Alumni and Partners

Eric J.C. Chan Named to 2016 Distinguished Alumni

Every year, The University of Texas at El Paso and the UTEP Alumni Association honor a group of men and women whose achievements stand out as monuments to dedication, integrity and hard work – they are the UTEP Distinguished Alumni.

“This year’s Distinguished Alumni have made an impact as a successful entrepreneur, a noted anesthesiologist and an award-winning historian,” said Maribel Villalva, UTEP assistant vice president for alumni relations.

“These former Miners are wonderful examples of the UTEP spirit and the drive to succeed. They were once proud students at UTEP and, upon graduation, went out and made their mark on the world. They continue to make a difference in the lives of others and they remain true Miners every step of the way. We are proud to honor these very deserving and inspiring individuals and look forward to welcoming them back home.”

The 2016 awardees will be officially recognized during UTEP’s 2016 Homecoming Week, Oct. 23-29.

The Distinguished Alumni award is the highest recognition bestowed upon alumni of the University.  Representing the College of Business Administration this year is Mr. Eric Chan.

Eric J.C. Chan is the founder or co-founder of four companies in Hong Kong and China, including one that sells American rice in Hong Kong and another that deploys a citywide free wireless mesh network in Guangzhou City, China, by turning moving vehicles like taxis, buses and trams into hotspots.

Chan was born in Vientiane, Laos and grew up in Hong Kong. In 1973, he left Hong Kong to attend Riverside High School in El Paso through an international exchange program. After graduation, he decided to stay and attend UTEP.

Chan credits his UTEP education as the foundation for his success in business.

Mary E. Bell Named 2016 Gold Nugget

The University of Texas at El Paso and the UTEP Alumni Association are proud to present the 2016 Gold Nugget Award recipients. These outstanding alumni are recognized by each to the University’s colleges and schools for their achievements and dedication. 

We recognize them because they inspire others — including the current students who will follow their paths, guided by their bold experiences. 

Representing the College of Business Administration is Mary Bell. This outstanding alumnus has distinguished herself in his profession and life, given back to his community and alma mater, and served as inspiration for future generations of Miners.

Regional President and CEO for Indiana and Ohio at Wells Fargo Bank, Mary E. Bell received her degree in finance from UTEP before landing her first job as a management trainee for the State National Bank of El Paso in 1983.  

Bell recognizes UTEP’s role in her success; living in El Paso, studying at UTEP and working in the community allowed her to appreciate cultural, ethnic, gender and other diversity dimensions. 

“Understanding the value of diversity at UTEP has helped me leverage diversity as a business imperative,” the 30-year veteran banker said. “Having the rich cultural foundation for valuing differences and multiple perspectives has allowed me to effectively lead myself, my teams and my business.”

Always passionate and committed to community involvement, Bell also leads several community outreach programs and serves as an active volunteer in her community of Fort Wayne, Indiana. 

UTEP Business Students Visit Vanguard in Scottsdale, Arizona

12 College of Business Administration students recently traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona to visit Vanguard. Vanguard is of the world's largest investment management companies, serving individual investors, institutions, employer-sponsored retirement plans, and financial professionals.

Students were welcomed and provided with an organizational overview by Matt Walker, Principle of Institutional Asset Management. The group toured the facility and received an overview of Vanguard’s Participant, Retail and Brokerage Service areas by UTEP alumni. Vanguard catered lunch and encouraged students to sit with UTEP Alumni and ask questions about Vanguard as well as each employee’s experience transitioning to a new city. The day wrapped up with a panel discussion and mock interviews with Vanguard’s HR employees. Overall, the students enjoyed the trip and were excited to hear Vanguard’s plans to continue networking with UTEP and hiring its students.

Vanguard currently has one internship and 4 full-time positions available for UTEP students on Jobmine.


Lonnie and Maria Elena Abernathy Graduate Endowment Fellowship

A reception was held on March 21st 2012 in the College of Business Administration lobby to thank Lonnie and Maria Elena Abernathy for the endowment they set up in 2006 in honor of her brother, Alejandro Jesus Guerrero. A commemorative plaque for display in the lobby was unveiled at the event.

The fellowship is for graduate students studying in the College of Business Administration.

Dr. Abernathy is a retired UTEP faculty member and Alejandro and Maria Elena are both UTEP alumni. We thank them for their generous contributions.


ADP Hosts College of Business Administration Student Visit

On Friday, November 18th, ten College of Business Administration students visited  the ADP facility in El Paso, Texas. Charles Staniszewski, ADP’s Client Relations Manager, welcomed our students and provided an overview of ADP’s two business segments which are Employer and Dealer Services.

Students then participated in a short networking mixer with several managers which enabled them to learn more about ADP and share their own experiences. While touring ADP’s building, students met several more employees and were surprised to see an on-site doctor’s office, café and workout facility. The day ended with lunch in ADP’s café where several employees joined the group and discussed ADP’s positive work environment.


Giving Back: Mike Brochu


Distinguished alumnus Mike Brochu, BBA Accounting '76 and 2004 Gold Nugget, recently spent two days on campus meeting with the students and faculty of the College of Business. He shared his career experience during informal meetings with groups of students and as a guest lecturer in a number of business classes.

Mike and his wife Caprice also established an annual scholarship for COBA students. During his visit he attended the UTEP Scholarship Luncheon and met with Brochu Scholarship recipient German Sanchez, a COBA Senior majoring in Finance.

Previously, Brochu served as the President and COO of Sierra On-Line, Inc., one of the world’s largest publishers of interactive entertainment, educational, and home productivity software. There, he spearheaded efforts that increased sales by more than 300 percent, culminating the sale of Sierra On-Line to CUC International for US$1.1 billion in 1996.

Michael Brochu is a seasoned technology executive who brings over 20 years of senior-level experience and operational excellence to GMI. He most recently served as the President and CEO of Loudeye Corporation, a global leader of digital music platforms and digital media distribution services, which Nokia acquired in 2006.

Before Loudeye, Mike was President and CEO of Primus Knowledge Solutions, Inc., an award-winning provider of e-service software solutions. In 1999, Brochu took Primus public, and facilitated the acquisition of the company by Art Technology Group (ATG) in 2004.

Mike currently sits on the board of directors of ATG, Zotec Partners, and the advisory board of Seattle-based venture capital firm Voyager Capital, which is also one of GMI’s early institutional investors. Mike was named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000.

The William C. and Lavoyne Newman and Family Endowed Scholarship

LaVoyne Newman, William K. Newman and Kimberly A. Newman have generously created the William C. and Lavoyne Newman and Family Endowed Scholarship in honor of William C. Newman, a graduate of Texas Western who went on to practice law in Texas for over 50 years.

The endowement will be used to provide scholarships to the students in the College of Business Administration with an interest in entrepreneurship.

Kevin Newman is a UTEP graduate and teaches Juniors and Seniors U. S. History, Government and World History at Chapin High School. In 2006, Kevin was nominated for Teacher of the Year.

Kimberly Newman has her Masters in Education and is a Math Specialist for K thru 5 at the Glen Oaks Elementary School in San Antonio, Texas. Kim was awarded Teacher of the Year for 2008.