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Amy Provencio Gamboa

Establishing a Scholarship in a mother's honor

Amy Provencio Gamboa dreamt of becoming a teacher ever since she was a student in elementary school. But marriage and six children postponed Gamboa’s dream until 1981 when, at the age of 54, she earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in elementary education with a bilingual education certification from The University of Texas at El Paso. “I’ve always had an interest in education,” said Gamboa, who completed one year at the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now NMSU) in 1947 before she married Joseph Ernest Gamboa. “After being out of school for so many years, one of my challenges was to be able to compete with younger students. With my strong belief in education, I had no problem.” UTEP alumna Amy Provencio Gamboa graduated from UTEP’s College of Education in 1981 at the age of 54. This spring, her children established the Amy Provencio Gamboa Endowed Scholarship in her honor, which will support UTEP students who are planning to become educators.

Gamboa’s commitment to education inspired her children – Joe Henry Gamboa, Dolores Gamboa, Connie Gamboa, Carlos Gamboa, Robert Gamboa and Teresa Gamboa Childs – to establish the Amy Provencio Gamboa Endowed Scholarship in spring 2014. The scholarship supports UTEP students in the colleges of Education and Health Sciences who are pursuing their dreams to become future educators. The annual scholarship will benefit a student who is either pursuing a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Elementary Education or a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in Physical Education Teacher Education.

“When you consider the impact and the multiplier effect that this scholarship will have for generations to come, there are going to be eventually hundreds of students that are going to benefit from this gift,” College of Health Sciences Dean Kathleen Curtis, Ph.D., said during a plaque unveiling ceremony honoring Gamboa April 11 in the Health Sciences and Nursing Building. “It signifies everything that (Amy Provencio Gamboa) believes in and everything that we as a University hold dear in terms of the values of being able to support our students and being able to foster their student success.”

Gamboa’s love of sports piqued her interest in physical education. Her husband, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps who trained as a bombardier during WWII, won her heart through the game of bowling. Because of their shared passion for the sport, he and his family built a bowling alley in Las Cruces.

“Our mother had always been a talented athlete and dreamed of encouraging others to be physically active,” said Connie Gamboa, assistant dean for student affairs in the College of Health Sciences. “She wanted to be a physical educator.” However, marriage and the birth of their first child, Joe Henry Gamboa, compelled the couple to refocus their dreams.

It was not until 1968, after their first three children were in college, that Gamboa became a substitute teacher. She also began taking classes at El Paso Community College and eventually enrolled at UTEP when she was 50 years old. Gamboa and her youngest daughter, Teresa Gamboa Childs, attended UTEP at the same time. “Instead of yelling ‘Mom,’ I would yell ‘Amy’ when I saw her at the Union or across campus because we were co-eds at UTEP,” said Childs, laughing. “She was ‘Amy’ when we were on campus.” Whether Gamboa was substitute teaching or doing homework, her children always came first. Connie Gamboa remembers the family sitting around the living room coffee table, which was covered with her mom’s school books and papers. When she needed a study break, Amy Gamboa would go outside and jump rope 1,000 times to clear her head.

Like many UTEP students, transportation and money for tuition and books were obstacles Gamboa had to overcome, but she was determined to succeed. “One of my beliefs has always been, ‘If there’s a will, there’s a way,’” Gamboa said. “Also, my family was extremely supportive.”

After earning her degree from UTEP, Gamboa taught at Thomas Manor Elementary School in the Ysleta Independent School District for 18 years. She retired at the age of 70 after 10 years of substitute teaching and 18 years as a certified teacher. The proud UTEP alumna hopes the scholarship will help ease some of the challenges for students that she experienced while pursuing her degree. “In reliving the experiences and hardships that my children and I encountered in putting ourselves through college, to have a scholarship in my name gives me so much joy, because I know that it will help some students by making it easier for them to pursue their education,” Gamboa said. “My heartfelt thanks go to my wonderful children.” Connie Gamboa said that it was her parents’ sacrifices that made the success of their children and grandchildren possible. Five of their six children have graduated from college and six of their seven grandchildren have earned college degrees. Their seventh grandchild is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree and their great-grandchild is planning his college career. “Mom and Dad worked to ensure we children had a comfortable life and the opportunity to succeed,” Connie Gamboa said. “They provided the supportive environment that allowed us to do well in whatever we chose to pursue.”

