner, at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, 350 W. Maryland St., costs $15 for alumni, $20 for community members, $10 for students and $5 for youths under 18.

Founded in 2000, the IU Latino Alumni Association now has close to 10,000 members from each of IU's campuses and serves students as well as graduates.

Medina is associate director of the Center for Urban and Multicultural Education and a senior clinical lecturer in the IU School of Education in Indianapolis. She earned three degrees from IU: a Bachelor of Arts in speech pathology and audiology in 1977, a Master of Science in higher education and student affairs in 1979 and a doctorate in education in 2012.

Also a recipient of the Indiana Latina Educator of the Year Award in 2013, Medina has been active in Indianapolis, serving as chair of La Plaza and as executive director of The Hispanic Center.

She also is program committee chair for the Concord Neighborhood Center, which provides social services, children's programs, education, health and fitness information, recreational activities and cooperative programs with other agencies.

"Dr. Medina's work speaks for itself," said Victor M.H. Borden, professor of educational leadership and policy studies at IU Bloomington, one of those who nominated Medina for the award. "The list of groups she has led or worked with over the years is incredible in its breadth and the implications for service impact that it reveals.

"From working to improve the lives of individuals with HIV/AIDS, to serving as executive director of the Hispanic Center in Indianapolis, to securing a $2.5 million development grant for the George Washington Community School, she has directly influenced the lives of thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Hispanic and other Hoosiers," Borden said.

Martin P. Vargas, president of the IU Latino Alumni Association, said Medina was called a friend by everyone he has shared the news of her award with.

"Truly a friend to the Latino community, her sustained and significant contributions are impactful for their magnitude and scope," said Vargas, an alumnus of the IU Kelley School of Business and CEO of Huntsman Limited in Knoxville, Tenn. "Monica Medina gives of herself in many ways. ... Testifying to her impact, she has received 15 awards for her service. She is indeed worthy of recognition for 'outstanding achievement.'" 

Previous winners of the award include Judge Jesse M. Villalpando, former Ivy Tech Chancellor J. Guadalupe Valtierra, Judge Maria Luz Corona, TV journalist Phil Ponce, Luis Davila, Carlos J. Ovando,  Albert Velasquez and Lillian Casillas-Origel, director of La Casa/the Indiana University Latino Cultural Center at IU Bloomington.

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