College of Business Administration


Abigail Lenter Sescon

Cardwell Family Graduate Fellows Program in Business

Abigail Lenter Sescon is able to give her complete attention to pursuing her Master of Business Administration, thanks to the support of the Cardwell Family Graduate Fellows Program in Business. Abigail currently works as a Graduate Assistant with the Professional Development and Outreach Team at the Graduate School and is a member of the MBA Association. Her on-campus employment and participation in the MBA Association are providing her with leadership and communication skills. “Contributions toward scholarships are important because they allow beneficiaries like me to pursue further education without having to worry about finances. As an international student from the Philippines, there are a lot of challenges in pursuing a degree here in the US, such as adjusting to a new environment and homesickness. Therefore, having to worry less about financing my graduate studies is a significant relief.” Abigail plans to continue gaining experience in the international banking industry with the dream of becoming part of the World Bank Organization. She hopes that her experiences will one day enable her to return home to the Philippines and pay it forward – by teaching and establishing her own scholarship fund to help students who are financially challenged in pursuing their dreams.

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Edwin Ramirez-Homs

The Michael and Caprice Brochu Scholarship

When Edwin Ramirez-Homs graduated from Mission Early College High School, he received both his diploma and an associate’s degree. This allowed him to enter UTEP as a junior, and to major in economics and financial analysis in the College of Business Administration. He received The Michael and Caprice Brochu Scholarship which has served as a terrific motivator for Edwin to do his best. “The scholarship gave me the opportunity to do so many things such as studying abroad and participating in the Law School Preparation Institute at UTEP. Edwin studied in Vigo, Spain through the International Student Exchange Program supported by UTEP. “I learned how inherently good people are all over the world.” Currently, Edwin is applying to a number of law schools and preparing for a very bright future.

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Nicholas Alarcon

Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship

“I am truly grateful and hope that one day I can inspire others to further their education at UTEP – the University I’ve come to know as home.” The Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship has served as a terrific motivator for Nicholas Alarcon to do his best. Nicholas says that in addition to the scholarship, the UTEP College of Business Administration is providing him with high impact practices to succeed both academically and professionally. Nicholas is a member of the National Society for Leadership and Success which helps students discover and achieve their goals through community service projects, career building and professional networking activities. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in business administration and looks forward to being a role model to UTEP students by encouraging them to have a powerful and positive way of thinking.
“I attribute my success to the combination of all my experiences and help from mentors, and that success will be seen the day my name is announced at the Don Haskins Center at commencement.”

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UTEP American Marketing Association

College of Business Administration

The UTEP American Marketing Association Chapter traveled to New Orleans to participate in the 38th International Collegiate Conference organized by the American Marketing Association (AMA). Twenty-one undergraduate students from the College of Business Administration learned about career options, cutting-edge marketing techniques and sales practices from experts in the field.

The UTEP AMA Chapter competed in the Exhibit competition where each chapter was challenged to incorporate the theme of the conference and design a t-shirt. UTEP placed 3rd among 70 other competing groups. UTEP students also joined the SABRE Business Simulation event where competitors were responsible for developing a strategy to obtain the greatest market share in the industry. The performance of UTEP’s AMA Chapter placed them as one of the top five chapters in the nation for the 2015-2016 academic year. UTEP students had the opportunity to network with prominent business professionals such as featured key note speakers Monica Skipper, VP of Brand Experience Marketing for FedEx services and Peter Horst, Chief Marketing Officer for the Hershey Company.

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College of Engineering


Clarissa Aguirre

Alpha Phi Omega Social Fraternity Endowed Fund

Metallurgical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering major, Clarissa Aguirre, believes in the importance of student engagement. Clarissa is the scholarship recipient of the Alpha Phi Omega Social Fraternity Endowed Fund. She stays very involved in her campus community through student organizations. With the support of her scholarship, she has been able to thrive with student employment and organizations. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), the Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES), and is the secretary for Material Advantage and the American Foundry Society. She is a student employee for the College of Engineering K-12 Outreach Program and College of Engineering Metallurgical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering Department. "I am thankful to have been given this honor of the Alpha Phi Omega Social Fraternity Endowed Fund scholarship award. As part of Metallurgical Engineering Department, I was given a sense of motivation to continue being an active student and advocate for students and women in engineering."

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Jose Andres Cabrera Maynez

Josephine Clardy Fox Scholarhip

José Andres Cabrera Maynez, computer engineering major, can pursue his passion for computers thanks to the financial support he receives from the Josephine Clardy Fox Scholarship. José expresses how grateful he is and says that attending UTEP would not have been possible without this scholarship. "I’ve always had a passion for computers and technology. This scholarship provides me with the perfect opportunity to follow a career that I love and the chance to reach my professional goals." Originally from Chihuahua City, Mexico, José moved to the United States to attend UTEP and build a better future for himself. Living away from his family has required him to learn how to be both self-sufficient, and financially responsible. However with scholarship support, José can dedicate time toward applying for internship opportunities without the stress of financial constraints. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, José plans to enroll in graduate school. “I am grateful for the donors that made my scholarship possible. The generosity of others gives students like me the opportunity to forge a better future. Thank you.”

