Groups, Programs, and Curriculum
Frontera Globalism Visioning Committee: The Frontera Globalism Visioning Committee builds upon the plans, vision, and progress made by the Global Reach Task Forces (2012 and 2015) and the Global Learning and Engagement Task Force (2019). Its work takes on a renewed focus on global learning and engagement with a frontera approach, which the 2019 Task Force termed Frontera Globalism. Frontera Globalism comprises the daily transnational, cross-border work and lives of our faculty, staff, and students that is a substantial part of both “Global Here” and “Global Away” initiatives. It also materializes in the dynamic work that links assets, cross-border networks, patterns of meaning, collaborative analysis, and complex problem-solving.
Hispanic Serving Working Group: The Hispanic Serving Working Group was established to promote UTEP as a national model of holistic student success augmented with inclusivity, equity, and cultural competence. UTEP, which is uniquely situated on the international border between Mexico and the United States, combines world-class research and highly responsive teaching and learning environments, positioning UTEP as a flagship for Hispanic student achievements. The group can be reached by contacting Lucía Durá, Ph.D., associate dean of the graduate school and associate professor of English, or Louie Rodriguez, J.D., associate vice president for student affairs.
Women’s Advisory Committee (WAC) to the President: The WAC seeks to evaluate university policies and procedures as they affect women of the faculty, staff, and student body to make recommendations on these matters to the President; promote programs and activities to improve the status of women on campus; increase opportunities for participation of women in decision-making at all levels of the university; and communicate the concerns of UTEP women to the University President. This group can be reached by contacting Penelope Espinoza, Ph.D., associate professor of educational leadership and foundations.
Black Affinity Group: The Black Affinity Group is composed of black faculty, staff, and students dedicated to promoting a sense of community and addressing issues of cultural and social isolation. The group, led by Carleton Brown, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Counseling, Special Education and Education Psychology, aims to provide a safe space for those experiencing inequality and injustice, provide opportunities for mentorship and network within the community, and ensure the successful recruitment, retention, and matriculation of the black population on campus.
LATINX Faculty Affinity Group: The LATINX Faculty Affinity Group is dedicated to promoting a sense of community and addressing the needs, concerns, and priorities of LATINX faculty at UTEP. The group is led by Areli Chacón Silva, Ph.D., director of the Leadership and Community Engagement program, and Frank G. Pérez, Ph.D., associate professor of communication. Recognizing that LATINX faculty are underrepresented in higher education at a national level, the LATINX Faculty Affinity Group is committed to offering a sense of community, mentorship, support, and encouragement for LATINX faculty to succeed and thrive at UTEP. The group acknowledges that the recruitment and retention of LATINX faculty is important for modeling, supporting, and mentoring future generations of LATINX scholars in the community, state, and nation. The LATINX Faculty Affinity Group recognizes that LATINX faculty are often engaged in community-engaged work, service to their academic fields, and committees and spaces that value diversity, equity, and inclusion and is committed to sharing that responsibility among colleagues.
Mama Academic Group: This is an affinity group for faculty who are mothers or soon to be mothers, who seek a supportive community on campus to share resources and information with to support the well-being and success of women in academia. The group is led by Hilda Ontiveros, Ed.D., director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program and associate professor of sociology and anthropology. The Mama PhD group invites colleagues to share best practices, recommendations, and materials to support work-life efforts and institutional policies and practices that promote a diverse and family-friendly campus.
BUILDing SCHOLARS Center: As a member of the NIH Diversity Program Consortium (DPC), which was developed to enhance the diversity of the NIH funded workforce, this Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Center has as a mission to implement, evaluate, and sustain a suite of institutional, faculty and student development programs and activities that will positively transform the training of the next generation of biomedical researchers from the U.S. Southwest region, thus contributing to the diversity of biomedical research workforce. Using an asset-bundles framework focusing on educational endowment, science socialization, network development, family expectations, and material resources, the center addresses individual, social, and institutional level needs by synergistically enhancing institutional, faculty and student development.
Campus Office of Undergraduate Research Initiatives (COURI): COURI’s mission is to provide undergraduate students with impactful learning experiences through research, scholarly, and creative activities, under the mentorship of faculty, and in collaboration with UTEP academic leaders, advisors, and other supporting units. COURI promotes a campus-wide culture of engagement that is inclusive of all disciplines, supports diversity, encourages excellence in mentoring, and embraces interdisciplinary work.
