UTEP ALUMNI Stories

 

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Gaby AguileraGaby Aguilera

MS ’05
Former Software Engineer, Google
Providence, Rhode Island
Upon receiving her masters in 2005, Gabby went on to work for one of the largest multinational corporations in the world. She is very interested in the intersection of technology and medicine and how it can be used to improve the delivery of health care. Gabby is currently a third year medical student at Brown University. “UTEP gave me the skills and the confidence I needed to succeed in my years as a software engineer and now as a medical student.”

 

Wynn AndersonWynn Anderson

BS ’67
Volunteer Botanical Curator, UTEP
El Paso, Texas
Wynn gave over 45 years of administrative service to UTEP, including 20 years as Assistant to The President for 3 different UTEP Presidents, before retiring in 1999. He was instrumental in the design and construction of UTEP’s Chihuahuan Desert Gardens, and directed the botanical facility for an additional 10 years before retiring again in 2010. He was a well-known regional advocate for water-wise gardening, hosting a gardening show on KTEP, teaching classes and lecturing on use of native plants for water efficient landscaping. An avid naturalist and plant photographer, his plant photos have been featured in numerous publications and websites. He continues his volunteer service as Botanical Curator at the Gardens. “By allowing a double major in Geology and Art, UTEP gave me a diverse set of skills but, most importantly, simply taught me how to learn new subjects and acquire new skills on my own to meet the myriad of new interests and opportunities life brings.”

 

Christian AndresenChristian G. Andresen

BS ’08
El Paso, Texas
Born in El Paso and raised in a multi-ethnic family in Mexico, Christian Andresen graduated from UTEP with his bachelors in 2008 and will be receiving his PhD. in 2014. As a National Science Foundation Fellowship recipient, Christian was given the opportunity to research climate change in the Arctic wetlands. There, he used the knowledge he gained at UTEP to research the long-term chemical and biological changes in the environment and to help develop new technology to remotely track these environmental changes. “As a kid, I always dreamed about traveling to the edge of the world, but to grow up and be able to do it has been a life-changing experience,” said Christian, “UTEP has prepared me as a scientist for the environmental challenges of the 21st century while allowing me to become a role model for young Hispanic scientists like me and an inspiration for the future generations.”

 

Perla LozanoPerla Lozano Angulo

MA ’10
Campaign Pride Director, Rare, Inc.
Guadalajara, Jalisco
Perla is part of an organization that works diligently to educate and encourage environmental conservation across the world. She works closely with volunteers, stakeholders and sponsors to continue promoting the organization’s efforts.

 

Victor AragonesVictor Aragonés

BBA ’01, MS ’04
Senior Economist, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation
Washington, DC
Since earning his bachelors and masters in Economics from UTEP, Victor has contributed to numerous projects with the United States Department of Transportation in order to help advance railroad and freight multimodal policy at the national and international level. He is currently on a team working to create safety requirements for high-speed rail equipment. “The economics education I received at UTEP is one of the pillars of my professional work and I continue to use it on an daily basis.”

 

Gabriel BacaGabriel Baca

BSEE ’03
Flight Operations Engineer, NASA Neil Armstrong Flight Research Center
Lancaster, California
Gabe has been with NASA since 2004 supporting the flight testing of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle which is the America’s next manned spacecraft replacing the retired Space Shuttle. He was part of a team that successfully flight-tested the Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) at White Sands Missile Range. “My time at UTEP helped me develop the critical thinking skills that are fundamental to my everyday decisions and tasks.”

 

David Baquera

MBA ’09, MS ’98
Market Director of Rehabilitation Services, SPHN
El Paso, Texas
After receiving his master’s degree, David started his career in healthcare as a Speech Language Pathologist. His interest in the business and marketing aspect of healthcare led him to complete his MBA at UTEP and now serves as Marketing Director at Sierra Providence Health Network (SPHN). In addition to many achievements during his career at SPHN, he recently helped open a new 18 bed hospital-based inpatient rehabilitation program. “UTEP gave me the knowledge and courage to be successful in my career.”

