1st UTEP student chosen for UT system board of regents to champion access and affordability

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed UTEP doctoral student Daniel R. Dominguez to a one-year term as Student Regent on The University of Texas System Board of Regents. He is the first UTEP student appointed to this position. Dominguez, who expects to earn his Ed.D. in educational leadership and administration in 2023, is The University of Texas at El Paso’s director of accounting and financial reporting. His term as Student Regent began June 1, 2019, and expires May 31, 2020. He said he is excited to serve as the voice of the more than 235,000 students who attend the System’s 14 institutions.

New report explores New Mexico education system’s downward trend under Martinez administration

By Sylvia Ulloa, New Mexico In Depth, New Mexico In Depth
The easiest number to understand in the just-released 2019 Annie E. Casey Kid’s Count report is that New Mexico ranks 50th overall in child well-being. That’s a stark ranking, the second year in a row New Mexico earned that distinction. For detractors and supporters of former governor Susana Martinez, there’s a lot to digest in the numbers released Monday because they track with nearly her entire tenure. The chart below shows the Kids Count rankings in several categories for 2012-2019, but most of the data comes from 2010-17 (Rankings go back to 1990, but a different methodology was used in those years, making direct comparison difficult). “It very much is a reflection of what happened, and more specifically, what didn’t happen during the Martinez years,” said James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, which monitors the indicators for New Mexico.

EPCC, UTEP fight student hunger with food pantries

EL PASO — One in four college students does not have enough to eat according to the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness. College food pantries help students cope with food insecurity. “A lot of students are going hungry, a lot of them live paycheck to paycheck and we wanted to address this issue by opening a food pantry.” said Bryan Mena, president of the El Paso Community College student government association. “We want to make sure every student knows that it’s an option for them.”

In the past five years, student government at both EPCC and the University of Texas at El Paso’s created their own on campus food pantries to offer free food to students and staff in need. The EPCC and UTEP pantries offer a variety of nonperishable food items for their students and staff ranging from canned meats, beans, soup, cereal, to a variety of canned vegetables.

Access, talent, research and external funding 4 keys to UT El Paso’s continued success, retiring president Natalicio says

EL PASO, Texas — After spending three decades reshaping the University of Texas at El Paso, Diana Natalicio isn’t sure she’s ready for the next stage of her life. “Well, I mean, in some ways I am and in some ways I’m not, having done the same thing for 30 years,” said Natalicio, who announced her retirement in May as UTEP’s president. “I don’t have much practice on the retirement side of this. So I think it’s a good time for me to do this. But I’ll have to see how successful I am at being a retiree.”

Natalicio, a 79-year-old native of St.

Mom couldn’t find inclusive preschool for her child with special needs, so she opened one in El Paso

EL PASO – After her daughter was born five years ago with Down syndrome, local educator Kerry McKee began an extensive search for special education opportunities for children with the genetic condition. She searched with no luck for schools in the El Paso area that catered to children like her daughter and discovered that Down syndrome children often were placed in separate classrooms.

She even considered moving to another city in Texas with special facilities and learning opportunities for children with special needs. “I said, that’s not the education my child is going to have,” said Mckee, who has worked for 20 years in the field of education. According to the National Down Syndrome Society, approximately one in every 700 babies in the U.S. is born with Down syndrome – or about 6,000 each year. Finally, after visiting the KinderFrogs School in Fort Worth, an inclusive program designed for children with disabilities, she decided El Paso needed a program like it.

Internships critical for college students to gain edge in job market

The U.S. unemployment rate at 4.4 percent is at its lowest level in 10 years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there are more than 6.2 million job openings. But just because there are jobs doesn’t mean that graduating college students are guaranteed work. One thing that can hurt graduating students’ chances of getting a job is the lack of an internship on their resume. Internships can demonstrate that students gained on-site and hands-on experience in their field of study.

UTEP strives to give students an ‘Edge’ before and after graduation

The University of Texas at El Paso offers a vast array of services to students that will not only help them while in school but to prepare them for lifelong success as well. Besides course work, UTEP further prepares students by providing research experiences, creative activities, study abroad, student employment, and student internships, among others. This fall semester, UTEP gathered all of these activities under a new initiative called UTEP Edge, which helps students get involved in school and in their career planning by focusing on research projects and extracurricular activities while they are enrolled. “The Edge is really centered around three core statements which are talented students, enriching experiences, and lifelong success,” Marc Cox, director of the Center for Faculty Leadership and Development, said. According to Cox, the fact that the majority of UTEP students are bilingual is an asset.

