Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Andres “Andy” Herrera has been in the field of education for over 20 years. He first worked in Bilingual and Migrant education for the Kalamazoo Public Schools in Michigan. During his time there, Andy helped an immeasurable number of families settle into the area and to enroll their children in school. He went on to serve as Assistant Director of Admissions and Director of Multicultural programs at Mount Wachusett Community College, in Gardner, Massachusetts. Eventually, he made the move to Erie, PA to serve in Penn State Erie, The Behrend College as Director of Educational Equity and Diversity Programs for the last few years. In this role, Andy oversees services and academic progress of minority students, international students, students with disabilities, and other groups. “I love higher education,” says Andy, “there’s nothing like the innovation, creativity, and energy of a college setting.” “It is also quite fulfilling to be able to guide and impact young people’s lives in a positive way and help them build a better future.”
Andy also helps promote cultural awareness on campus through various forms of programming. One of these efforts is called the Rhythms of Life Series. This cultural performance series brings to campus a great number of artists—from singers and dancers, to theatre acts. Performances are free and open to the public (visit the series web site at www.behrend.psu.edu/RhythmsofLife). “The goal is to expose our students to various forms of folklore and culture through performance arts” Andy explains.
Andy also serves as advisor to a number of student organizations on campus, including the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS). Andy’s goal as advisor is to “guide, motivate, and support students as they fulfill the mission of their organizations and develop leadership skills.”
Andy finds time to dedicate some effort towards helping the community. He has done volunteer work at Erie’s City Mission, Habitat for Humanity, and other organizations.
He enjoys time with his family and rooting for the Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday during college football games.
Due to his dedication and effort in his professional career, Andy has been presented with a number of awards. Some of these include PSU Erie’s Best Student Organization Advisor Award in 2004 and 2006, Penn State system-wide Vice President Award for Outstanding Program, and Most Influential Advisor by the Multi-Cultural Council, among others. He completed an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Literature and History from Western Michigan University and a Master’s degree in Education Law from Nova Southeastern University. He also completed a certificate in Leadership from Penn State’s Management Institute.
If you would like to say “Hola” to Andy, he welcomes and invites everyone to check his office’s web site at www.behrend.psu.edu/equity where you will find his contact information.