Mimi Hernandez, coordinator of the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies (ACES) at Frostburg State University, has been appointed as the executive director of the American Herbalists Guild (AHG), a national organization representing the goals of professional herbalists specializing in the medicinal uses of plants. She will be leaving the FSU community to establish the AHG offices in Asheville, N.C.
Hernandez has been at FSU for three years where, in addition to serving in her role with ACES, she taught Introduction to Ethnobotany and served as the project coordinator for the Frostburg Grows local greenhouse project.
Hernandez is best known for providing cultural heritage outreach to local mountain residents through the Mountain Herbalist Series and the West Virginia Mountain Roots Series, which put her in contact with hundreds of landowners, herbalists, growers and entrepreneurs in the area. Before coming to the area, she was a founder and director of One World Healing Arts Institute, an herb school and student-run clinic with an apothecary and a products line. She continues to educate clinical herbalists around the country through mentorship and apprenticeship programs. She is also an avid speaker who teaches workshops and lectures at conferences around North America.
Hernandez plans to remain actively engaged with the ACES community, advocating for conservation and cultivation of Appalachian plants and culture and strengthening the networks of likeminded stakeholders throughout the Appalachian region. She also represented ACES at the International Ginseng Expo in early December.
For more information on the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies, visit www.frostburg.edu/aces. For more information on the American Herbalists Guild, go to www.americanherbalistsguild.com.