School children find peace, balance in Kundalini Yoga practice

A yoga practice referred to as “the yoga of awareness” is helping students be more present, confident and peaceful, said the director of an El Paso Montessori school. “Kundalini Yoga for us has been a tremendous opportunity for students to connect even deeper within, to really understand that they are inside and really make a connection with their body and mind,” said Natalia Bennett, director of Mountain West Montessori School. She said some of the benefits students have experienced from Kundalini Yoga practice at Mountain West Montessori include thinking more clearly, being more aware of their surroundings and being at peace within themselves and the people around them. Kundalini Yoga is one of the older yogas and is very comprehensive including meditation, breath work, and mudras with hand positions, mantras, chanting, and singing. “Yoga means to unite, to merge body, mind and spirit, and Kundalini Yoga does that, it connects us to our inner wisdom, our consciousness our inner strength,” said Paramdayal Kaur, a certified Kundalini Yoga and Meditation teacher in El Paso.

How the popularity of UTEP’s majors have shifted for women

Think you can guess what UTEP’s most popular undergraduate majors were last in 2015? If you guessed nursing for women and engineering for men, you’d be right. But if you had to guess what the most popular undergraduate majors were 10 years ago, would your answers still be the same? According to UTEP’s Center for Institutional Evaluation, Research and Planning, Business was the most popular major for male students in 2005, but among women, education was the most popular major, comprising 10 percent of female undergrads. Business was the most popular major overall at the university.

Borderzine now accepting applications for Journalism in July 2017, a summer multimedia workshop for high school students

Borderzine is accepting applications from El Paso area high school juniors and seniors for full scholarships to attend the 15th annual Journalism in July (JIJ) workshop at the University of Texas at El Paso. The dates are July 9 – 16. Fill out the application form here. Over the last 14 years, the workshop has provided journalism training to more than 200 students from high schools in the El Paso–Ciudad Juárez–Las Cruces area.  A goal of the workshop is to encourage high school students of diverse backgrounds who are already interested in journalism to pursue future studies and careers in news media and communication. “Journalism in July encouraged me to pursue a career in journalism,” said Gloria Heredia, 2012 alumna of the program and current multimedia journalism student at the University of Texas at El Paso.

NewTech teaching tools prepare Bowie students for college and beyond

As students file into a freshman algebra class at Bowie High School they begin to notice that something is different. The round tables in the center of the room have folded tent cards with job titles such as “Resource manager”and “Task manager.” The outer tables in the room each have a tower of wood blocks. “Miss, we’re playing Jenga?” asks Amber Macias, a student in teacher Celeste Cano’s algebra class.

Air pollution leads to lower grades for some El Paso schoolchildren, study finds

El Paso’s poor air quality is driving down school performance for children in neighborhoods with high rates of airborne metabolic disrupting chemicals, researchers say. In a study published in the September issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, researchers at the University of Texas at El Paso and Northeastern University looked at school performance among fourth and fifth-grade public school children in El Paso. They found that children exposed to higher levels of airborne toxins had lower grade point averages,

Related: Air quality one of biggest threats on U.S., Mexico border

Study author Stephanie Clark-Reyna, a second-year doctoral student at Northeastern University who attended UTEP as an undergraduate, said she hopes the research will have an impact on how El Paso addresses its unique air quality issues. “Air quality in El Paso is concerning because of the trucking industry. Last time I looked it up, something like 800,000 trucks passed through a single port of entry in one year,” Clark-Reyna said.

Bowie High School students gear up to launch sustainable food truck business

Starting a business can be a risky and tedious endeavor. Yet six Bowie High School seniors have taken on the challenge with a donated school bus, the support of school officials and assorted contributions from local businesses. If all goes according to plan, business seniors Sophia Morales, Veronica Rodriguez, Andres Valdez, Joseph Gutierrez, Sergio Marrufo, and Sisco Gonzalez, all age 17, will soon be selling healthy food options out of the Oso Good Food Truck to raise money for college scholarships. The student-run food truck business, slated to hit the streets in January, is a partnership with Bowie’s International Business Academy in partnership with EPISD, El Paso Custom Food Trucks, Bowie Garden Resources, and now Whole Foods Market. The six seniors enrolled in the International Business Academy at Bowie produced the business plan.

Dr. Kathy Staudt: An empowering professor and her legacy on the border

The highly accomplished UTEP Political Science Professor, Dr. Kathleen Staudt, was recently honored at a Women’s History Conference on campus for more than two decades of work and commitment to community engagement, mentorship to students and vast scholarship on border issues. Staudt is currently working on her 20th academic book about international border politics, and says she has no intention of slowing down any time soon. She said from her office at Benedict Hall that she was delighted to finally have a chance to make her legacy speech. “It was nice to have a legacy speech before I retired,” she joked. She added that retirement will not come any time soon: “Of course I think about retirement and I probably will once I reach 70,” said Staudt, who is in her 60’s.