Institute for Scholarship, Pedagogy, Innovation and Research Excellence (InSPIRE): InSPIRE serves as the hub that capitalizes on and fosters the rich assets and talents of faculty from all ranks. While connecting shared academic interests across disciplines, the center supports communities of practice and provides professional development opportunities in a variety of areas including teaching and learning, research and creative activities, and leadership.
Center for Inter-American and Border Studies: CIBS contributes to UTEP’s mission, vision, and goals by conducting and promoting research, academic programs, and public outreach on the Americas and Border Studies. These include culture and language, the arts, economics, trade, society and migration, history, ecosystems and environment, sciences and engineering, politics and government, health, and education. CIBS conducts place-based research and teaching that integrates traditionally separate fields of knowledge and integrates theory and practice for greater human well-being and dignity.
Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI): As a National Science Foundation (NSF) INCLUDES (Inclusion Across the Nation of Communities of Learners) alliance, CAHSI focuses on policy and structures at the institutional and student levels to increase the number of Hispanics who earn credentials and advance in the computing workforce or academia. While the focus is on equity and inclusion of Hispanics in computing, all students, especially minoritized students, benefit from CAHSI's efforts. With UTEP as the backbone, CAHSI uses a collective impact model to accelerate change through the engagement of over 60 HSIs and organizations from the public and private sectors.
Student Engagement and Leadership Center (SELC): SELC creates meaningful experiences designed to enhance campus engagement and develop the inclusive leadership skill set of the 21st-century student demographic. The Inclusion & Advocacy programs of the Center strive to assist students in seeking commonalities and celebrating differences amongst members of their community, which help students gain the skills and resources needed to enter the workforce with a global perspective.
African-American Studies: The African-American Studies Program provides individuals of all backgrounds a humanistic lens and course of study for analysis of the black experience. Research, teaching, and related academic and social activities focus on African-American history and culture and the attendant complexities of "race" relations in Texas, the American southwest, the nation and the Diaspora.
Chicano Studies: Chicano Studies is an instructional and research program dedicated to the study of the Mexican-origin population in the United States, their history, culture, and salient contemporary social issues. The interdisciplinary curriculum embraces local, national, and global frameworks to address race, class, gender, and sexuality paradigms that shaped, and continue to shape, the field of study as well as the experiences of Chicana/os and all Latina/os in the United States.
Inter-American Jewish Studies: The Inter-American Jewish studies program offers a broad, flexible, interdisciplinary minor designed for undergraduates to gain an understanding of Jewish civilization and its creative and cultural experiences. The minor, which is non-theological in orientation, is an academic exploration of the multi-faceted, socio-historical, 4,000-year record of Jewish people. Courses taught in and cross-listed with the minor highlight the diversity of cultural, political, social, and religious experiences of Jewish people in different times and places. A key component of the minor is an examination of the rich cultural tradition of the Jewish people of Mexico and Latin America.
Ph.D. in Borderlands History: The Ph.D. program in History focuses on the history of the Borderlands. The program is rooted in the premise that the Border unites as much as it divides and that the people of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico share many common historical experiences. Students at UTEP experience first-hand the complex political and social realities of a border community and take advantage of the rich opportunities for research in both El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. The degree is intended to prepare students for professional careers as college and university faculty, or as public historians working in such fields as museum administration, historic preservation, archival management, and public policy.
Religious Studies: The Religious Studies program offers courses that introduce students to the academic study of religion and current theories of religion in the field of Religious Studies today. The program is led by Clayton H. Bench, Ph.D., director and assistant professor of humanities. The academic study of religion is an essential part of modern discourses about a wide range of topics from politics to private family life. The courses offered in the program explore why the study of religion in culture is so important and introduce students to how to engage with the challenges that 'religion' presents (and will continue to present) in past, present, and future societies. These challenges include how to read religious texts, how to analyze and engage with truth claims, and how to, generally, engage with religion in the public sphere (politics, social movements, revolutions, etc.)
