Cheryl Hertzer, Ed.D., is the Chair of Master of Arts in Teaching programs in the School of Education. Her responsibilities include recruiting and selecting students, organizing meetings and workshops, communicating with stakeholders, providing information sessions and individual appointments to applicants, coordinating Master’s Bridge to Teaching (MBT) course schedules and faculty assignments, providing outreach, instructing courses, and advising MBT interns.
Cheryl’s academic background includes a BA in Spanish and an MA from IU Bloomington in Applied Linguistics. Originally, Cheryl had intended to teach Spanish and student taught in Pasco, Washington with IU’s Latino Project. It was this experience that led to her interest in ESL education and to her graduate work. She has taught English at Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan and at Amman Academy in Amman, Jordan. Though she had not planned to work in higher education, Cheryl found the Director’s position interesting because it draws on her education and life experiences. “As MAT Chair, I am able to share my knowledge of how to teach children from various language and cultural backgrounds with others.”
Cheryl and her children, Wafa and Ibrahim, returned to Indiana from Jordan following the unexpected death of her husband, a United Nations employee. After such a difficult experience, Cheryl felt that her children would benefit from the educational choices and proximity to family the move to Indiana would afford. She was delighted when she saw Marian’s ad for the original Project Bridge director position, which called for “bilingual or ESL experience.” When she saw the ad, she told her sister, “That’s me.”
Cheryl’s advice to new teachers includes treating all students with dignity and respect and developing trustful and respectful relationships with them. Cheryl’s philosophy of education gives her the desire to make sure teachers are prepared for classrooms with culturally and linguistically diverse students. “If I provide meaningful learning experiences for my students that touch their hearts, their heads will be ready to learn the necessary facts and their hands will be ready to develop the required skills to become successful teachers of all students. I am a guide for my students. I can provide them with a map, but they must make the journey themselves.”