Maxine L. Narváez Award

The Maxine L. Narváez Award in Latin American Studies

This award was established in 1992 by León Narváez to honor his mother, Maxine L. Narváez, an outstanding example of a person who made intercultural exchange with the Spanish-speaking world an integral part of her personal and professional life. After living and raising her family in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia, Spain, and Minnesota, she combined her extensive experience abroad and her training as a journalist at the University of Missouri-Columbia in a variety of cross-cultural and editorial activities. She wrote articles and gave presentations on various aspects of intercultural communication and language education in the U.S., served as a Community Resource Volunteer for the Minneapolis Schools, and co-owned Arteric International, a U.S. foreign language game company. Her legacy is carried on by her children, all of whom have made active use of their Spanish and experience abroad in their careers or personal lives.

Criteria for the Award


  1. The recipient must be a senior student majoring in Latin American Studies. Although designed to honor the outstanding senior, the award may be presented to two students in any given year if the Latin American Studies Committee deems it appropriate. (There is no obligation to present the award in a given year, if there are not eligible students.)


  1. The recipients must, first of all, demonstrate academic excellence. They shall normally have an overall GPA of at least 3.6. Preference will be given to students who have participated in special components of the Latin American Studies academic program including, but not limited to, study abroad; the St. Olaf Languages Across the Curriculum Program; Spanish-language internships; completion of the requirements for distinction.


  1. Second, the recipient must be an active participant in the co-curricular aspects of the Latin American Studies program (i.e., the Casa Hispánica; the Hispanic Heritage and Viva la Raza celebration; the Mesa de Conversación; assistance to the local Spanish-speaking community).


  1. Finally, the recipient must have an outstanding capacity for cross-cultural understanding and communication with regard to the Spanish-speaking world.


Updated May 2016