 

Michael BernsteinMichael Bernstein

BBA ’64
Michael Bernstein, CPA
El Paso, Texas
Michael is a CPA with more than 40 years experience as an expert witness in many civil and criminal cases. He has authored 30 books on tax law and presented more than 400 seminars nationwide. Aside from running his practice, Michael is an actor and collector of rare coins and books. "I loved Texas Western from the moment I stepped on campus. I changed my career plans because of professors I encountered, and have supported UTEP for my entire life."

 

John BoiceJohn D. Boice, Jr., Sc.D.

BS ’67
Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Rockville, Maryland
Dr. Boice is considered an international authority on radiation effects and represents the U.S. on the United National Scientific Committee. He has over 460 publications used to formulate health measures in the prevention of radiation-associated diseases. He currently studies atomic veterans and radiation workers, who participated in nuclear weapons tests to examine their lifetime risk of cancer. “During my student career at Texas Western College (UTEP), I was Vice-President of the Student Body. As a native El Pasoan, it was a pleasure to attend UTEP.

 

Vilma BohlmannVilma Fabiola Bohlmann

BS ’02, MSN ’11
Nurse Practitioner, Advance Health
El Paso, Texas
Vilma’s goal in life has always been to become a powerful advocate for health in her community. As a home-visit nurse practitioner, she provides compassionate care in a dignified manner for all her patients. “I was able to attain my goal because of UTEP; the faculty members embraced, inspired and energized me to be prevail. Thank you UTEP!”

 

Mark CalamiaMark A. Calamia, PhD

BA ’79
Cultural Resources Manager and Tribal Liaison, Pipestone National Monument, National Park Service
Pipestone, Minnesota
Dr. Calamia graduated with honors as one of the Top 10 students in his class. Since then, his research and conversation work have taken him from the US Southwestern deserts, to the US Midwestern upper plains, and to the South Pacific region. His continued devotion to conservation work and ethnographic research has led him to work to protect traditional cultural places and natural resources associated with cultural heritage. “UTEP and El Paso contributed to my understanding and appreciation of native peoples throughout the world; they are both the foundation of my passion for cultural and natural resource protection involving minorities and indigenous peoples.”

 

Toni CamachoToni Camacho

BA ’08
Attorney
New York, New York
After graduating from UTEP as a Presidential Excellence Scholar and as a Top Ten Senior, Toni earned her law degree from the University of California Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) where she also received a certificate in Business Law from the Berkeley Center for Law, Business, and the Economy. Toni is currently an associate in the New York City office of a large international law firm where she has practiced in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate law and real estate finance. Toni is also dedicated to pro bono legal service and has advised non-profits on corporate governance matters and also advises on political asylum cases. She is fluent in English and Spanish and speaks conversational Portuguese. “I’m grateful for the UTEP scholarships I received which made it possible for me to continue my education. I'm also very grateful for the amazing professors that helped shepherd me into my career. GO MINERS!”

 

Lorena CarrascoLorena Orozco Carrasco

BA ’95, MA ’98
Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Jeffersonton, Virginia
Lorena was the first in her family to attend college and earned numerous awards while managing to also work full-time while attending UTEP. She began her federal career in 1991 and was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2010. She also co-chairs the LULAC-OPM Federal Training Institute Partnership, and serves on the State SNAP Appeals Board. “The policy analysis and public administration skills I learned at UTEP are the cornerstone of my successful career in public service.”

 

Miguel CervantesMiguel A. Cervantes

BBA ’98, MS in Economics ’02
Research Economist, the Fraser Institute of Montreal
Montpellier, France
Miguel is in charge of the Fraser Institute’s Global Mining Survey, a survey that ranks different mining jurisdictions in terms of barriers to investment. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Economics. “In addition to my many professors, the French classes that I took at UTEP have helped me succeed in both France and Canada.”

 

Sandra Hatfield ClubbSandra Hatfield Clubb

BBA ’87, M.Ed ’89
Director of Athletics, Drake University
Des Moines, Iowa
Sandy obtained both her bachelors and masters from UTEP before becoming the first women in the state of Iowa to be named to an NCAA Division I Athletics Director position in 2009. "As a result of my extraordinary experience at UTEP, I have never left a college campus - and likely never will."

