CHS Celebrates Promotion of Three Assistant Professors
The College of Health Sciences has officially added three new professors to its associate-level ranks – Dr. Jason Boyle, Kinesiology; Dr. Patricia Lara, Speech-Language Pathology; and Dr. Michelle Gutierrez, Physical Therapy. Dr. Boyle has achieved tenure, and Drs. Lara and Gutierrez, both clinical faculty, were promoted to the clinical associate professor rank.
In the professoriate, the process to apply for and receive a promotion to the associate level is both rigorous and extensive. Professors must meet certain criteria before applying, and can then prepare a dossier for the evaluation team that will later review the packet.
“The promotion process for faculty recognizes the achievement of a major career milestone,” said Dr. Shafik Dharamsi, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “These individuals have demonstrated that they have attained a significantly high level of distinction in the areas of teaching, research and service, and that they have the potential to continue to able to meet the ever-increasing standards for academic advancement that will be expected as the University’s academic reputation grows.”
Dr. Jason Boyle began his career at UTEP in 2013, while completing his final year in the PhD in Kinesiology program at Texas A&M University. Boyle holds a dual appointment in the Department of Kinesiology, where he serves as associate professor and graduate program coordinator, and the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. Boyle also directs the Virtual Reality and Motor Control Laboratory. His service to the College includes chairing the Infrastructure Committee, and past appointments on the Research Committee and Interdisciplinary Health Sciences PhD Program Committee.
Boyle, who currently mentors multiple graduate and doctoral-level students, said his promotion is a “commitment from UTEP that (I) have its full support and trust to mentor this region’s future students.”
Dr. Michelle Gutierrez’s affiliation with UTEP began in 2002 as a guest lecturer for the Physical Therapy Program teaching Vestibular Rehabilitation to second-year students. In 2013, she assumed an adjunct faculty position and started working full time for the program in 2014.
Gutierrez’s primary role as a clinical associate professor is to teach for the PT Program; she has been instructor of record for 12 of the 35 required didactic courses. Since 2015, she has chaired the PT Program’s Admissions Committee, coordinating communication with and review of materials for between 450 to 500 applicants per cycle. She has also served as faculty advisor/co-advisor to three DPT graduating classes and teaches two community courses on the weekends in vestibular function that consistently bring gift money into the program. She coordinates the annual Campbell Building site visit for hundreds of prospective students considering professions in the rehabilitation sciences fields and their families, and is a member of the College’s Research Committee and past member of the College’s Web/IT Committee.
Gutierrez, who also mentors new and adjunct faculty, said her promotion “recognizes (my) growth over the last several years as junior faculty,” and will allow her to help mentor junior faculty at UTEP rise through the ranks.
Dr. Patricia Lara began her career at UTEP in 2006 as a teaching assistant while pursuing her PhD in the College’s Interdisciplinary Health Sciences PhD Program. During that time, she served as a course instructor and clinical supervisor for the Speech Language Pathology Program’s Speech and Hearing Clinic. Following her graduation, she assumed a position as an instructor, teaching undergraduate classes in the College of Health Sciences, and was hired as a full-time faculty member in 2012. Lara is now Clinical Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Speech Language Pathology Program. She also developed and now directs the Voice Modification Clinic for Transgender Persons.
During her time as faculty, Lara has served as the graduate advisor for the program, the library liaison, and chair of the Graduate Scholarship Committee. She is a member of the Health Focused Interprofessional Education Community of Practice and was recently selected as the College of Health Sciences’ Leavell Faculty Fellow in Interprofessional Education.
Lara says that her promotion “validates that (my) work at the University, to include (my) teaching, research, and service, are valued.”