HSI Pathways

The Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI)-Pathways to the Professoriate program is a collaboration between eight partner institutions with a goal to prepare undergraduate students in the humanities to pursue a career in the professoriate. Funded by the Mellon Foundation and administered through the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions, The University of Texas at El Paso is one of three HSIs participating in this program.

HSI Pathways Fellows can expect preparation for humanities Ph.D. programs, engaged mentorship, development of academic and professional skills, a summer research program, a summer stipend, and other related research support.

UTEP’s HSI Pathways Cohort 1 (2016) Fellows 




Carla Aldrete Fiscal 
Communication Studies & Sociology

Carla Aldrete Fiscal is a third-year undergraduate where she is earning a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Communication Studies. Her areas of interest include gender studies, race studies, Chicano studies and areas of social justice.  She currently sits on the 2016-2017 Youth Advisory Board of the Girls Empowerment Network (GEN), an Austin, Texas based organization providing academically and emotionally enriching programs for middle school aged girls as they navigate the unique pressures of girlhood.  Carla has been a “Wish Granter,” for the North Texas chapter of Make-A-Wish since the summer of 2015.



Star C. Flagel

Star C. Flagel graduated from El Paso Community College (EPCC) in the spring of 2015 with an Associate of Arts. While there, she served as the vice president of The Glass Menagerie, an academic society combining literature, philosophy, and the fine arts. As a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, she graduated with a 4.0-grade point average.  Presently, Star is a junior, where she maintains a 4.0 grade point average. She is a history major minoring in religious studies.  In December 2016, Star was nominated to present her research at the 10th Annual Frances G. Harper Student History Conference. With a passion for social and medical history, she plans to obtain a PhD and continue her career in academia as a professor.



Jasmin Flores
Creative Writing

Jasmin Flores is currently studying Creative Writing.  She dreams of earning a doctoral degree in English Literature and teaching a new generation of scholars to appreciate the literary form.  Her first poem, “The Odd Girl,” was published in the Texas Collection of Young Poets. Recently, her essays, short stories, and poems have been published by literary journals and magazines such as ForWord: A BorderSenses Literary Journal and Las Latinitas Magazine.  Jasmin has interned with BorderSenses and volunteered with events such as Day of the Girl and Frida Fest held by Las Latinitas. She currently lives in El Paso, Texas with her mother and her best friend on four legs, her dog Scarlett.



Nerea Hernandez

Nerea Hernandez is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. Her multicultural background and geographical location has helped Nerea develop an interest in border studies and Latino culture in the United States. Along the lines of these topics, she is also interested in social justice, equity, and education.  Nereais most recently involved in the Women and Gender Studies Program. Most of the projects she has helped with involve helping the Latino community. The last projects she participated in included the creation of a leadership certification program for community leaders and a local initiative to promote Latina mental health and offer services to the participants. Nerea is deeply driven by her culture and heritage and seeks to help promote the idea of embracing one’s heritage and feeling comfortable as a hybrid in our multicultural country.



Victor Hurtado
Art History

Victor Hurtado is pursuing a BA in art history and a minor in national security studies.  As an aspiring architectural preservationist, Victor interned with the Texas Historical Commission in Austin and worked with the Community Heritage Development Division and the Division of Architecture. He delivered a presentation titled U.S. Post Office: A Jewel in the Center of our City at the 3 rd Annual Art History Symposium, which focused on the architectural history of El Paso’s iconic downtown post office. In 2017, he joined the Architectural Preservation Committee with the Texas Trost Society; as part of his advocacy, Victor has guided tours of El Paso’s historic architecture in both English and Spanish.  His research examines rationales for heritage destruction as well as responses from the international heritage community to halt or mitigate the mistreatment of culture.



Johanna Lopez
Chicana/o Studies

Johanna Lopez is actively pursuing two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Chicano Studies and in History. She has also earned an Associate of Art degree in Chicano Studies from El Paso Community College (EPCC).  Johanna also wrote and directed a film, No Habla, which was screened at the 2015 Plaza Classic Film Festival.  Johanna's areas of interest include borderland history, Chicano literature, and women’s studies issues. She is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success honor society and the Tau Sigma honor society. She accomplishes various community services events through both honor societies. Johanna is currently a work-study for the Department of Institutional Advancement with UTEP.  She will be graduating from UTEP in fall of December 2017 and will continue on to earn a doctorate in history.



Alejandra Lozano
English and American Literature

Alejandra Lozano is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English and American Literature and a Minor in Film Studies. She graduated from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Torreón, Coahuila, México in 2012.  Alejandra's research focuses on the absence of women within the film industry while providing a critical evaluation on gender bias not only in female characters, but in female directors, editors, screenwriters and cinematographers as well.  Alejandra is a member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, she was one of 47 UTEP students that received the IME Becas Scholarship for her outstanding academic achievement within her area of study as a Mexican undergraduate in the United States and has appeared in the College of Liberal Arts Dean’s List for two consecutive years.  She aspires to approach film and storytelling with an orientation on how these two art forms are vital to the modern understanding and representation of our society.



Lyandra Sanchez
English and American Literature

Lyandra Sanchez is a junior seeking her Bachelor’s Degree in English and American Literature with a minor in History. Her areas of interest include 18 th and 19 th century British Literature with a concentration in Victorian Literature and Women Studies.  Since her first semester at UTEP, Lyandra has been involved with a variety of organizations on campus.  Lyandra became a Public Relations Officer for Sigma Tau Delta, UTEP’s English Honor Society in the fall of 2016.  Lyandra has presented at UTEP’s Entering Student Research and Creative Project Showcase in the spring of 2015 and has been an active member in The National Society of Collegiate Scholars.



Mario Sanchez

Mario Sanchez is currently a senior completing a bachelor's degree in History.  His academic interests include, but are not limited to, the Mexican War of Independence and how this revolt affected the American continent and the different regions under Spanish rule; the effects that American policies have had in the borderland region; and how global conflicts have affected Mexico.  Besides pursuing a college degree, Mario also works on his second passion—teaching—as a part-time educator in one of the school districts in El Paso, where he hopes to positively inspire the historians of the future.



Elizabeth Vigil
English and American Literature

Elizabeth Vigil is an undergraduate in the process of completing a Bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature. She has also earned a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a Certificate in Applied Cultural Anthropology.  In her years as a student at UTEP, Elizabeth has successfully completed multiple internships including the Disney College Program and a mentoring with a community nonprofit café. These internships incorporated immersive guest service training and multi-cultural collaboration. Elizabeth is currently the Vice-President of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society and a tutor at the Miner Athlete Academic Center.  Her goal is to obtain a PhD in English and American Literature with a focus in Chicana/o Literature and Food Studies.

UTEP’s HSI Pathways Administrators

Dr. Frank Candelaria—PI and Associate Provost
Dr. Maryse Jayasuria—Co-PI and Associate Dean of College of Liberal Arts
Dr. Isela Ocegueda—Coordinator and Assistant Dean of the Graduate School

UTEP’s HSI Pathways Faculty Mentors

Dr. Stacey Sowards—Communications
Dr. Jeffrey Shepherd—History
Dr. Irasema Coronado—Political Science
Dr. Guillermina Gina Nuñez—Mchiri-Anthropology
Dr. Matthew Desing—Languages and Linguistics
Dr. Yolanda Leyva—History
Dr. Ruben Espinosa—English Literature
Dr. Brian Yothers—English Literature
Dr. Samuel Brunk—History
Dr. Meredith Abarca—English Literature