Tar Heel Conversations: En Español – Come practice your Spanish in a comfortable setting of the Carolina Latinx Center’s lounge. The topic of conversation varies – we may talk about current events, watch and discuss a film, or just share personal stories. This is a great opportunity to practice your Spanish if it is rusty, or just speak it if you do not get the opportunity very often or even just come and listen. Faculty and staff are also invited. Monthly conversations are hosted by Dr. Cárdenas on Thursdays from 4-6pm. Light refreshments provided

Fall 2019

  • September 19
  • October 17
  • November 14


Dr. Virginia Cárdenas

Dr. Virginia Cárdenas grew up in Quito, Ecuador. She is a retired educator and has worked with rural and urban school districts throughout in North Carolina.

Dr. Cárdenas holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics. She received her master’s degree in school administration, and her educational doctorate in school leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

As an educational leader Dr. Cárdenas held many roles including being a Pre-K through 5th grade Spanish teacher, school principal, policy administrator, Director of magnet School grants, and program director for the Low Achieving schools for the NC Department of Public Administration.

Dr. Cárdenas was the first Latina teacher in Chatham County where she was selected as Chatham County Teacher of the Year. She was the first Latina principal in Wake County Public Schools. Dr. Cárdenas focused her career on creating learning communities where staff, families, communities, and students partner together to create supportive climates of academic excellence. Language acquisition has been a common thread throughout her professional and personal endeavors. Supporting school systems in the modeling and fostering of language rich environments was a primary achievement of hers. Her biggest honor has been helping students and their respective families find academic success.

In 2016 Dr. Cárdenas published her first bilingual children’s book Cuando Yo Sea Grande – When I Grow Up, a book about how children learn from family members and in turn become a teacher to younger family members and friends.

In her retirement Dr. Cárdenas plans to continue writing children’s books and helping Universities partner with School Systems to recruit high achieving first time college Latino students.