The first scholarship (and perhaps a jump rope) in Gamboa’s name is expected to be awarded in the fall.

By Laura Acosta, UTEP News Service.

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Barry and Barbara Coleman

Barry and Barbara Coleman have been long-standing, generous supporters of UTEP – their adopted university. They lived in El Paso for over fifty years, actively involved in the civic affairs before retiring to Dallas in 2012. Barbara worked as an educator and served on a school board and Barry was a pharmacist and entrepreneur.

Despite being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1956 during the height of the Korean War, Barry was still able to attain his degree in pharmacy from the University of Arkansas in 1957. During the war, Barry’s first assignment was at El Paso’s Fort Bliss. He worked at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center and he later met and married Barbara, before fulfilling his commitment to the army.

In 1960, the Coleman’s bought their first pharmacy store in El Paso, near East Yandell Drive and Campbell Street. They eventually grew to open five Coleman Pharmacies and five Sun Drugs between 1960 and 1987. Barbara was a driven educator and served on the school board and was on the R.E. Thomason Hospital Board of Directors. Barry served as president of the American Cancer Society, the Texas Pharmacy Association and the El Paso Drug Abuse Council. As the president of the American Cancer Society, Barry initiated a campaign in the 1970’s to encourage pharmacies to stop selling tobacco products. His resolution passed and he was successful with the small chains and independent stores. Through their work, Barry and Barbara recognized a need to help bring more pharmacists to the area. In pursuing this goal, Barry started conversations with UTEP administrators and faculty and participated in various health committees at UTEP. In 2014, Barry and Barbara established the Barry and Barbara Coleman Professorship. The endowment helps support UTEP’s Pharmacy Program by advancing faculty research working on Texas border public health issues.

Barry Coleman died in April 2015. In June 2015, the Texas State Legislature approved a free-standing Pharmacy Program at UTEP, the life-long dream of Barry Coleman. Through their combined giving and advocacy, Barry’s legacy will be felt for generations. Barry Coleman was the first inductee to the UTEP Pharmacy Hall of Fame in recognition of exemplary dedication and service to the Pharmacy profession and extraordinary commitment to the education of Pharmacy students in El Paso.

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Dr. Catalina Esperanza Garcia

Dr. Catalina Esperanza Garcia grew-up in el Segundo Barrio, one of El Paso’s oldest and poorest neighborhoods. While her family didn’t have much, Catalina recalls that there was always the belief that through education and hard work anything could be achieved. Catalina remembers always wanting to become a doctor. “In sports they tell you to imagine making the perfect shot, well for me the perfect shot was walking down the hospital corridor, dressed as a physician in a white coat with a stethoscope.”

Dr. Garcia obtained her bachelor’s degree in biology from Texas Western College, now UTEP, in 1961. In 1969 she realized her dream of becoming a doctor, and became the second Latina to graduate from UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas where she has lived and worked as an anesthesiologist for over 50 years. Dr. Garcia has been actively involved in civic affairs, with a strong desire to help young Hispanic women succeed. In 2015, she established the Dr. Catalina E. Garcia Student Enhancement Endowment, which supports cultural immersion activities for students in the UTEP’s Medical Profession’s Institute (MPI). Her gifts made it possible for MPI students to travel to the Dominican Republic to research the clinical practices in the rural province of Santiago.

“It really broadens your mind when you work in another country and see how other people live. Those experiences provide important lessons on how to interact as helpers and physicians to other cultures, so that they can learn about us and we can learn about them.” Dr. Garcia hopes to give back to UTEP students for generations to come. She has made a provision in her will to make additional gifts to UTEP to help students achieve their professional aspirations.

