Alex Hermida2016 Rising Alumni

Alex Hermida photo

Alex Hermida has built a strong foundation of engaging with and supporting underrepresented communities in the Twin Cities. He has a master’s in youth development leadership and is currently pursuing a doctorate in higher education policy and administration. In his early career, he worked in several Minneapolis organizations with a goal to create positive change in the experiences of youth from all backgrounds. Alex is currently sharing his perspective as an educator from an underrepresented background with college students as an instructor at UM Duluth. He also is a volunteer mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.


Diversity Pre-Doctoral Fellow, University of Minnesota-Duluth

Are you involved in any volunteer activities?

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor
  • Volunteer facilitator with AchieveMpls

What’s your favorite memory from UMN?

My favorite memory from my time at the University of Minnesota is from being an undergraduate and spending Friday afternoons after class playing football with my best friend in the mall area of campus.

What professors or courses were most influential during your time in CEHD?

I think, what was most influential during my time in CEHD was finding the ICP program. As an undergraduate I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to do and it wasn't until I found out that I could create my own major that things really fell into place. I am really thankful for the program and I credit that program with getting me to the point I am today.

What is a good book you would recommend to others?

"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates. A great book about the realities of race relations in this country and also a touching cautionary tail from father to son.

What gets you excited about work?

I get excited when I find practical applications for the work that I do. Sometimes I spend so much time talking about theories and relevant literatures that I forget that ultimately my work is about affecting peoples lives for the better. Finding these positive solutions are exciting.

What skills are important to succeed as an emerging professional today?

I think the most important skill that an emerging professional needs to be successful is to be a critical thinker. Being able to constantly evaluate the information being presented so that you can form your own opinions is critical, in my opinion, to being successful.

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you spend it?

I am a avid cyclist. I love to go out for long bike rides during the warmer months of the year. I love how peaceful it can be to be out on the road by yourself with just your thoughts, your bike and nothing else (well, other than a spare tube) is priceless!

Who are you? How would others describe you?

I would describe myself as a quiet observer and thinker. I like to think that I am mindful of the people and things around me. I suspect that if people were more mindful of their how their actions impact the people around them we would live in a much better place.

Who has inspired you the most during your career?

I've spend a lot of my early career working in Minneapolis communities with students of color. They inspire me to accomplish my goals so that in turn I can work to create positive change in the educational experiences of students from all backgrounds and at all levels of education.