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Gilbert Carranza

Bob and Diane Malone Scholarships in Engineering

Excelling in his academics not only permitted electrical engineering major Gilbert Carranza to enter UTEP as a 2nd semester sophomore, but it has also helped him secure a scholarship in his field of study. Gilbert is a recipient of the Bob and Diane Malone Scholarships in Engineering. The generous award covers most of his tuition and requires him to maintain a 3.5 or better GPA. “I really like math and building things, and I’ve always liked challenges. Electrical Engineering has all of these elements.” Gilbert is currently part of the University’s Honors Program and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which is an organization that helps provide networking opportunities for EE majors. After graduation, Gilbert plans to continue on and go to graduate school at UTEP to obtain his master’s degree. “I would like to say thank you to the donors. This scholarship has allowed me to do more than I thought was possible.”

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Celena Arreola and Isaiah Webb

Engineering Education Leadership Program

Financial contributions to the Engineering Education and Leadership Program (E-Lead) are providing high-impact educational practices for students like Celena Arreola and Isaiah Webb. Celena and Isaiah are able to commit more time to professional development opportunities without additional financial worry. Over the summer both interned with renowned companies and gained valuable skills that continue to enrich their academic education.

E-Lead major, Celena, interned with the Environmental Protection Agency-UTEP Air Quality where she attended an air quality training in Sacramento, CA, presented by distinguished pollution scientists. Upon her return to El Paso, the Office of Sustainability and Resilience selected her for the second time to assist in environmental projects such as green roof infrastructure, bike lanes, adopt-a-lot grant work and energy code training."These experiences have given me the chance to develop professionally and I appreciate all that this University has offered me,” Celena says.

Isaiah interned at Halliburton, one of the world’s largest energy providers. During his time with the company he collaborated with another intern making observations in the Production Enhancement and Fracturing Department. Isaiah learned first-hand how equipment is maintained in the shop and on the field. As a capstone project, Isaiah and his cohort presented their results to Halliburton’s staff members. “I am extremely grateful to be part of E-Lead and to have been given the opportunity to participate in this incredible experience,” Isaiah says.

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Mariana Castaneda

Bob and Diane Malone Scholarships in Engineering

Mariana Castañeda’s passion for mechanical engineering was discovered through her love of math and science. “In mechanical engineering ideas can be produced into something tangible, and it's possible to create something that can help the world." As the recipient of the Bob and Diane Malone Scholarships in Engineering, Mariana has been able to devote all of her attention to her studies which helps her meet the scholarship requirement of maintaining a high GPA. “This scholarship has helped my schooling come first and then everything else is second.” Mariana wants to obtain her master’s degree and secure an internship in her field. She also hopes to one day work for Shell. “I want to help make the future a better place for those that come after us.” Mariana says that giving to scholarships is a good investment in the future. “I would like to say thank you to the donors who established my scholarship, and gave me the opportunity to pursue my dreams.”

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Ricardo Vela

Bob and Diane Malone Scholarship

Ricardo Vela wants to improve the quality of life for those in need of prosthetics. Growing-up, he witnessed the emotional distress and physical challenges his grandfather went through after losing his leg due to diabetes. Moved by this experience, Ricardo is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a minor in biomedical engineering with the support of the Bob and Diane Malone Scholarship.

The UTEP College of Engineering is providing life changing opportunities to Ricardo such as those at the Locomotion in Mechanical and Biological Systems (LIMBS) laboratory. Here students help look for new ways to improve prosthetic limbs while interacting with hospitals and clinics around the world, in countries such as India and Bolivia to name a few. While at UTEP, Ricardo has had the opportunity to attend leadership conferences and research symposiums which gave him with rich networking opportunities. He says, “Continually establishing and reaching new goals is key to my academic accomplishments and to being a successful scholarship recipient.”

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College of Health Sciences


Alva Rodarte

Alfred Torres, Jr. Endowed Scholarship

Scholarship recipient Alva Rodarte knew she wanted to be a health professional, but didn’t discover her unique path until she was enrolled at UTEP. The clinical laboratory science major explains that her goal of becoming a medical laboratory scientist is not a very well-known profession and it is described as the “hidden profession that saves lives.” Alva, an Alfred Torres, Jr. Endowed Scholarship recipient, is passionate about her career path and explains, “I love the blood bank. Here we do lab work for people who need transfusions. We test the donors’ blood and see if it is compatible with the patient’s blood-type. I really like doing these types of tests, and it’s very important for a doctor to have this information.”

Additionally Alva loves to participate as a volunteer for health fairs where she gets to perform simple laboratory tests such as measuring blood glucose and cholesterol levels, identifying blood types and more. Alva will soon be taking part in a three-month-long preceptorship at Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, NM. During this time she will be staying in an apartment provided to her by the hospital. “It’s a rotation and I will be observing and learning about the lab tests performed at the hospital.” She is thankful to have received her scholarship and says, “Having a scholarship took that financial weight off my shoulders and I am grateful that I don’t have to currently work to pay for school. I really appreciate the donors who gave to my scholarship because they are helping people like me get started in a career, and some students may not have been able to do so without their help.”

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Brittany Diaz

Occupational Therapy Graduate Student

Graduate student Brittany Diaz says she loves the idea of helping people reach their fullest potential, and says that the UTEP Occupational Therapy Program is fully preparing her to do that across a range of patient settings and scenarios. Brittany has received scholarship support as an undergraduate and again as a graduate student.