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Charles Ambler

Supporting the University Library

The UTEP Library is an extraordinary resource for both teaching and research that addresses the University’s international mission. As a specialist in African and imperial history, I am continually amazed by the array of materials that are available—expanding rapidly as more and more documents are digitized. Now my students can read Nigerian newspapers from the 1930s or documents from the Freedom Struggle in South Africa. Or explore the hundreds of volumes of British records of the slave trade and colonization. It’s an exciting moment for research and for libraries, but we need to ensure that UTEP students have the same access and opportunities as their counterparts in other research institutions.

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Clifton Walsh

UTEP Staff Supporting Future Generation's of Students

Clifton Walsh joined UTEP as Chief of Police almost nine years ago after serving as the Westside Commander of the El Paso Police Department. Today Chief Walsh is giving back to UTEP because he believes that, like safety, giving is a united effort.

"You never know who you could be helping with your gift; it could be the next great engineer, or someone who finds a cure for cancer, or even the next president. That's exciting to think about."

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Felix Valenzuela

Felix Valenzuela made his first gift to The University of Texas at El Paso in 2011 with the goal of transforming students’ lives by positively impacting their personal path of discovery and learning. Today his generous contributions are not only financial, but also have evolved into a robust set of activities fueled by his beliefs in raising the bar for upcoming generations. Felix serves as a board member for multiple university organizations such as the UTEP Alumni Association Board and the Stanlee & Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, where he recently helped fund an endowment benefiting artists and exhibitions. He additionally promotes young alumni involvement through campus networking events and seeks to encourage students to make an impact in the world.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science at UTEP in 2003, Felix applied to Yale Law School (YLS), becoming the first UTEP graduate to attend this prestigious school, and earned a Juris Doctor degree in 2006. Felix then continued with his studies at the University of Notre Dame where he received a master’s degree in political science in 2010. Thanks to his outstanding academic achievements, he was selected for a clerkship with U.S. District Court Judge Philip Martinez.

Although Felix continued his academic journey outside of El Paso, he stayed actively involved with UTEP. During the summers he volunteered at the Patricia and Paul Yetter Law School Preparation Institute (LSPI) program at UTEP and helped teach an online course with Dr. Robert Webking. After completing his studies he returned to El Paso and established his practice, Valenzuela Law Firm.

Driven by his desire to give back to UTEP, he joined the UTEP Alumni Association Board in 2012. His role with the board shaped relationships that have developed into close friendships. “We all love UTEP and we realize how much the University has given to us by opening new paths of opportunity,” Felix says.

Felix hopes to encourage students and young alumni to connect with professionals and grow their networks. Felix strongly believes that it is important for alumni to remain connected to their alma mater, because there are many areas where alums can make an impact in the lives of students.

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Jo and Haskell Monroe

Barry and Barbara Coleman have been long-standing, generous supporters of UTEP – their adopted university. They lived in El Paso for over fifty years, actively involved in the civic affairs before retiring to Dallas in 2012. Barbara worked as an educator and served on a school board and Barry was a pharmacist and entrepreneur.

Despite being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1956 during the height of the Korean War, Barry was still able to attain his degree in pharmacy from the University of Arkansas in 1957. During the war, Barry’s first assignment was at El Paso’s Fort Bliss. He worked at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center and he later met and married Barbara, before fulfilling his commitment to the army.

In 1960, the Coleman’s bought their first pharmacy store in El Paso, near East Yandell Drive and Campbell Street. They eventually grew to open five Coleman Pharmacies and five Sun Drugs between 1960 and 1987. Barbara was a driven educator and served on the school board and was on the R.E. Thomason Hospital Board of Directors. Barry served as president of the American Cancer Society, the Texas Pharmacy Association and the El Paso Drug Abuse Council. As the president of the American Cancer Society, Barry initiated a campaign in the 1970’s to encourage pharmacies to stop selling tobacco products. His resolution passed and he was successful with the small chains and independent stores. Through their work, Barry and Barbara recognized a need to help bring more pharmacists to the area. In pursuing this goal, Barry started conversations with UTEP administrators and faculty and participated in various health committees at UTEP. In 2014, Barry and Barbara established the Barry and Barbara Coleman Professorship. The endowment helps support UTEP’s Pharmacy Program by advancing faculty research working on Texas border public health issues.