 

Leah CottonLeah Cotton

BA ’87
Assistant Attorney General, State of Arizona
Tucson, AZ
After graduating from UTEP, Leah earn her Masters in Counseling and Guidance at the University of Arizona. Leah then worked for St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson as a Hospice counselor for 10 years. In May 2008, Leah earned her Law Degree from The University of Arizona. She is now the Assistant Attorney General for the State of Arizona. "UTEP has provided me the first stepping stone to a successful career as an attorney".

Robert FloresJesus Flores, PhD

BSME ’08, MS ’09, Ph.D.’ 13
Propulsion Engineer, Blue Origin
El Paso, Texas
Dr. Flores earned all three of his degrees from UTEP. During his academic career, he worked in UTEP’s Center for Space Exploration and Technology (cSETR) and for the NASA White Sands Test Facility. Today, his research focuses on the ignition and injector physics of LOX-Methane combustion chambers for low thrust rocket engines.

 

Erica GarciaErica Garcia

BIS ’11
6th Grade Math Teacher, YISD
El Paso, Texas
After graduating from UTEP, Erica was offered a teaching position as a 6th grade math teacher with Ysleta ISD. “I thank my family for being my support group and for having professors that cared about my education. Becoming a teacher has always been a dream of mine and thanks to UTEP I was able to obtain my degree while raising a family.”

 

Norma GarciaNorma Aviña Garcia

BBA ’95
Language Specialist, Executive Office of Immigration Review, US Department of Justice
El Paso, Texas
“I thank UTEP for my success! My career allows me to give back by helping thousands of people from around the world to understand their immigration rights. I come from extreme poverty and English is my 2nd language. My parents were factory workers who could not even afford to buy me a computer. However, thanks to UTEP opportunities and financial aid, and a lot of hard work, discipline and perseverance, my dreams came true!” Norma is also an avid volunteer, translating for priests and pastors from around the world. She is currently seeking an MPA.

 

Thomas GehrkeThomas Gehrke

BS ’05
Professional Basketball Player, Mogi das Cruzes Basquete
São Paulo Area, Brazil
Thomas came to UTEP as a student athlete, where he played in two NCAA Basketball Tournaments with the Miners. He graduated from UTEP with a degree in Kinesiology in 2005. "I'm going on my 10th season as a professional basketball player. I currently spend my vacation time coaching basketball camps for kids. I have plans to become a basketball coach in the next few years. Thanks to UTEP, I have had many unique experiences both as a student and as a player. Those experiences  have encouraged me to be successful in many challenging situations around the world.

 

Luz GillisLuz Gillis

BIS ’00, M.Ed. ’13
Language Arts and ESL Teacher (grades 6 and 7), Camino Real Middle School
El Paso, Texas
After graduating cum laude from UTEP in 2000, Luz returned to earn her Master’s in Education in 2013. In 2004, she was awarded Teacher of the Year and she continues to work to make a difference in the lives of her students. "UTEP helped paved the way to continuous, critical reflection in my professional teaching career."

 

Myrna HausseguyMyrna Rodríguez-Hausséguy

BA ’00
Senior Project Manager, Europe Unlimited
Brussels, Belgium
After graduating from UTEP, Myrna and earned her master’s in International Relations from Université Laval and now leads a multilingual team of employees from across Europe to organize international venture forums and projects fostering entrepreneurship. She is fluent in English, Spanish, French and German. “UTEP was a key step in my career. The experience of serving as President of the Student Government Association was very beneficial for me.”

 

Samuel HogueSamuel F. Hogue, Ed.D.

Ed.D. ’08
Principal, Cotton Valley Early High School
El Paso, Texas
Dr. Hogue has been a principal in El Paso for both middle schools and high schools since 2004. His ongoing work with students has earned him the PTA Outstanding Administrator Award in 2006 and the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals Outstanding Principal Award in 2012. “UTEP prepared me to better serve the needs of school communities as a professional educator, and provided tremendous support as I achieved my own academic goals in successfully completing a Doctorate Degree.”