“Scholarships have afforded me the opportunity to immerse myself in my studies and enjoy student life without the additional stress and pressure of working. I am currently an active member of the Student Occupational Therapy Association, (SOTA) and hold two positions in the Pi Theta Epsilon honor society as social chair and treasurer. Any support in higher education is greatly appreciated and beneficial to a student. Scholarships help reaffirm our efforts and provide us with the confidence we need to succeed.”

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Celeste Orozco

Presidential Scholarship

Celeste Orozco says that she discovered the discipline of Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) when her younger brother was being observed for autism. The Presidential Scholarship recipient is currently a year ahead in her studies, and should complete the condensed program in five years. After receiving her Bachelor’s in Multidisciplinary Studies, she will then continue-on to complete her Master's in SLP.

“My favorite part about SLP has been learning about play therapy. It’s a chance to listen to how children say a certain word and listen for words they can or can’t pronounce.” Celeste is involved in the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, at UTEP. The organization is active in the community and Celeste volunteers her time to assist the autism community. “This scholarship gives me more time to focus-on my classes and do my best, and it's a strong motivation to keep my grades-up. I think UTEP is an awesome school, and when I have the opportunity to give back in the future I will.”

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Cynthia Montenegro

Shiloff Family Foundation Endowment

Thanks to the support from her scholarship, Kinesiology major, Cynthia Montenegro has been able to give her complete attention to her undergraduate courses in both kinesiology and biology as well as participate in additional academic enrichment opportunities related to her field of study. Having started out as a volunteer, the Shiloff Family Foundation Endowment recipient, has since been hired at the Skeletal Muscle Metabolism Laboratory at UTEP and is working on research related to insulin sensitivity. Cynthia will be additionally presenting other research at the American Physiological Society (APS), Integrative Biology of Exercise VII Meeting on the topic of immunohistochemistry. “This scholarship has definitely inspired me. It drives me to be the best student I can be, and that has influenced my life. Hopefully one day I am able to give back and give students the same kind of opportunities I received.”

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DPT Program

The College of Health Sciences

The UTEP Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program has recently partnered with Gigi’s Playhouse, one of several organizations that the DPT Program collaborates with in the El Paso community. Each DPT student completes a minimum of 20-service-learning hours at their assigned location over the first two semesters of the DPT curriculum. Gigi’s Playhouse is an educational and therapeutic center that provides free programs to individuals with Down syndrome and their families. Here DPT students gain hands-on, career-related experience interacting with clients from various backgrounds, while providing assistance to Gigi’s Playhouse with their services.

DPT student Lauren Cruz says that DPT students are involved with the Special Olympics and work with young children on things such as jumping and hand-eye coordination. The experience has taught Cruz how to modify therapy techniques and adapt to the children’s abilities. Cohort Reba Joseph explains, “I was unaware of the need for physical therapy presented by the population of individuals with Down syndrome. Volunteering here has opened my eyes to the broad our scope of our work. The experience has helped me to develop interpersonal skills for a variety of different age groups.” The UTEP DPT Program’s partnership with Gigi’s Playhouse is just one example of the win-win situation created by service-learning activities. DPT students experience invaluable learning outside of the classroom, and contribute over 720 hours of service annually to the El Paso region.

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Evelyn Villareal

Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students

Evelyn Villarreal credits the Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students for helping her afford the costs of graduate school, and continue her research with her mentor, Celia Pechak, Ph.D., associate professor in UTEP’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program. Her interest in the DPT Program was sparked when she saw the need for Spanish-speaking healthcare providers. This interest also contributed to her undergraduate research titled “Preparing Doctor of Physical Therapy students to better serve a Hispanic majority community by integrating Spanish language training.” Evelyn was one of 60 students from across the U.S. selected to present her research at the 21st Annual Posters on the Hill event in Washington, D.C.

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New Anatomy Teaching Laboratory

College of Health Siences

The UTEP College of Health Sciences celebrated the opening of its new Human Anatomy Teaching Laboratory. Students from the College of Health Sciences and the College of Science will now have access to this enhanced, educational resource. The state-of-the-art facility will give students the chance to learn anatomy through the dissection of cadavers which is essential to their future careers explains Mark Caulkins, M.D., DPT, and Director of lab. Students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and Master of Occupational Therapy Program, as well as graduate students in the Biomedical Engineering Program, will use the facility. Additionally students in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences Program and Speech-Language Pathology Program will be visiting the teaching laboratory to study the dissected cadavers, and continuing education courses for community physical therapists and occupational therapists will be available.

The facility is nearly twice as large as the old lab and includes all new dissection tables, and greater storage space. It also features three high-definition video cameras, four large plasma screens, white boards and wireless internet. The cameras and plasma screens will allow the faculty to display anatomic structures to the entire class as well as present PowerPoint Lectures, and teaching videos. Caulkins explains that health care professionals like physical and occupational therapists need a comprehensive knowledge of anatomy to be able to diagnose and treat their patients. “Everyone involved should be very proud of the new facility. Ultimately our community will benefit by having more optimally prepared graduates serving them,” Caulkins says.