Barry Coleman died in April 2015. In June 2015, the Texas State Legislature approved a free-standing Pharmacy Program at UTEP, the life-long dream of Barry Coleman. Through their combined giving and advocacy, Barry’s legacy will be felt for generations. Barry Coleman was the first inductee to the UTEP Pharmacy Hall of Fame in recognition of exemplary dedication and service to the Pharmacy profession and extraordinary commitment to the education of Pharmacy students in El Paso.

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Joyce Jaffee

Helping Nurses Excel

When Joyce began to hear about, and then to witness the growing shortage of nurses in our nation, she wanted to do something to change that. “Education was always so important to my husband and to my children,” Joyce said. “And when my husband was being treated at MD Anderson, I saw how important good nurses are in the care of patients.”

In 2007, she established the Richard and Joyce Jaffee Family Scholarship to provide a deserving graduate student with the financial support to complete their Master of Science in Nursing degree. Then in 2011, Joyce established the Richard and Joyce Jaffee Endowed Scholarship in Nursing for a student pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing degree.

Besides giving of her financial resources, Joyce has also served as a volunteer in the School of Nursing. “I want to help out in any way I can.”

Joyce had the opportunity to observe the UTEP School of Nursing in its former headquarters on Campbell Street. “I was totally impressed with that facility,” Joyce said. “Then I got to watch the nursing school move into the new Health Sciences and Nursing Building. “It is an amazing place and truly state-of-the-art.”

Throughout Joyce Jaffee’s long and rewarding relationship with the School of Nursing she has always maintained her enthusiasm for investing in students.

“It is such a pleasure working with UTEP.”

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Sarah Baca

Impact of the Smallest Gift

El Paso native Sarah T. Baca is making and impact in the lives of UTEP students with her monthly gifts to the Environmental Science Program Fund.

Sarah was hired two years ago as a research assistant for the Biological Sciences Department. She immediately signed up to be a member of the UTEP Family Campaign after learning how gifts, of any size, provide important academic and professional development opportunities to students.

“The lives of students are touched by both small and large donations every day at UTEP. When we join forces we create change,” says Sarah.

Sara explains that giving back either financially or through volunteering is very gratifying or helps you to grow as a person.

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Tom Chism

Tom Chism Memorial Scholarship

In a distinguished career spanning three decades at The University of Texas at El Paso, Tom Chism left an indelible mark on the students he taught, the faculty and staff he worked with and the University he served.

Straight out of seminary college, Chism joined Texas Western College (now UTEP) in 1956 as chairman of the Department of Religion and director of the Baptist Student Union, where he gained the respect and admiration of the students he mentored.

Before retiring from UTEP in 1992, Chism went on to serve as director of student activities and of special academic services. This established the foundation for support services and programs at the University that continue to benefit students today, such as new student orientation, recruitment, study skills and tutorial programs, and the International Student Office.

Yet of all his accomplishments, Chism was very proud of the role that he and Texas Western College (TWC) faculty members Ralph Lowenstein and Rabbi Floyd S. Fierman had in helping to desegregate the city of El Paso in 1962. For two years, Chism, Lowenstein and Fierman were part of a committee that worked on legislation to end racial segregation in the city.

Chism died at age 84 on Feb. 9, 2013, after a yearlong struggle with cancer; yet, his legacy will continue to make a difference in the lives of students at UTEP. The Tom Chism Memorial Endowed Scholarship will benefit students in UTEP's School of Nursing

Chism’s daughter Judy Malazzo described her father as a man with a servant’s heart. When he became ill, Chism was more concerned about the nurses who cared for him than about his own health. Malazzo said it was quite fitting that a scholarship in her father’s name was established in the School of Nursing because it is a place that prepares students to go out and help others. The scholarship was established by an anonymous donor with support from the Chism family and Chism’s former students.

The first scholarship was awarded to a deserving nursing student during the 2015-16 academic year. To qualify, students must be enrolled at the University full time and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.

By Laura Acosta, UTEP News Service.

