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Health Sciences Gold Nugget Still a Team Player

Last Updated on October 09, 2017 at 12:00 AM

Originally published October 09, 2017

By Daniel Perez

UTEP Communications

For more than 30 years, The University of Texas at El Paso 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.

College of Health Sciences' 2017 Gold Nugget Sandra Terrazas. Photo by J.R. Hernandez / UTEP Communications
College of Health Sciences 2017 Gold Nugget Sandra Terrazas attended the Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner on Oct. 6, 2017, at the Don Haskins Center. Pictured from left are Maria Vasquez, her mother; Terrazas; Crystal Vasquez, her sister; Darius Johnsen, her brother-in-law; and Jaime Johnsen, her niece. Photo: J.R. Hernandez / UTEP Communications

“The Gold Nugget Award is presented by each college to individuals who have excelled in their field and serve as proud ambassadors of UTEP, wherever they go,” said Maribel Villalva, UTEP assistant vice president for alumni relations. “These Miners symbolize the UTEP spirit and are shining examples of success for our current students.”

Among the 2017 Gold Nugget class was College of Health Sciences’ alumna Sandra G. Terrazas, who earned her Master of Science in kinesiology in 2005.

Terrazas always has been a team player. From her days as an elite point guard on El Paso High School’s girls’ basketball team to today as owner of Spectrum Therapy Consultants, she believes her purpose is to bring out the best in others.

The licensed physical therapist and personal trainer opened her El Paso-based company in 2006 and has overseen its growth while at the same time serving as an adjunct professor at UTEP and other area institutions of higher education.

Terrazas said she pursued her Master of Science in kinesiology from UTEP so she could continue to serve as an instructor. The first-generation college student has a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy and an MBA from other institutions.

“I want to help today’s students become good colleagues who combine technical skill with a personal touch,” said the businesswoman, who was instrumental in introducing the Spanish competency requirement to the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree plan. “I want them to understand the culture of the community.”

Terrazas balances her work with humanitarian missions in Guatemala and academic presentations in Mexico, where she advises others how to assist individuals who use prosthetics.