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College of Liberal Arts


Carlos Enrique Barba

Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award

With music in his heart and the piano as his instrument, Carlos Enrique Barba is excelling as a music major at The University of Texas at El Paso studying commercial music. His dedication was rewarded when he received the Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award. “I have always put my heart into what I do and am honored to have been selected as one of the recipients of this scholarship. It is a clear example that perseverance and hard work pay off.”
His interests include jazz, music production, recording and writing. Carlos has joined various UTEP music ensembles and has participated in recitals and concerts throughout the community. He currently gives private music lessons to aspiring musicians and collaborates with Kids Excel El Paso (KEEP) to help elementary school children gain discipline and self-confidence through music.

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Jessica Gruver

Gordon B. Okum Endowed Drama Scholarship

Theatre arts major, Jessica Gruver is passionate about teaching and the theatre arts. She says her scholarship has helped validate her studies which are preparing her for the future. “Theatre arts has always been in accordance with my interests and I would love to bring the discipline of self-expression and cultural awareness to other students.”
Jessica directed and produced a children’s play called the Children’s Traveling Show and the play was performed at various elementary schools throughout El Paso school districts. Jessica also worked as an instructor for UTEP’s Professional and Public Programs in aquatics and theatre arts. The financial support from the scholarship has allowed Jessica to focus on her studies and these promising opportunities. She expects to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts and a certification to teach. After graduation she would like to pursue her master’s degree in literature and teach at the high school level. “It’s a wonderful feeling of encouragement and validation to know that scholarship donors believe in students like me.”

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Lauren Peña

Josephine Clardy Fox Scholarship

English major and secondary education minor, Lauren Peña is pursuing her dream of becoming an English teacher with the financial help from the Josephine Clardy Fox Scholarship. “My goal is to motivate future generations and to help them find their voice through reading and writing,” Lauren says.
Working as a teaching assistant for a UTEP introduction to theatre course is helping Laura gain important teaching, writing and mentoring skills. Lauren is also an actor with the UTEP Dinner Theatre, where she was cast in the leading role of Carrie White in the production of "Carrie: The Musical." After graduation, Lauren will pursue a professional career as a high school teacher. She says, “My goal is to encourage students to open their hearts to literature and I want to provide them with the tools to express themselves effectively in writing." As for her long-term goals, Lauren says she eventually plans to apply to graduate school and would like to someday return to UTEP and teach in the English Department.

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Lillian Sanchez

Amelia Eckhardt Dennis Scholarship in Communication

Lillian Sanchez expects to graduate a year ahead of her class with a major in multimedia journalism and a minor in legal reasoning. Lillian attributes her success to the support she receives from family, faculty mentors, peers, along with the financial support she receives from the Amelia Eckhardt Dennis Scholarship in Communication. Maintaining a 4.0 GPA, Lillian, has committed herself to continuing her education and has been applying to top ten law schools within the nation. “The scholarship made me realize someone believes in my education and my future. It has transformed my life.”
Lillian says the UTEP College of Liberal Arts has been a family-like learning environment where her professors are always willing to support the success of the students. Her scholarship allows her to stay on top of her studies while pursuing personal and professional development. She looks forward to participating in the Law School Preparation Institute (LSPI) and gaining an internship with Univision or Telemundo where she can get hands-on experience in the journalism field.

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Mayra Rodarte

Presidential Scholarship

Presidential Scholarship recipient and stage management major, Mayra Rodarte, is part of the Liberal Arts Honors Program (LAHP) under the direction of Dr. Michael Topp. The program offers challenging upper level courses for students and promotes collaboration among classmates and mentors. “LAHP has provided me with amazing opportunities to meet and learn from professionals across multiple fields like Gary Shteyngart, one of my favorite American writers,” she says.
During her time at UTEP, Mayra has concentrated on participating in several professional development activities. She was the stage manager for the play King Lear at the UTEP Wise Family Theatre and volunteers with the National Society of Leadership and Success. Mayra recently attended a practicum in advocacy at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City with the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom. She also works as an undergraduate research assistant with the Campus Office for Undergraduate Research Initiatives and is developing a computer program for stage managers. Mayra plans to continue her education and pursue a master’s degree in public administration.

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Renee Malooly

Helen and Roy S. Magruder Endowed Scholarship

Multimedia journalism major, Renee Malooly has a passion for writing and a love of art. The aspiring journalist likes to combine the two areas in her articles featured in the UTEP Borderzine digital publishing platform, where she has been published seven times. Her story topics have included a profile on folklorico dance pioneer, Rosa Guerrero, and a feature on the Rembrandt exhibit shown at the El Paso Museum of Art.
During her freshman year, Renee received the Helen and Roy S. Magruder Endowed Scholarship, which is available to students who are pursuing a degree in communication. Along with the personal validation that she is on the right path, the scholarship has also given Renee the opportunity to pursue other academic interests. Renee is currently a member of the Art History Association at UTEP. “Because of the scholarship I feel that school is my job and I now have more time to focus on it. When I graduate, I too want to contribute toward student scholarships and show my support for UTEP students.”

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College of Education


Angelica Monarrez and Claudia Saldana

College of Education

Doctoral students, Angelica Monarrez and Claudia Saldaña, traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual conference, where they had the opportunity to present their research to an international group of distinguished professionals and researchers.

