Alumni News

Caterina (Cathy) Cregor Blitzer
Indiana University, B.A. ‘69
Wisconsin, M.A., ‘70

Cathy Blitzer received the prestigious 2016 Paul Simon Award from the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages on March 11, 2016. She was recognized for her long and ambitious career in promoting language education and cultural understanding. Cathy, who speaks five languages, recently retired as Indiana’s World Languages Specialist.  Her leadership roles have included serving as Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis for Economic Development and Executive Director of the International Center of Indianapolis.  She also helped promote language acquisition through her time at the Indiana Department of Education and the International School of Indiana.  Cathy was nominated for the Paul Simon award by Israel Herrera, Senior Lecturer in the IU Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Advocacy Chair of the Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association (IFLTA). Cathy recently collaborated with Herrera and the IFLTA to successfully advocate for Indiana’s adoption of the “Seal of Biliteracy” for graduating high school students demonstrating proficiency in a language other than English.  Thanks to their efforts, Indiana is now the third state in the Midwest and the 9th in the nation with a Seal of Biliteracy program.

The Paul Simon award is named for the late Illinois Senator Paul Simon whose career exemplified dedication to and enthusiasm for the areas of language and international studies. The award is given annually to an individual or group from outside the language teaching profession that has demonstrated leadership in the promotion of language learning and international understanding, thereby contributing to the cause of world peace.