Sara Poot-Herrera is a beloved professor at UCSB, whom her colleagues and friends recognize for an unrelenting work ethic. She’s an established and esteemed author with more than 200 published literary works and was recently recognized for her “cultural, literary and academic trajectory.” This special FILEY award is from Feria Internacional de la Lectura Estado de Yucatan, an international book fair in Merida, Yucatan, that Poot-Herrera helped coordinate.

The professor of Spanish language studies, who earned her PhD at El Colegio de Mexico, currently resides in both Santa Barbara and Mexico. She first came to UCSB as an invited professor, before receiving a permanent position, she said. As the director of UC-Mexicanistas, an intercampus research program at UCSB known for producing numerous works of art, books, and anthologies, Poot-Herrera helps the university build relationships with other educational institutes and brings together its members and scholars of Mexican-culture studies. Many noted Mexican writers have come at her invitation to speak to UCSB students. At UCSB, her office is known as “a cultural gathering spot.”

Connecting students to their roots is a value that Poot-Herrera treasures, and educating them about where they come from through Spanish-American and Mexican literature is what it’s all about for her. An avid reader her whole life and a teacher for years at all levels in Mexico sparked her passion for knowledge and culture. “I would like to pass that enthusiasm to my students and to make them conscious of others in this inter-cultural world. I am as much a dreamer as they are,” she said.


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