“Attending conferences like this one gives me the opportunity to enrich my studies by learning from other research topics and methodologies being conducted in my area,” says Angélica. She is pursuing a doctoral degree in Teaching Learning and Culture under the STEM program at the UTEP College of Education. Angélica presented the data results from her dissertation titled Teachers' Challenges in Implementing Cognitively Demanding Tasks in Middle School Mathematics Classrooms. Angelica’s goal is to contribute to the improvement of techniques used to teach mathematics; especially to minorities who speak English as their second language.

Claudia presented the results of her research project titled Building a Pathway to Engineering: Identities and Discourses of Mexican and Mexican-Origin College Student. Her research included data she collected and analyzed to understand how Latina/Latino students constructed their decision to study engineering, and how their family, activities and mentors influenced their decision. “The diversity of the presentations at the conference enhanced my visualization of theoretical frameworks and analysis skills for my own research,” says Claudia. Claudia is pursuing a doctoral degree in Teaching Learning and Culture under the program of Bilingual Education, Literary/Biliteracy and Sociocultural Studies (BELSS).

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Claudia Saldana

UTEP's Woman's Auxiliary Fellowship

Claudia Saldaña Corral is six years into her doctoral studies and plans to complete her degree this year. In 2012, Claudia was accepted to the UTEP College of Education Teaching, Learning and Culture (TLC) Ph.D. Program. She was a graphic arts instructor at the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez when she decided to use her artistry and teaching experience to help underprivileged children achieve brighter futures. “I plan to use my research to support children who come from disadvantaged communities to give them continuity in their education.” Claudia is one step closer to achieving her dream, thanks in part to the UTEP’s Woman’s Auxiliary Fellowship, which she received in 2017. The fellowship enables her to meet the demands of finishing her dissertation, which focuses on art as a mediating tool in children’s learning. She has presented her research at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual conference in Washington, D.C., and at the International Perspectives of Research in Arts Education workshop in Düsseldorf, Germany. “This fellowship helps me to complete this important stage in the research development process, which requires a higher commitment from me. This funding is crucial in helping me to meet my short, medium and future goals of working with people in underserved communities to make a positive impact in their lives.”

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Luciene Wandermurem

Woman's Auxiliary Fellowship

Luciene arrived from Brazil to pursue graduate school at UTEP. She first received her master’s in Education and has continued to pursue a doctoral degree in Education with a concentration and literacy and bi-literacy with the goal of becoming a professor in an institution where she can help student minorities. The Woman’s Auxiliary Fellowship has allowed Luciene to dedicate her time to fulfill the demanding requirements of being a doctoral student at the UTEP College of Education. The primary focus of her study is first generation college students, as many UTEP students are. Luciene hopes that her dissertation will make a significant contribution to academia and impact students’ lives.

In addition to advancing her research, this fellowship has allowed her to participate in important curriculum building activities such as presenting in national and international conferences, and participating as a conference proposal reviewer after being recruited by the Literacy Research Association (LRA). This year, she will have the opportunity to present the results of her dissertation to educators from all around the world at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), an international conference in Washington, D.C.

Luciene mentions that having access to extracurricular activities is key to being a successful professional after graduation. Thanks to the financial support she receives from her fellowship, she has maintained a 4.0 GPA and is able to dedicate time to publish her work and meet with professionals from all over the world. “I am grateful to have had this opportunity and, when I have the resources, I am committed to help at least one student in the future.”

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College of Science


Arturo Ramirez

Reese Rowling Endowed Fund Scholarship Recipient

Arturo Ramirez once dreamed of becoming a civil engineer, but all that changed when he took an introductory class in geology at UTEP and found himself immersed in field work that included the exploration of rock formations and geologic processes. He changed his major to economic geology with a focus in mineral exploration and earned his bachelor’s degree in 2013.

Now a graduate student and the incoming president of the UTEP Chapter of the Society of Economic Geologists, Arturo is a scholarship recipient of the Reese Rowling Endowed Fund for Geology, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He works with UTEP Geology Professor Philip Goodell on the geochemical, geophysical and remote sensing methods of mineral exploration in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range in southwest Chihuahua, Mexico.

Arturo’s geological studies have afforded him the opportunity to travel to a number of conventions and mining trips, including a December 2013 trip to the Crystal Caves in the Naica Mining District of Chihuahua, Mexico. In March 2014, Arturo also attended the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada International Convention in Toronto. Arturo says, “Having the Reese Rowling scholarship makes me feel accomplished and motivates me to succeed.”

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Desmond Koomson

Mathematical Sciences Program Fund

Desmond Koomson is working on his master’s degree in statistics and anticipates receiving his degree this summer. Currently he is working in collaboration with the UTEP Biological Sciences Department, with respects to sample size estimation in the presence of gene association. His thesis has applications in other fields such as behavioral sciences and defense sciences where association studies are very common and important.

Desmond has attended two conferences, a career based event called The National Society of Black Engineers, and the research based Conference of Texas Statisticians. These two opportunities gave him exposure to companies and research connections. He stated, “These conferences were beneficial to me because I know what employers are looking for. Experiencing this professional setting will help me approach internships and employment opportunities. While at the Conference of Texas Statisticians I met a statistician who works as a consultant at Cuellar Associates in San Antonio. Our discussion was helpful; connecting with individuals like him make for great networking opportunities.”

