Herzfeld, Anita

Herzfeld, PhD
Year Inducted: 
Anita Herzfeld
  • First female Director of KU’s Office of Study Abroad
  • First Linguistics teacher at the University of Costa Rica
  • Published first book on Limonese Creole, an African-Costa Rican dialect
  • Won Michael J. Young Undergraduate Advisor’s Award twice
  • 2002: National Faculty Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Education

Anita Herzfeld, University of Kansas Professor of Latin American Studies and of Linguistics, is an impressive scholar, professor, advisor, and administrator.  Her expertise allowed her to publish the first book on Limonese Creole, the dialect of Creole spoken by an African-Costa Rican minority.  Named KU’s Outstanding International Woman in 1975, she has certainly proved that title to be true.

Dr. Herzfeld received her Bachelor of Arts in 1965 from the Instituto Superior del Profesorado in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and followed with a MA from the University of Kansas.  She received her PhD, also from KU, in 1978.  In addition to her work at KU, she has also worked at Georgetown University with the USAID Program, serving as a Director of Grant Project and Chief of Party for Central American Peace Scholarships and the Executive Director of the Central American Scholarship program.

She has been highly involved at the University of Kansas, serving as an Assistant to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Associate Director of the Seminars on Higher Education in the Americas, and Associate Director of International Programs.  She is the editor of several books on Higher Education in the Americas.  For an impressive length of 4 years, she directed the University of Costa Rica-KU Exchange Program.  She was also the first woman Director of the Office of Study Abroad.

As a scholar, Dr. Herzfeld is a pioneer in her field.  She was the first linguistics teacher at the University of Costa Rica and the first linguist to publish a book on the Creole spoken in Costa Rica.  She has authored over 50 articles on the sociolinguistic aspects of this language, Limonese Creole.  Dr. Herzfeld has received grants from the Ford Foundation, ACLS, Danforth Foundation, and was awarded with 6 different Fulbright grants, which she has used to fund research in the United States, Costa Rica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Guatemala.  She has recently been conducting research in Paraguay and Peru on attitudes of high school students towards native languages (Guarani and Quechua, respectively) and English.

Dr. Herzfeld has twice won the Michael Young Advisor’s Award in the Humanities and received a 2002 Teaching Award from the Center for Teaching Excellence.  For her work in International Education, she received a National Faculty Award for Outstanding Contributions in 2002 and a Provost’s Award in 2005.

Dr. Herzfeld currently serves with KU’s Center of Latin American Studies as a Professor and Director of Undergraduate Advising.

Honors & Achievements: 
  • 2005 Provost’s Award in International Education
  • GRF award for conducting research in Paraguay
  • Teaching Award, Center for Teaching Excellence, 2002
  • Phi Beta Delta Award for Excellence in International Education, 2001
  • Teaching Award, Center for Teaching Excellence, 2000
  • Distinguished Service Award by the University of Costa Rica, 2000
  • Executive Director, Central American Scholarship Program, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. (USAID funded), 1985- 1986
  • Elected Member of the CIEE Board of Directors,1977-1984
  • Outstanding International Woman Award,1975
  • Danforth Graduate Fellowship for Women, 1973
  • Ford Foundation Cooperative Research Grant: Pilot Study of Limonese Creole,    1973
  • LSA Fellowship,1971
  • ACLS Fellowship, 1964
  • Fulbright to the U.S.,1961
  • I have learned that whatever you accomplish, you never manage to do it just by your own efforts alone. There are always people you have met on the way who have contributed, knowingly or not, to show you the path and to stand by you to support you.
  • To me, the most important aspect of academic life has always resided in communicating with students. However, if one were interested in administrative positions at the university, one would have to network constantly. Finding good mentors is undoubtedly of great value either way - in academics and in the administration. 
  • “Language and Identity in Central America: a History of Oppression, Struggle and    Achievement,” Latin America: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Eds. Julio    López-    Arias and Gladys M. Varona-Lacey. New York: Peter Lang, 1998, pp. 43-66
  • “Cohesion in Limonese Creole,” Studies in Caribbean Language II. Eds. Pauline    Christie, B. Lalla, V. Pollard, L. Carrington. St. Augustine, Trinidad, WI: Society    for Caribbean Linguistics, 1999, pp. 163-177
  • “Male talk in a Creole Speaking Community,” Proceedings of the Mid America    Linguistics Conference Papers 1999. Ed. Michael M. T. Henderson, Lawrence,    KS: University of Kansas Linguistics Department, 2000, pp. 124-135

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