Past Features

November 27, 2006 (Vol. 4, No. 6)

Bronx Institute Director Receives "El" Award from El Diario/La Prensa

Herminio Martinez
Dr. Herminio Martinez
Dr. Herminio Martinez, executive director of The Bronx Institute at Lehman and professor of middle and high school education, was recently awarded the "El" Award from the Spanish-language newspaper El Diario/La Prensa. The award recognizes leaders in the Latino community in the fields of business, entertainment and education whose work has made a significant impact on the greater Latino community.

Born in Cuba, Professor Martinez came to the U.S. as a child during Operation Peter Pan. Under this plan, more than 14,000 Cuban children—whose parents opposed the Communist Government—were brought to the U.S. from 1960-1962 and placed with other families. Professor Martinez credits his parents with instilling in him a deep respect for education, which helped to carry him through years of separation and the challenges of learning a new language and culture.

For over 25 years, Professor Martinez has been a leading figure in the field of education. As executive director of The Bronx Institute, he has introduced enrichment programs aimed at helping the borough's children successfully move onto college careers. Also, through his association with organizations like the National Council of La Raza and the Goldman Sachs New Venture Fund, he has been able to build awareness and raise funds—over $35 million—for many of the Institute's programs. Earlier this year, the New York State Assembly named Professor Martinez "Educator of the Year."

"I feel honored and delighted to receive this recognition from El Diario La Prensa and the community it serves," explains Professor Martinez. "I am the recipient of this award as the result of the efforts of many hard working and talented people and I am honored to accept it on their behalf."