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Geological Sciences IBA Team

The College of Science

The UTEP Department of Geological Sciences Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) Team, comprised of five graduate students Patrick Rea, Eric Bergersen, Alan Vennemann, Andy Anderson, and Andre Llanos took first place in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Worldwide Imperial Barrel Competition in Calgary, AB, Canada and brought home a $20,000 prize.

Andy says that the team analyzed real data such as seismic, well logs, and geochemical data donated by multiple companies to AAPG for the competition. The team then identified potential oil and gas plays in carbonate mounds of the subsurface of offshore Norway, in the Barents Sea. Dr. Rip Langford, UTEP Geology professor says, “The students live and breathe this material for eight weeks. At the end, they developed the knowledge and skills that a typical petroleum geologist learns in their first year as a professional.”

Each team delivered their results in a 25-minute presentation to a panel of industry experts where they were judged on technical quality, clarity, and originality of presentation, which also gave members the opportunity to impress potential employers in the audience. UTEP geology teams have been competing since 2007 and have won at the regional competition five times, however this is the first time the University has achieved a first place win in the international competition.

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Joel Quinones

David and Guille Lindau Endowed Scholarship

oel Quinones received the David and Guille Lindau Endowed Scholarship and says, “I knew this scholarship would help me spend more time on my studies and help me reach my dream of becoming a dentist.” After completing his bachelor’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry, he plans to spend the next year studying for his DAT (Dental Admission Test), and applying to dentistry schools. Born in Mexico, Joel and his family moved to the United States when he was ten-years-old. “My dad was a dentist in Durango, Mexico, and he gave up his clinic in order for me to have a better future away from corruption and violence in Mexico.” Joel is a member of the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, or SACNAS, and in an effort to give back, Joel works as a high school tutor and mentors students toward college. “I’m a firm believer that it is important for alumni to give back to scholarships – I hope to do the same one day. I’ve met wonderful peers here at UTEP, some who do not have the resources to further pursue their academic dreams,” he says.

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Jorge Lopez

The Rho Sigma Tau-Robert L. Schumaker Endowed Scholarhsip

UTEP Endowments help provide faculty and students with research opportunities and practice-based learning. Dr. Jorge Lopez, holder of The Rho Sigma Tau-Robert L. Schumaker Endowed Professorship in Physics, says this endowment has enabled him to garner extra resources such as providing financial support for students to travel and attend conferences in nuclear physics and education. “Providing students with this opportunity would not be possible without this endowment.”

The endowment has also provided Dr. Lopez with the opportunity to participate in a Science Foundation program which introduced him to a new teaching mythology used in chemistry and math. Thanks to that program, he created a series of UTEP conferences that incorporate those same teaching concepts. For three years, his conferences have been benefiting UTEP and high school students in the region by providing them the training they need to excel as physicists at the UTEP College of Science. He often invites guest speakers and visiting faculty which provide an invaluable source of knowledge to students.

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Luis Zuniga

Peer Led Team Learning Program

First year students enrolled in Chemistry 1305 and 1306 have the chance to gain a deeper understanding of the coursework thanks to the Peer Led Team Learning Program. The program was initiated in 2000 by Dr. James Becvar. Since its inception the peer led program has had successful results in dramatically increasing the passing rate along with the number of chemistry majors at UTEP.

Chemistry Head Peer Leader and undergraduate student Luis Zuniga meets with faculty twice a week to receive input as to how to present the information at the upcoming workshops as well as receive training on how to present the explorations. Employed in his tenth workshop, Luis, who is finishing his degree in Cellular Molecular Biochemistry, explains that he keeps returning to the program because he sees how the weekly workshops benefit students. He states, “It can be intimidating for students to stand-up in a 400 student lecture hall to ask a question. These workshops enable students to further investigate the topics being covered in the courses in smaller groups. Additionally, as a peer leader, I’m provided with the unique opportunity to be a mentor to students and also learn from senior faculty members.”

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Mary Mackay

Mathematical Sciences Program Fund

Academic enrichment activities such as attending national conferences to present research findings are helping students create lifelong networking partnerships that are not only creating internships but career opportunities and partnerships for The University of Texas at El Paso.

Mary Mackay has a master’s degree in education and is currently working on a master’s degree in mathematics. Recently Mary, along with other UTEP graduate students, traveled to Albuquerque, NM to meet with some of the vice presidents and researchers at Sandia National Laboratories. She explained, “Both groups discussed our current research projects to find an overlap. I was invited to apply to one of their internships. Our visit also created a partnership between UTEP and Sandia.” While there Mary met with Dr. Carter Edwards who is a core developer of Kokkos, a parallel programming model in C++ which Mary and other students at UTEP could potentially use in computational science courses. This meeting helped open a communication channel with UTEP professors who would like to work with Kokkos and the developers at Sandia.

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Stephanie Alarcon

El Paso County's Fund for Excellence

The financial support provided by the El Paso County’s Fund for Excellence is helping Stephanie Alarcon reach her goal of receiving a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from UTEP. After earning her degree, Stephanie plans to apply to medical school to become a pediatrician. She would like to practice in El Paso and give back to the community. “I believe that I am here to do something great, and medicine is the way. I want to make a difference in the lives of patients.”