 

James JancuJames J. Jancu

BA ’95
Principal Consultant, Jancu Brand Development and Events
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
After graduating from UTEP as a Top Ten Senior, Men of Mines recipient, UTEP Advising Centre Advisor and Houston Endowment Scholar - James worked for Golden Key International Honour Society where he was an active member at UTEP. Soon thereafter he moved to Australia with Golden Key and eventually settled and started a consulting firm. He worked in the automotive industry marketing and managing luxury brands such as Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, Lotus and others.

 

Raymond KingRaymond J. King

BS ’11
Special Education/Physical Education Teacher, Ysleta Independent School District
El Paso, Texas
Raymond has always encouraged others to live a healthy and active lifestyle, and after earning his degree in Kinesiology, he decided to use his knowledge to empower youth. Aside from being a dedicated teacher, Raymond also volunteers as a youth minister and helps with efforts in his community encouraging kids to get healthy. “UTEP helped me with my professional career because it instilled in me a foundation of belief, knowledge, and motivation to go out and achieve my goals.”

 

Allie LozanoCatherine Allie Lozano

BSN ’02
Regional Manager Urgent Care – West Texas/San Antonio, Tenet Healthcare Corporation
El Paso, Texas
Since graduating from UTEP, Allie has earned her MBA and now works for Tenet Healthcare at the corporate level, opening and operating Urgent Care Centers in El Paso and San Antonio. “I am proud to have worked my way up from a staff level registered nurse to my current role in order to better serve my community.”

 

Rudy ManchorroRudy Machorro, PhD

PhD ’96
General Manager, Cordillera S.A.
Guatemala City, Guatemala
After earning his PhD from UTEP, Dr. Machorro moved back to Guatemala where he has been working to supervise the mapping of potential groundwater across the entire country. His efforts in environmental resources management will help the country to successfully run irrigation and water supply projects across the entire region. “UTEP’s Geology Department provided invaluable support for international students, like me, who later returned to their countries of origin fully prepared to contribute to the sustainable development of natural resources.”

 

Mike McGahheyMichael McGahhey

BA ’08
Senior Account Manager, VALIC
Austin, Texas
"I came to UTEP looking for a ladder and found a community that changed my life. I learned about politics from Dr. Webking and American history from Dr. Kawashima. But it was a communication course with Dr. Perez that changed my direction. I still remember how nervous I was to tell my parents that I wanted to study communication instead of business. Dad said, "That's why we sent you to UTEP: to find your path." That path has led me around the world and back to Texas where I manage strategic relationships for VALIC and study rhetoric at Texas State University. "

 

Henry MinerosHenry Mineros

BSN ’02, MBA ’11
Administrative Director of Emergency Services, Del Sol Medical Center
El Paso, Texas
After earning his nursing degree, Henry served as an RN in the Emergency Department, Henry returned to UTEP for his MBA with a concentration in Health Care, which led him to his current position. “I have and will continue to serve the community of El Paso with their healthcare needs; I’m very proud to be a UTEP graduate.”

 

Denise OlivasDenise Olivas

BA ’09
Reporter and Anchor, ABC-7 (KVIA)
El Paso, Texas
A former UTEP Golddigger, Denise began her career at KVIA through an internship. “Being in the public eye has given me many opportunities to reach out to the El Paso community. I frequently speak at local schools; encouraging students and youth organizations as to how important it is to achieve a college education no matter your background or your upbringing.”

 

Raul OlivasRaul Daniel Olivas

BIS ’99
Assistant Principal, Sierra Vista Junior High School
Los Angeles, California
"As I reflect upon my time at UTEP, I’m truly appreciative to have received a high-level education that prepared me to be an educator throughout the country. As I face the challenges of being an instructional leader on a daily basis, I always take into account the positive lessons and experiences that were first fostered as a Miner."

 

Alfonso-OrtegaAlfonso Ortega, PhD

BSME ’76
Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Programs, Villanova University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
After graduating as a Top Ten Senior from UTEP, Dr. Ortega went on to earn his doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. He led a prestigious national research program at the National Science Foundation and is now an Endowed Chair Professor and Vice President for Research and Graduate Programs at Villanova University. “Though I am grateful for the foundation UTEP provided me, I am most grateful that I also met my lovely wife Martha, B.S. Math 1977, in the math tutoring room at UTEP. We have been together every step of the way.”