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Wilma Salzman

Seeing Students Excel

When Wilma Salzman contributes to a scholarship in the UTEP Department of Music, she experiences an immediate benefit. “When I give, I get to see a student’s performance—to feel and hear it first hand— and this tells me they are more than worth the investment.” Salzman said.

Wilma and Michael Salzman began their major support of the music department in 2003 when they presented the Claude Herndon’s collection of musical scores to UTEP. In 2004 Wilma planned to surprise her husband, Michael, on his 60th birthday, with a concert and the announcement of the Michael Salzman Excellence Endowment in Piano Performance. Michael died before this happened and yet she decided to make it a memorial concert in his honor, and announce the establishment of the endowment.

“This experience was so rewarding,” Wilma said, “that I just keep on giving.” Today she also supports the Wilma Salzman Annual Flute Scholarship and the Wilma Salzman Annual Vocal Scholarship at UTEP. The three scholarships afford her the opportunity to keep in touch with the students and to follow their musical careers. In 2010, Wilma became a member of UTEP’s Cornerstone Society, a distinguished group of UTEP friends and alumni who choose to name the University as one of the beneficiaries in their estate planning.

Wilma owns Table Top Press, a publisher of materials designed to help children learn music and be inspired by it. She was influenced by German composer Carl Orff, who developed an influential approach to the music education of children.

Born in Ottawa, Canada, Wilma won a scholarship her senior year at the University of Toronto to attend the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria. Wilma expresses her genuine gratitude for the financial assistance, “this scholarship afforded me the opportunity to study in Austria,, it would not have happened otherwise…” . ”Wilma earned her master’s degree in early childhood education from Middle Tennessee State University where she became the director of the Kindergarten program at the Lab School at MTSU.

She met and married her husband, Michael in Tennessee and followed him to El Paso in 1975, where he became Vice President of Kurland-Salzman Music Company. Since then, Wilma Salzman has been an influential voice for the preservation of music education in the secondary school curriculum, and has spent a lifetime teaching, writing and composing music.

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UTEP Faculty and Staff United for Student Success Donors

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Dr. Eva M. Moya

Giving to the Greatest Return

Dr. Moya, an Assistant Professor of Social Work, made her first gift to UTEP in 2001.

Today, through the UTEP Family Campaign, Dr. Moya is giving to the College of Health Sciences because she understands the importance of health related education and the research done by UTEP Health Sciences faculty and students.

“It is important for us, as a community, to invest in what will give us the greatest return: education. Our greatest strength is our human capital. We must grow it and care for UTEP to strengthen it more. It is the right thing to do!”

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Jessica Hanna

Supporting a Campus That Gives Back to Its Students

Jessica Hanna started working as a coordinator for the Miner Athlete Academic Center (MAAC) in 2013. Excited to make an impact in the lives of students, she joined the UTEP Family Campaign. The Campaign is made up of UTEP faculty and staff who give back to the University. Hanna is enthusiastic about helping and believes her contributions, along with those of others, help students and programs across campus receive the funding they need to succeed.

As a student, Jessica experienced firsthand the impact that these funds have in helping students further their college career. Hanna relied on small scholarships to purchase books, supplies and to provide support for participation in academic activities. “Sometimes students just need an extra $50 or $100 to cover conference fees or academic extracurricular fees. Our monthly contributions are minimal compared to the experiences those activities provide to students while they pursue their academic goals.” Jessica hopes that her contribution can make a difference by helping a student buy books, or go on a study abroad trip that will positively impact their future. “When it comes to contributing to a student’s education, all gifts can make a difference.”

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Jesus Licona

Supporting Excellence in Education and the Future of Our Community

UTEP alumnus Jesus Licona, made his first gift to the UTEP Family Campaign in 2012 with the goal of impacting the quality of life on campus by choosing to donate to the Campus Transformation Project. Today, as Assistant Director in the Facilities Services Department, he enjoys contemplating the Centennial Plaza and its surroundings, and is proud to work for his alma mater where he is in charge of providing a safe and pristine campus environment to our students.

“It is important to support UTEP and its goals. I am pleased to say that my contributions to the growth of this university will also help in the economic progress of the Paso del Norte Region.”

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