Tatiana Botero, associate teaching professor of Spanish at the University of Notre Dame, was named 2018 Indiana teacher of the year for university-level instruction by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.
She will receive the award at a ceremony on Nov. 2.
Botero teaches a community-based learning course called “Immigration and the Construction of Memory” where undergraduate students work with South Bend-based Latino immigrant families to document and preserve their histories, while also helping the students’ language skills and civic engagement — and fostering kinship with this growing population.
When Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “In the Heights” came to the South Bend Civic Theatre, Botero raised funds to secure tickets so her students and the South Bend Latino families with whom they were working could attend together. Additionally, she curated four art exhibits at the theater related to the themes of the musical and Latino identity in the U.S., including photographs by sophomore Natalie Behling, who worked with Botero to document the performance from auditions to opening night. The students and their Latino families also participated in a Q&A with the cast members after the performance.
In collaboration with the Institute for Latino Studies, Botero is planning a study trip during the 2018-19 academic year to the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago, which will allow students to experience the center’s impact on the American Latino community.