The University of Texas-Pan American and
The University of Texas-Pan American Alumni Association
Invite you to join us in celebrating
the stars among us at the
Alumni GALA 2011
Friday, February 18
The Social Club
Cocktails and Silent Auction at 6:30p.m.
Dinner and Awards at 7:30 p.m.
Dancing to follow
Music by the Classics
Black Tie Optional
Ticket per person: $50
Sonia A. Falcon
Class of 1991
With a degree in finance from UT Pan American, Sonia A. Falcon worked her way up in the banking industry to become the first female in the history of International Bank of Commerce to hold the title of senior vice president for commercial lending. Sonia, who is actively involved in many civic and community organizations, has made it her life's work to see that Hispanic students in the Rio Grande Valley earn a college diploma through the organization she co-founded, the Valley Alliance of Mentors for Opportunities and Scholarships (VAMOS). To further fund the educational dreams of area students, VAMOS and UTPA teamed up to form a $2 million endowment fund.
James "Jim" M. Board
Class of 1970
James "Jim" M. Board's passion for UT Pan American and Bronc Athletics began in 1963 with a phone call to Coach Sam Williams at then-Pan American College. Within a couple of days of speaking to Williams, Jim was on his way to Edinburg to continue his college career and begin working out with the 1963 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) championship basketball team. Jim's love for the University continues today and has inspired him to support the Broncs in various ways throughout the years, including serving on the Bronc Athletic Fund Board and the UTPA Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Jim's respect and appreciation for his mentor led him and former Bronc teammates to raise $265,000 to establish an endowment for basketball scholarships.
Outstanding Young Alumnus
Aaron A. Acuña
Class of 2003
Since graduating from UT Pan American with an electrical engineering degree, Aaron Acuña has achieved success in his professional and personal life. With almost eight years at Ford Motor Company, Aaron is an Electrical Quality and Process Manufacturing Engineer at the Chicago Assembly Plant where the new Ford Explorer, Taurus, Taurus SHO and the Lincoln MKS are being built. Even with a busy schedule and new position, Aaron manages to volunteer his time to extracurricular events and activities with the Ford Hispanic Network, The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and UTPA, including HESTEC.
Distinguished Service to the University
Class of 1976
Carmen Guerra holds a special place in her heart for UT Pan American, the University that helped her achieve her goals, including her love of teaching music to children and adults, which she continues to do today. Her passion for the University was evident in 2006 when Carmen was instrumental in starting the UTPA Austin Alumni Chapter. Five years later, the Chapter has grown to almost 200 alums and has started an endowed scholarship in honor of former UT Pan American president Dr. Blandina Cardenas. Carmen, who currently lives in Round Rock, strongly believes in her alma mater and said "UTPA is a great university and is the crowning jewel of The University of Texas System."
Distinguished Service to the Community
Rene O. Farias
Class of 1975
For Rene O. Farias, helping UT Pan American students realize their leadership potential is how he gives back to his alma mater. As a 1975 business graduate, Rene, who retired from Kraft Food Corp. in 2005, served as a mentor, recruiter, and even hired several University graduates for the company. In 1992, Rene was a major supporter of a Leadership Conference, which helped prepare students for the career planning process. Kraft provided 100 percent of the funding for the event, which has been replicated by other universities. In 1998, Career Services dedicated its 25th annual Career Day to Rene for his outstanding development of UT Pan American students.
Dr. Karen Lozano
Julia Beecherl Professor in Engineering
As one of the guiding forces behind the innovative invention of ForceSpinning Technology,™ Dr. Karen Lozano has made significant contributions to the growth of UT Pan American's image and engineering program. The new technology she co-invented prompted the University to launch the creation of FibeRio Technology Corp., a company that will market and sell products developed from the invention. Thanks to Karen's ingenuity, the company could revolutionize the production of nanofibers used to manufacture a wide range of products and help transform the Rio Grande Valley into an emerging high-tech industrial and advanced manufacturing center.
Dr. Peter Dabrowski
Associate Dean, College of Arts and Humanities
Professor of Music
Full of magnetism, charisma, and love for music, Dr. Peter Dabrowski, is a conductor devoted to his art. Described by critics as exceptionally talented, his artistic personality wins over both audiences and musicians alike. Musicians - from professionals to his own students - enjoy making music with Dabrowski, who also serves as the music director and conductor of the Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorale in Edinburg and is the associate conductor of the Chicago Chamber Orchestra. With his passion and musical sensitivity, Dabrowski is in demand as a guest conductor throughout Europe and the United States. His ultimate goal is to create an atmosphere within the orchestra in which each musician feels like an artist.
Distinguished Friend of the Alumni Association
Gateway Printing and Jones & Cook Stationers
As a local company with a history of almost 50 years in the Rio Grande Valley, Gateway Printing has been a witness to many of the milestones that UT Pan American has passed in its remarkable journey from a small college to the flourishing institution it is today. As the University has grown, so has Gateway Printing. In addition to its original store in Edinburg, the company now has locations in McAllen, Brownsville, Houston, San Antonio and Corpus Christi, under both the Gateway Printing and Jones & Cook Stationers names. UT Pan American is grateful to Gateway Printing for its support in the advancement of the University and Association.