UTEP’s Natalicio to get diversity award

Veronique Masterson

Diana Natalicio

University of Texas at El Paso

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ (APLU) Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence (CADE) has named Diana Natalicio, president of The University of Texas at El Paso, as the 2011 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for significant contributions to increasing diversity and access in the higher education community.

The award will be presented Sunday, Nov. 13, during APLU’s 124th annual meeting in San Francisco.

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated sustained accomplishments in providing access and opportunity in higher education, enhancing the undergraduate experience, increasing diversity in the academic community, creating socially beneficial partnerships, and/or providing leadership related to diversity and beneficial social change.

“CADE has long been committed to broadening opportunities and increasing diversity on public university campuses across the U.S., and I am deeply honored for its recognition of the contributions The University of Texas at El Paso has made toward this critical national goal,” President Natalicio said. “We’re especially proud that UTEP’s demographic profile mirrors that of the region from which we draw a majority of our students, and that these students’ success has so resoundingly validated our confidence in them. On behalf of my highly committed faculty and staff colleagues at UTEP, I thank CADE for this Distinguished Service Award.”

President Natalicio has dedicated her professional career to CADE’s mission by helping students receive a high-quality education and achieve their goals. Her career spans more than three decades of service to UTEP, the local community and the nation. During her tenure as President, she has worked tirelessly to provide access and excellence to all residents of the diverse Paso del Norte region. Classified as a Doctoral/Research-Intensive university, UTEP has sought to extend the greatest possible educational access to a region which has been geographically isolated with limited economic and educational opportunities for many of its people. UTEP has capitalized on its bi-national location to create and maintain multicultural, inter-American educational and research collaborations among students, faculty, institutions and industries, especially in northern Mexico.

“Dr. Natalicio’s long and successful record of broadening access to higher education serves as an example for all of us,” said Lorenzo Esters, vice president for Access and the Advancement of Public Black Universities at APLU. “She is an example of the innovative and committed leadership needed in higher education to meet the challenges of serving increasingly diverse and low-income student populations.”

President Natalicio has been recognized for her leadership in promoting diversity and social change in higher education as the recipient of several national awards, including the Alfredo G. de los Santos, Jr. Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education from the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, Inc. (2007); the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award from the American Council on Education (2007); and the Rising Star Award from the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (2006).

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