 

Laura PonceLaura Ponce

MPA ’07
Executive Director, Project BRAVO, Inc.
El Paso, Texas
After graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature from Harvard University, Laura returned to UTEP to complete a Masters in Public Administration. “The education I received at UTEP thoroughly prepared me for the challenges of leading a non-profit that serves over 40,000 low-income El Pasoans, annually. I continue to partner with former classmates on projects and initiatives that strive to improve the lives of people in our community.”

 


Linda Carol RodriguezLinda Carol Rodriguez, PhD

Assistant Professor of Management, The University of South Carolina-Aiken
Aiken, South Carolina
MBA '04
UTEP's College of Business Administration helped me realize my dreams of being a University Professor. My experience was wonderful. The professionalism of the staff in the Dean's Office, especially the advising by Rosie and Yolie, was fantastic. The professionalism of the faculty was great; they supported me even when I was not behaving like a model student. I'm so happy when people call me Dr. Rod--it's all because of the COBA faculty at UTEP!

 

Richard RubioRichard Rubio, II, MD

BS ’98
Board Certified Anesthesiologist and Critical Care Specialist, Boca Raton Regional Hospital
Delray Beach, Florida
After graduating from UTEP Dr. Rubio went on to attend medical school at Stanford University. “After graduating from UTEP, I have been blessed with the opportunity to experience various parts of our great country as I pursued a career in medicine. After my residency in Georgia, my family and I moved to Florida where I work in a hybrid environment of private practice and teaching medical students at Florida Atlantic University.”

 

Juan SanchezJuan Sanchez

BSME ’94, MSME ’96
Director Customer Technical Marketing, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc.
El Paso, Texas
Juan has been with Freeport-McMoRan for over 18 years and is currently leading the Quality Department for the El Paso Operations. He is an active alumnus working to help current UTEP students in a number of efforts including actively recruiting UTEP students for internships and serving on the UTEP Metallurgical Engineering Advisory Board. “I am very fortunate to have received a world class education at UTEP which led to a great career at Freeport McMoRan. UTEP made a tremendous difference in my life and continues to do so for so many students.”

 

Austin SavageAustin Savage

BA ’09
Founder and Artistic Director, The Border Theatre
El Paso, Texas
While attending UTEP, Austin was heavily involved with the Theatre Department and earned a number of awards for directing. In 2010, he founded the Border Theatre and has successfully produced over 17 original works utilizing different spaces across the border region. His company continues to gain support from the city and community. “UTEP introduced me to the people and ideas that exposed the person I am proud of being today.”

 

Israel SilvasIsrael R. Silvas

BA ’01
Senior Attorney, Godwin Lewis PC
Dallas, Texas
Mr. Silvas graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2001 and a doctorate of jurisprudence from Harvard Law School in 2004. "UTEP gave me the confidence to succeed."

 

Abril Tavares

BBA ’10
Supply Systems Analyst, DLA Energy
Reston, Virginia
"My educational journey at UTEP cultivated the many skills I possess today. My classes prepared me to be efficient with time management. During my last semester, I was accepted into the Bill Archer Fellowship Program, which helped secure an internship with Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). My internship transformed into a career, and I currently work with vendors to ensure that government agencies around the world are provided with their petroleum needs."

 

Patty TiscarenoPatricia “Patty” Tiscareño

BA ’04
Executive Director, Rio Grande Cancer Foundation
El Paso, Texas
After 15 years in the banking industry, Patty found her calling in the nonprofit sector. Though she attended UTEP on-and-off in the 1970s and ’80s, Patty finished her college journey in 2004 and now works to help those who are impacted by cancer. She also volunteers and is a singer. “UTEP is a constant and positive force in my daily life!”

 

Monica OrtizMónica Ortiz Uribe

BA ’05
Senior Field Correspondent, KJZZ Phoenix
El Paso, Texas
Monica has become a national voice for the U.S./Mexico border. Her reports on immigration, drug violence and border life air regularly on National Public Radio. In the fall, she was a guest speaker at Colombia University. Monica frequently returns to the UTEP campus every year to work with journalism students. “I'm a proud ambassador for the border on the national airwaves.”

 

 

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