Women's and Gender Studies: The Women's and Gender Studies Program provides the interdisciplinary study of women's experiences, emphasizing historical, contemporary, and future issues concerning women and men; fosters the development of gender equality in scholarship and the workplace; and helps students better understand how knowledge, discourse, and values take different forms depending on multiple inequalities, especially for women of color and women on the U.S.–Mexico border. The program is led by Hilda Ontiveros, Ph.D., Director of the Women's and Gender Studies program.
Academic Revival of Indigenous Studies and Education: ARISE aims to educate all UTEP students about Indigenous cultures, history, and current events; provide scholarship information and assistance to Indigenous students; and help Indigenous students adjust to college life.
ACM-W Women in Computer Science: An academic organization of the College of Engineering that exists to provide a strong pedagogical environment for individuals of diverse backgrounds and identities to build a supportive and flourishing community. The organization strives to create a communal space approach in which individuals can apply computing to contribute to the local community while expanding their knowledge of the field.
African Students Organization (ASO): A socio-cultural organization that strives to foster a culturally diverse environment and increase awareness of diverse African cultures. ASO’s objectives are: to work as a communicative body between the University and African students at UTEP; showcase Africa’s cultural heritage; promote academic excellence and participation in on-campus programs; provide opportunities for students to develop leadership skills and network; and help new students adjust to the educational and cultural environment of the USA.
Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA): ALPFA is the premier business organization for expanding opportunities for Latino Leadership in the global market.
Black Student Union: A consortium of diverse students who have a shared interest in promoting activities of common interest, providing cultural awareness of the Black community and educational benefits for the African American/Black student body, and the larger community through education and involvement.
Bhutanese Students Association: An Organization formed by a group of Bhutanese Students dedicated to participating in university events, community services, student counseling sessions, and to preserving, promoting, and enriching the unique Bhutanese Culture at UTEP in pursuit of Gross National Happiness.
Chicano(a) Pre-Law Society: An organization that encourages people of color to enter law school while instilling leadership skills through training and community engagement.
Consejo Mexicano para el Cambio Social en UTEP: An organization that aims to empower Mexican/Latino students to reach their academic and professional goals through community impact, networking, special projects, and leadership talks.
IGNITE: A nationally based, non-partisan organization that empowers women to run for public office by equipping members with the tools to become the next generation of political leaders and educating them to become active and engaged members in their local political community.
Latinos in Science and Engineering / Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers: The organization seeks to provide tools and professional opportunities through meaningful experiences to empower our members, through professional, academic, and leadership development.
Mi Tierra, Mi Gente: This student organization works to promote and advocate education, equality, and resources to sons and daughters of migrant farm workers, immigrants, refugees, and DACA recipients.
Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan: M.E.Ch.A. serves to bring cultural awareness to university students and to provide a space where Chicanos can come together to discover their history. Members are dedicated to social change through activism and education, addressing issues affecting the community, ranging from social to economic to educational.
Multilingual Exchange and Teaching Association: The purpose of META is to promote the growth of multilingualism within the UTEP community and across the Juarez and El Paso areas; it serves as a forum for diverse cultures to interact with each other. META encourages the interchange of ideas among different background communities by cooperating with other associations, divisions or interest groups.
Queer Student Alliance: This organization aims to provide support and facilitate a safe environment for LGBTQIA+ students, faculty, staff, and guests on campus; formulating to educate our members and our community to be able to take action giving voice to LGBTQIA+ issues on a national, state, local, and campus level; and to provide for a better understanding and formulation of the LGBTQIA+ community.
SACNAS Paso Del Norte Student Chapter: SACNAS aims to promote the progress of underrepresented minorities in the field of science (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, and Education) from college students to professionals via increased academic involvement, research experiences, and academic excellence by obtaining advanced degrees, careers, and leadership positions.
Society of Women Engineers at UTEP: SWEstimulates women to achieve their full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity.
Vision Mexico: A student organization that aims to help international and national students integrate into a friend-oriented environment by providing community service opportunities in the El Paso and Juarez region and connecting students to various UTEP resources.
Women in Business Association: WBA strives to advocate equality for women in the workplace through awareness, activism, education, and empowerment. WBA serves as a forum for networking through community service, networking with accomplished professionals, and professional development events and experiences designed to develop skills in leadership and self-confidence.