The financial assistance enables Stephanie to maintain a high GPA, and it also gives her time to participate in professional enrichment activities such as shadowing El Paso physicians, volunteering at the women’s shelter and being an active member in the Medical Professions Organization (MPO), a student organization that provides crucial information concerning health professionals, carriers, and admission to medicine schools. “I’m very grateful for this fund because it has given me the opportunity to focus on my studies. Having someone believe in me and in my dreams encourages me to be the best student I can be.”

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Valeria Quezada

The Presidential Scholarship

Biological sciences major, Valeria Quezada, anticipates graduating this May, and has plans to attend dental school after graduation. Valeria explains that her biomedical concentration coursework has prepared her for the dental school curriculum. A recipient of The Presidential Scholarship, Valeria says that the financial support has motivated her to maintain a competitive GPA and provides her with more time to participate in student organizations that are helping to build her resume. Valeria is currently the President of the UTEP Pre-dental Society, a member of the University Honors Program, Alpha Xi Delta, and last spring she traveled to Spain and Morocco for two weeks with the Global Opportunities Student Enrichment Experience, (GO SEE) program. “The exposure to volunteering abroad increased my interest in providing services in a developing country. I asked myself how I could combine my passion of traveling, learning about other cultures, and dentistry while helping others.” She explains that her goal is to become a dentist and provide services to underrepresented populations, and she also wants to one day volunteer in an economically developing nation to help improve the oral health of those who are truly in need.

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School of Nursing


Catalina Mata

Woman's Auxiliary Scholarship

Catalina Mata says her interest in nursing was sparked when she began working in the home healthcare industry, providing assistance and care to elderly patients in their homes. “I really liked helping people, so I began doing research on different jobs similar to the one I had, and that’s how I found nursing.”

Catalina received the Woman’s Auxiliary Scholarship while in high school and says that because of it she knew she would be able to attend nursing school. “It helped me financially and it definitely removed the stress that comes with paying for college.” Her long term goals include furthering her education in her field and ultimately becoming a nurse anesthetist or a nurse practitioner. “Even a little bit of money is a great help. In high school, students may not realize how expensive college costs can be and even a scholarship that can help buy books makes a difference. I love UTEP and the faculty, and I’m just really thankful to be here.”

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Eileen Boureslan

Josephine Clardy Fox Scholarhip

The impact of the School of Nursing on the surrounding community and its legacy of healing continues with each generation of UTEP graduates. More recently Eileen Boureslan received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing in 2015 and was pleased to be hired by the Hospitals of Providence Memorial Campus just a month after graduating. Eileen was hired to work in the NICU, an area of nursing that she describes as one of her “top preferences.” Eileen says that she feels UTEP’s School of Nursing is “the best” because it prepares students with a variety of real-life scenarios that they may face in a hospital setting. These practical applications presented in UTEP’s SimLab allow students to be better prepared in a hospital setting and are proving to contribute to the success of our graduates.

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Idaly Diaz

Davidson Family Charitable Foundation Scholarhip

Pre-nursing student, Idaly Diaz, says that having someone believe in her education was an incentive for her to work hard and to one day become a nurse practitioner to provide high quality health care to those in need. “I really like helping people and want to play a role in helping improve lives’,” says Idaly, a Davidson Family Charitable Foundation scholarship recipient.

As a pre-nursing student, Idaly a will soon transition into her nursing courses to prepare for her professional future where she will get to participate at UTEP’s School of Nursing’s Center for Simulation (SimLab). Here, nursing students gain experience in a hospital environment where they practice nursing skills in a safe setting prior to working with real patients. Idaly says that she looks forward to the day when she gets to participate in SimLab and says that her scholarship has been a strong motivator for her to maintain a high GPA which will help her in the competitive field. “I am grateful that someone gave me an opportunity to better myself and believed in my education.”

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Jessica Corral

J. Leighton and Virginia Green Scholarship

Nursing student and scholarship recipient Jessica Corral has broadened her scope of education by participating in undergraduate research. The J. Leighton and Virginia Green Scholarship recipient is currently working with Dr. Hector Olvera in the Biobehavioral Research Laboratory, (BbRL). Employed as a research assistant in the BbRL, Jessica is part of the Nursing Engagement and Wellness Study, (NEWS). Jessica also spent her summer performing undergraduate research and working at an internship with the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, (CPRIT). She also participated in a community outreach program called Healthy Fit that distributed vouchers for health screenings and vaccinations. After graduation she plans to stay in El Paso and is interested in working in an intensive care unit, (ICU), or the neonatal intensive care unit, (NICU). She says, “The scholarship has allowed me to focus primarily on my studies. I appreciate that donors are both generous and considerate in giving back to students, and I would like to say thank you.”