Premian con beca ‘elite’ presidencial a estudiante de preparatoria

Daniel Bueno, estudiante de la preparatoria Irvin de El Paso, se hizo acreedor a una beca presidencial de $24,000 para cuatro años de educación superior en cualquier universidad del país. A pesar de recibir tentadoras ofertas de prestigiosas universidades como Harvard y Yale, Bueno, de 18 años, ha decidido optar por la Universidad de Texas en El Paso. Explica que en la escuela de su cuidad natal, que cuenta con 25,000 alumnos, recibirá una educación de calidad. La escuela fronteriza ofrece muchas oportunidades a los alumnos hispanos para triunfar y culminar sus metas profesionales. El piensa estudiar contabilidad.

Little Free Library movement spreading in El Paso

After hearing about the international Little Free Library project, El Paso school librarian Lisa Lopez found local partners to bring the movement to this border community. There are now more than 100 public boxes stocked with books throughout the city to encourage literacy efforts. Borderzine reporter Andrea Macias has the details of the program in this video report.For more information on the Little Free Library project visit littlefreelibrary.org

 

Borderzine now accepting applications for Journalism in July 2016, a summer multimedia workshop for high school students

Borderzine is accepting applications from El Paso area high school juniors and seniors for full scholarships to attend the 14th annual Journalism in July (JIJ) workshop at the University of Texas at El Paso. The dates are July 10 – 16. Fill out the application form here. Over the last 13 years, the workshop has provided journalism training to more than 200 students from high schools in the El Paso–Ciudad Juárez–Las Cruces area.  A goal of the workshop is to encourage high school students of diverse backgrounds who are already interested in journalism to pursue future studies and careers in news media and communication.  The fast paced one-week training includes a variety of hands on workshops in basic journalism reporting and writing skills, media ethics and digital video, audio and photo production.

Latinos at Yale have banded together over the years to succeed

By Annika Darling, CTLatinoNews.com

Yale University was founded in 1701. Over 250 years later, in the early 1970s, the first Latinos stepped foot on the prestigious campus. For these Latinos, Yale was a Sisyphean challenge — a sea of unfamiliar affluence never before traversed by Latinos.  They soon realized the only way to survive the resulting ostracism and isolation would be to ban together.  As a result of their determination to succeed,  today, there are approximately 5,000 Yale Latino Alumni. The Early Years

Former Yale Associate Dean, Rosalinda Garcia, explained, “Most of the first Latinos who went to Yale had a very hard time. One, it was a racist climate, and two, these students were brought onto campus and they weren’t given any resources to succeed.”

Garcia describes the first “big” class of Latinos – it had a total of five (in a class of thousands), and it was common for them to be called derogatory names around campus.

Early college, endorsement programs enhance Texas high school options

As an eighth grader at Clint Middle School, 13-year-old BobbiAnn Owen decided she would apply to an early college program that is part of Clint High School that allows students to obtain an associate’s degree by the time they graduate from 12th grade. She was delighted when she made the cut. She was one of 70 students accepted to the selective and demanding program out of 159 applicants. Clint school district has 2,907 high school students and all the benefit of applying for Clint Early College Academy before their freshman year. BobbiAnn now, half a year into the program, is making personal sacrifices to excel and remain in the program.

Talking hazing to prevent hazing among college students

EL PASO — As part of Hazing Prevention Week 2015 at UTEP, students played a game in which they placed red or green pellets in boxes containing different potential scenarios: red if they thought it was not hazing and green if they thought that it was. Sometimes the scenarios fell into the “gray area” for participants, highlighting one of the biggest problems of hazing for some students – knowing when the line has been crossed. Delecia McPherson, president of the National Panhellenic Council at UTEP, said the scenario game and other exercises were great ways to engage students in discussions about activities that may humiliate, degrade, abuse or endanger group members or initiates – even if they seem willing to participate. “I believe my knowledge on hazing has better informed students on what is considered hazing and how we can question situations that may draw a fine line on the subject,” she said. National Hazing Prevention Week ran from September 21 through the 25.

