Loni Dishong is managing director of the Indiana University Honors Program in Foreign Languages (IUHPFL), where she is responsible for the planning and oversight of summer language immersion programming for Indiana high school students in seven host countries: Austria, Chile, China, France, Japan, Mexico, and Spain. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, with a minor in French, as well as a Master’s degree in Language Education from Indiana University and was a 1992-93 participant in the IU Office of Overseas Study academic year abroad in Madrid, Spain.
Early in her career, Loni was instrumental in helping to establish the International School of Indiana in her role as the first executive assistant to the headmaster. During that time, she also taught adult Spanish classes in the evenings for IUPUI Continuing Studies. These two experiences deepened her love for international education. After earning her teaching certification, Loni taught Spanish at Brown County Middle School and High School, where her enthusiasm for language education and teaching continued to grow. In 2005, she started a business in Bloomington that offered Spanish classes and summer camps for local preschool and elementary children. This business eventually developed into a language instruction studio, where various instructors offered interactive afterschool and weekend classes in French, German, Russian, and Spanish to children and teens. Throughout her career, Loni has worked within international education and cross-cultural initiatives, including the Burma Youth Leadership Program through the IU Office of International Development, which she helped to launch in 2014.
A resident of Bloomington for 30 years, Loni has also participated in and supported a variety of local initiatives and has given particular focus to professional development projects for women and educators. From 2005 to 2011, she established and directed Women Inspire, a local nonprofit that helped to promote and advocate for women entrepreneurs and artists in the Bloomington area. She was also an active member on the board that established Bloomington’s first all fair-trade retailer, Global Gifts.
Loni values the opportunity to direct IUHPFL and enjoys working with the program’s staff on the IU–Bloomington campus and abroad, as well as high school teachers and educators throughout the state of Indiana. For her, it is incredibly rewarding to see how IUHPFL opens up a world of possibilities for Indiana high school language learners and encourages them to accomplish more than they imagined possible.