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UTEP Faculty, Alumni Among Nation's Top Influential Hispanics

Benjamin Flores, Ph.D
Benjamin Flores, Ph.D

Three faculty members and two alumni from The University of Texas at El Paso have been named to the 100 Influentials list in the October 2010 issue of Hispanic Business magazine.

“I was very surprised,” said Irasema Coronado, Ph.D., associate provost and professor of political science. “It bodes well for the future because you can see that there are people with UTEP connections that are excelling in their respective fields, so we’re obviously doing something very well here.”

Coronado was named in the academic section of the list of 100. In May, she was one of five individuals appointed by President Barack Obama to the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation. Coronado has conducted extensive research and published several articles about legal, political and environmental issues along the U.S.-Mexico border region.

“I feel more of a responsibility to do more, to excel and to be a better role model,” Corondo said.

Benjamin Flores, Ph.D, professor of electrical and computer engineering and acting dean of the UTEP Graduate School, also was named in the academic section. In January, Obama recognized Flores with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (STEM).

Elias Provencio-Vasquez, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing, was the third faculty member named to the 100 Influentials list. In 2009, the respected clinician, researcher and educator was chosen to be the first Hispanic male to head the nursing program at UTEP. The program looks to grow as the new College of Health Sciences/School of Nursing Building, located on Wiggins Road, is set to open in early 2011.

Two members of the Miner Nation also made the 100 Influentials list in the government section.

Susana Martinez, district attorney for Doña Ana County, N.M., graduated from UTEP in 1981 and is running for governor of New Mexico. In 13 years of service, she has tried a number of high-profile cases and helped pass important legislation to state law.

Rudolf Montiel, who received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering at UTEP, is the president of the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles. He helped transform the agency, which was on the brink of federal receivership, to earn a “high performer” designation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

To see the entire list of the Hispanic Business 100 Influentials, visit

Originally posted on News @ UTEP.