Library checks out robotics program to engage young learners

EL PASO — The normally quiet atmosphere of the library with the faint aroma of musty books waiting for stories to come alive is interrupted by the laughter of children ordering brightly colored robots to launch a ball through a hoop, pick up litter and put it in in the trashcan. They love the idea of being in charge of the robots they created with Legos and electronics at the Esperanza A. Moreno Regional Library on Pebble Hills Road where they learn teamwork — working together to complete a project. “The kids don’t just like to build them, they like to decorate them too,” says Gerardo Sanchez, a teacher of computer science at El Dorado High School. Some robot kits reach a height of six feet and weigh in at around 120 pounds, and can cost more than $7,000. The extra parts can cost some $3,000.

Educators told all English language students can learn

EL PASO — When Luis F. Cruz walked into Baldwin Park High School as principal in 2005 he realized he had entered a toxic environment where teachers blamed parents for their students failures, that only students who spoke English and knew their arithmetic were encouraged to succeed. He knew that culture had to a change, that graduation rates had to be valued above athletics and he demanded that his teachers start saving lives. “Did you come prepared to save lives today? Because we are all in the business of saving lives,” he told them. According to Cruz, a study confirmed that people that finish high school live ten years more then people with a lower level of education.

Decisions on fate of El Paso school facilities await elected school board

EL PASO, Texas — After months of deliberation, the El Paso Independent School District Board of Managers decided to postpone most decisions on campus consolidations. The El Paso Independent School District last year released results from a $4.2 million study of existing school facilities in various areas throughout the the city. The study analyzed the operation of the schools, focusing on issues of student capacity and efficient use of resources. It initially included recommendations that the school system consider closing eight elementary schools: Roberts, Vilas, Beall, Alta Vista, Zavala, Fannin,Travis and Schuster Elementary schools. One recommendation in the plan is to rebuild some of the elementary schools entirely; while the others would become campuses for grades K-8.

Happy once-in-lifetime Pi Day 3.14.15

Pi Day 2015 is being called the event of the century. Pi Day is Saturday, March 14. Get it? The date – 3.14.15 – corresponds to the first five digits of pi, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It is an irrational number that continues with no repeating patterns into infinity. 
On Saturday morning – 3.14.15 at 9:26:53 – we’ll see the first 10 digits of pi line up.

Dual language education system expanding in border schools seeking to close learning gap

EL PASO — Martha Briseño and Bella, her five-year-old daughter, sit only a few inches apart from each other, but a set of words, letters and sounds hover like a wall between them. “Look what I can do mommy,” Bella said. Briseño responds to her in Spanish. Somehow, despite the differences, two languages clash and unite simultaneously. “Yo quiero que sea una niña bilingüe, que hable los dos lenguajes con fluidez (I want her to be bilingual, to speak both languages fluently),” Briseño said.

Ysleta del Sur Pueblo program connects learning with cultural roots

EL PASO – After seven years, tribal culture still serves as the core of Ysleta del Sur Pueblo’s Empowerment Program to improve its schools, enrich its community and encourage higher education. Ysleta del Sur Pueblo introduced the program in 2007 to focus on the education and employment needs of the Tigua community. The program concentrates on teaching the Tigua people how education can improve their lives and their community. According to the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo’s website, the Empowerment Program is a “consolidation of the Tigua Indian Training and Employment Program funded by the Department of Labor WIA and the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Education Department funded by various sources such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs.” Tribal Empowerment Director Christopher Gomez said that when Ysleta del Sur Pueblo received a grant from U.S. Board of Education they decided to incorporate their culture into the curriculum in their pre-k program.

5 underreported stories of 2014

By Wesley Juhl – SHFWIRE.com
WASHINGTON – While important stories about the Ebola crisis, Islamic state group and nationwide protests dominated headlines this year, the news media neglected other important stories. Several prominent journalists met at the Woodrow Wilson Center in December to discuss the most underreported stories of 2014. No one at the event would admit to missing an event outright – one journalist said that would be tantamount to admitting to malpractice – but they shared news they said should have gotten more widespread attention. 1. Loose nukes in Pakistan
Pakistan has at least six nuclear sites and could have as many as 200 nuclear devices by 2020.

Today’s parents challenged by tech trends changing childhood experience

EL PASO – Vanessa Canales has seen her daughters — ages 2 and 3 — give up playing with dolls and switch to spending long hours every day glued to the family’s iPad and her iPhone. And she’s all for it. “Parents are becoming too over protective when it comes to allowing children to incorporate technology in their play time. They must realize the importance it will have later on in their life,” said Canales, 30, a nurse at Las Palmas Medical Center. But widespread public concern that technological devices may have negative effects on young children, such as a lack of social skill development and even obesity, have driven some of the world’s leading technology innovators to put a damper on their children’s use of mobile tools.