Meet Erik

Last Updated on March 14, 2017 at 12:00 AM

Originally published March 14, 2017

By UC Staff

UTEP Communications

A young alumnus working at a tech startup is already giving back to UTEP as an instructor.

Erik Pavia
Erik Pavia


Erik Pavia

Current job title: Company/Organization:

Operations, Knotch, Inc.

Adjunct Professor, UTEP College of Business Administration

UTEP Degree:

BBA in Economics, 2010

Were you the first in your family to earn a college degree?


High School

Canutillo High School, 2007

What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career so far?

Becoming a teacher at UTEP’s College of Business Administration. It took a few of years of networking, the cooperation of my employer, the goodwill offered by the dean, Dr. Nachtmann, and my entire educational and professional experience to open that position. It’s been incredibly rewarding and an honor to work with UTEP students, and I owe the opportunity to the community around me.

How did your time at UTEP help you in your current job?

UTEP taught me to be self-taught. Learning is a necessary skill in a start-up, where challenges and responsibilities are ever changing and never constant.

What is the most important thing you learned at UTEP?

My education at UTEP, particularly the Law School Preparation Institute, taught me that I could aspire to more than the opportunities that were immediately and obviously available. I learned to stretch my ambition’s imagination and not to assume that anything wasn’t possible.

What advice would you give your freshman self?

Learn to be more social. You can pick up a book anywhere, but schools bring together interesting people like nowhere else. Spend more time on campus.

What is your favorite place on campus?

UTEP is best when you’re moving through it. The buildings shift behind and around each other and you get a sense that the campus is floating.

What is your best UTEP memory?

The hardest courses I took were the most memorable. Dr. Timothy Roth, Dr. Nathan Ashby, Professor Felix Valenzuela, and Professor Lisa Soto rewired my brain.

What is your favorite UTEP event, and why?

Minerpalooza is a nice display of UTEP’s role as more than a school. UTEP is an integral part of the community. Moms, dads, tios, tias, nieces, nephews, old and young: during Minerpalooza, everyone is a Miner.

Why do you feel it is important for alumni to give back to the University?

Alumni understand the perspectives of UTEP students better than anyone else. Alumni are therefore the best situated to be mentors. If you’ve paved a way into a successful career or a happy life, you can teach students with similar backgrounds on how to do the same. No book or class in the world can do the same for students.