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Kenneth "Trey" Stice

Utep School of Nursing

2016 marks the School of Nursing's 40th anniversary, and currently the school is proud to boast over 4,500 alumni. Additionally, if you have been to a local hospital or a doctor’s office in El Paso, it is likely that you have been helped by a UTEP graduate. More than 60 percent of El Paso nurses have earned their degree from UTEP and are making an impact in the community. UTEP alum Kenneth “Trey” Stice received his Bachelor of Science in nursing in 2012. Trey presently keeps a busy schedule as an adjunct clinical professor in the graduate nursing systems management program at UTEP, while also working as the unit director in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Hospitals of Providence for both the Sierra Campus and the Children’s Hospital. Additionally, Trey has returned to UTEP as a graduate student and is working on his MBA.

Looking back at his UTEP education, Trey began his nursing degree at the Hotel Dieu School of Nursing, and he spent the second half of his studies at the new location. Trey also saw the opening of the School of Nursing’s Center for Simulation, (SimLab). “When we moved over to the new facility in December of 2011, it was fantastic to see the differences, and to witness how much UTEP was willing to invest in its students. The SimLab provides training that is needed to develop skills, and graduates of UTEP are much more prepared than those at any other facility in the region.” Trey explains that his professional goal is to create a better health care environment for the people of El Paso by mentoring future nurses and promoting leadership to better serve the borderland community. “I think the greatest experience I had at UTEP was being around a diverse group of people where we all came together and worked as a team to become patient advocates.”

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Ramon Lujan

Undergraduate Research

Contributions from alumni and friends are supporting student-led research projects, and Ramon Lujan is excited to be the first nursing student to spearhead a study with the goal of publishing a paper. His study, which uses data collected from the School of Nursing’s Biobehavioral Research Laboratory or BbRL, is examining chronic systemic inflammation, depression, and age related macular degeneration. “Nursing has begun to establish itself in the realm of biomedical science with the advent of nursing scientists.” Ramon explains that work being done by nursing scientists in this new research movement is matching the standards of research being performed by medical scientists. “My mentor, Director of Research for the School of Nursing Dr. Hector Olvera, has helped me greatly by preparing me to think at a Ph.D. level. My goal is to become a biomedical researcher, and I look forward to one day making a significant contribution to the field of science and healthcare.”

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School of Pharmacy


Alejandro Urueta

Joseph Mays Scholarship

Pre-Pharmacy major and scholarship recipient, Alejandro Urueta believes in the importance of being involved in the UTEP campus community. Alejandro is currently a peer mentor for UTEP Pre-Pharmacy courses. He is also a member of Lambda Chi Alpha, and is treasurer for the UTEP Pre-Pharmacy Organization (PPO).

“The student leadership roles that I have had the opportunity to serve in have helped me develop the communication and organizational skills needed for the peer mentor position,” Alejandro says. A peer mentor position requires that applicants submit a resume and have at least 3.0 or better GPA. Alejandro will enroll in the UTEP School of Pharmacy by the fall semester and is on track to be in its first cohort.

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Jennifer Nava

Belding-de Wetter Memorial Scholarship

Prior to UTEP announcing the soon-to-be-established School of Pharmacy, Belding-de Wetter Memorial Scholarship recipient and pharmacy student Jennifer Navar researched the impact that the UTEP Pharmacy Program has had on the longstanding shortage of pharmacists in the El Paso area. Under the guidance of her research mentor, Dr. Celeste M. Vinluan, Jennifer presented her findings at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting in New Orleans, LA. She found that despite El Paso’s ranking as the sixth largest city in the state of Texas with a population of 833,487, the amount of pharmacists in the region continues to be disproportionate to the rest of the state. Currently there are 56 pharmacists per 100,000 people in El Paso County while the state average is 87 pharmacists per 100,000 people. Additionally her research discovered that the UTEP Pharmacy Program made the largest contribution toward alleviating the long standing shortage of pharmacists in El Paso, among any other pharmacy school in Texas, however the need for pharmacists is still great. Since its establishment, the Program has produced over 20% of pharmacists with an active TSBP license in El Paso County.

In great news, the new UTEP School of Pharmacy will bring in its first cohort during the 2017 fall semester. Dr. José O. Rivera was named founding Dean of the UTEP School of Pharmacy and will help lead the transition from the current UTEP Cooperative Pharmacy Program to a fully accredited UTEP School of Pharmacy which will be able to serve larger cohorts.

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Jesus Camacho

Frank Munos, R.PH. and Matilde Munoz Quiroz Memorial Scholarship

Gifts made to scholarships are helping students like Jesus Camacho achieve their professional goals at UTEP’s School of Pharmacy. Jesus’ interest in pharmacy was piqued by his mother’s career as a pharmacy technician and his passion to help people. This March, support from the Frank Munoz, R.Ph. and Matilde Munoz Quiroz Memorial Scholarship will help Jesus pay for his study away experience to Nashville, Tennessee. The required study away trip will give him the opportunity to experience a different culture and community while volunteering at hospitals and at homeless centers. “I would encourage students who are interested in pursuing pharmacy to continue to work hard and to never give up. The workload is very stressful, but gaining the knowledge that will allow you to help your community in regard to medication is very rewarding.” Support from the scholarship will also help Jesus attend the American Pharmacist Association’s Annual Conference, also taking place in Nashville this March. At the conference, he will be able to network with individuals in the pharmacy field and learn about potential residencies to further his career. “My main career aspiration is to become a pharmacist that the El Paso community can rely on. I love this city.”

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