Dr. Hector A. Olvera is co-director of the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences PhD Program. Dr. Olvera is an associate professor and the director of research and the Biobehavioral Research Lab at UTEP’s School of Nursing. He is also currently a JPB environmental health fellow through the Harvard T.H. Chan School or Public Health.
Hector’s primary research interest is in health disparities. Specifically, his work focuses on disentangling the biobehavioral mechanisms through which social and environmental factors interact and impact the healthy life span of socially disadvantaged individuals. Hector also directs a leadership development academy for youth from socially disadvantaged communities in El Paso, Texas aimed at promoting upward social mobility through the development of essential life skills via scholarly work on social and natural processes.
Hector received a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and graduate degrees in environmental science and engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso. He received post-doctoral training at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in Albuquerque NM, and attained graduate certification in epidemiology from the University of Michigan.
Darlene Muguiro is the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Ph.D. and Graduate Programs Coordinator for the College of Health Sciences and School of Nursing. Ms. Muguiro has been in the education field since 2000. Prior to her current appointment, she held leadership positions within the university advancement offices at New Mexico State University and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), focusing on corporate and foundation fundraising within the context of two comprehensive capital campaigns. During this time, Ms. Muguiro’s work contributed substantially towards raising the visibility and capacity of the institutions and their programs, and increasing student financial support. In addition to her work in higher education, Ms. Muguiro has also served in a professional capacity for the El Paso and Socorro Independent School Districts, and as a consultant to area nonprofits, specializing in the areas of communication, grant writing and fund development, and marketing. Ms. Muguiro received her BBA in Marketing and Master of Public Administration degrees from UTEP.
Dr. Connie Summers is the co-director of the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences PhD Program and an Associate Professor in the Speech-Language Pathology program, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences in the College of Health Sciences. Dr. Summers is the director of the Research in Bilingual Language Learning Lab. Her research interests include language learning in bilinguals, language assessment and language impairment in bilingual children, and effects of language of intervention. She is also actively involved in scholarly work focused on best practices in educating professionals to work with clients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Dr. Summers completed her bachelor's and master's degrees at Brigham Young University. She worked as a speech-language pathologist for Denver Public Schools and received her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin.