As Good as Gold: 2020 Gold Nugget Award Recipients
Last Updated on July 22, 2020 at 12:00 AM
Originally published July 22, 2020
By Christina Rodriguez
The University of Texas at El Paso and the UTEP Alumni Association are proud to announce the 2020 Gold Nugget recipients.
For more than 30 years, the University has recognized exceptional graduates from each of its colleges and schools who have excelled in their professions, given back to their communities and alma mater, and serve as an inspiration for future generations of Miners. These Gold Nuggets are scheduled to be officially recognized during UTEP’s 2020 Homecoming events Oct. 11-17.
“Our 2020 Gold Nuggets, representing UTEP at the college level, were selected because of their selfless commitment to their respective fields,” said Maribel Villalva, assistant vice president for alumni relations. “Honorees include Miners who have been lifelong educators, medical and rehabilitation healers, social justice fighters, female pioneers in their fields and engineering innovators. They all credit UTEP for their foundation and the opportunities UTEP provided.”
Dwayne M. Aboud, M.D.
College of Science
B.A. Biological Sciences, 1970
Dwayne M. Aboud, M.D., enjoyed a 40-year career as a private practice internal medicine physician and has served as medical director of Elara Caring Hospice in El Paso since 2006.
Aboud has given back to the El Paso community through service on boards including the Paso del Norte Health Foundation and El Paso Diabetes Association. He also has served as team physician and clinic coordinator for UTEP Athletics since 1988. Aboud founded the El Paso Border Youth Athletic Association in 1999 and was inducted into the El Paso Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018.
“To be honest, I was ill-prepared for college,” Aboud said. “UTEP was very challenging on several levels but mostly in academics. UTEP was there for me and taught me how to study and most of all perseverance. I graduated at the top of my medical school class, advanced clinical year and residency. I owe all of this to The University of Texas at El Paso.”
Gloria Greve Perry-George
College of Education
B.S. Elementary Education, 1966
After 21 years as an educator and mentor with the El Paso Independent School District, Gloria Greve Perry-George became executive director of the Mary L. Peyton Foundation, a nonprofit that offered financial assistance to those in need to include students who wanted to attend UTEP. She stayed involved with her alma mater through continuing education courses and attendance at athletic events.
Her community service through the years included work with PTAs, Girl Scouts and various philanthropic groups. She traveled the world and, always the educator, she would visit schools to learn about their curriculum and teaching methods.
Perry-George projected a positive light in her later years despite several bouts with cancer, which eventually claimed her life in 2019.
“Without this formative education through UTEP, Gloria may not have succeeded as well as she did in her career,” said Gayle Hunt, her twin sister.
Harry (Hap) Lamberth
College of Engineering
B.S. Electrical Engineering, 1962
After graduating from Texas Western College, now UTEP, Harry (Hap) Lamberth worked at White Sands Missile Range and at Pan American World Airways in Florida before starting a telephone equipment manufacturing company in El Paso.
In 1979, Lamberth moved to California, where he worked on military communications and electrical power conversion systems for companies such as Hughes Aircraft and L3 Power Systems. He later established his own consulting firm, HRL Company.
Lamberth has enjoyed many professional memberships and continues to serve on the UTEP College of Engineering Advisory Board.
“TWC presented an ideal combination of everything I needed to obtain a solid engineering education in a predictable time frame,” Lamberth said. “My part-time work at Schellenger Labs in close contact with my professors was essentially an engineering internship, giving me the ability to take responsible charge of projects at WSMR soon after graduation. This led to a fast-track career.”
Victor L. Medina
College of Health Sciences
M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling, 2014
A roadside bomb explosion in Iraq in 2009 left Victor L. Medina with a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. Despite his injuries, the Army sergeant first class proceeded to graduate with a Master of Rehabilitation Counseling from UTEP in 2014 with a 4.0 GPA.
During his recovery, Medina shared his story on tbiwarrior.com to help other soldiers and their families. The website has since evolved into the TBI Warrior Foundation, which Medina established in 2018 with the mission to improve the quality of life of veterans, civilians and children living with brain injuries and their caregivers.
Medina credits UTEP with helping him thrive as a veteran with combat wounds. He and his wife, Roxana Delgado, Ph.D., a UTEP alumna, have become advocates for TBI awareness, working to improve care and services for brain-injured service members and civilians.
“UTEP’s Master of Rehabilitation Counseling program equipped me with the necessary skills and knowledge to continue to provide meaningful service to the community of people with disabilities,” said Medina, who has testified in front of the U.S. Senate Veterans Affair Committee. “My experience at UTEP broadened my vision and was very instrumental in my personal redefinition of success.”
College of Business Administration
BBA Accounting, 1989
In 1993, Marcela Navarrete joined El Paso Water as an accountant. Throughout her 20-plus-year career with the utility, she steadily climbed the ranks and eventually became the first woman to serve as chief financial officer. Today, Navarrete is vice president of strategic, financial and management services.
Navarrete has volunteered on many community and professional boards. In 2016, El Paso Inc. named her a Woman of Impact. Additionally, Navarrete has served with various associations including the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, Government Finance Officers Association and American Water Works Association.
“The accounting degree that I received at UTEP really did launch my career,” Navarrete said. “It gave me the foundation to be a good accountant, which led to higher and higher positions in management. Had it not been for that foundation, I would not have the career that I have had. The courses were rigorous and demanding, which I truly believe prepared me for the demands that I face at work every day.”
College of Liberal Arts
B.A. Criminal Justice, 1978
M.A. Sociology, 1981
Carlos Spector enlisted in the U.S. Air Force after high school and served most of his time in Germany. After an honorable discharge, the El Paso native spent one year in an Israeli kibbutz (commune) and returned home to enroll at UTEP, where he honed his analytical skills that led to his decision to pursue a law degree.
Throughout the years, he has participated with several civil and immigration rights groups such as LULAC and the Texas Latino-Jewish Alliance and co-founded Mexicanos En Exilio. His work has been honored by many human rights organizations and featured in two award-winning Mexican documentaries as well as in Mexican and Canadian doctoral dissertations.
To give back, Spector, has taught a Mexican political asylum course as a guest lecturer with UTEP’s Center for Inter-American and Border Studies program, which he said has confirmed his commitment to the University and the border.
“I’ve loved UTEP for as long as I can remember,” Spector said. “I took great pride in the school because of the ’66 championship basketball team and because it’s my father’s alma mater. I knew that is where I would pursue my education.”
Allie Trimble-Lozano School of Nursing
School of Nursing
Allie Trimble-Lozano serves as regional chief executive officer of The Hospitals of Providence microhospitals with Emerus Holdings Inc. She has successfully led the development and operation of three neighborhood hospitals in Horizon City and in Northeast and far East El Paso, and eight health care facilities in San Antonio.
Since 2002, Trimble-Lozano, an El Paso native, has worked her way up from critical care nurse to one of the most successful health care administrators in the Paso del Norte region.
Among her notable accomplishments, Trimble-Lozano successfully established 12 urgent care centers from El Paso to the Interstate 35 corridor from San Antonio and Austin.
“I have been blessed with the opportunity to build an incredibly strong, talented and cohesive team of caregivers, subject matter experts, and leaders for what I have coined the ‘San Paso Region,’” said Trimble-Lozano, who holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix. “Together we have been honored to bring health care to areas that were previously incredibly underserved within the El Paso community as well as the San Antonio community.”