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Highlights commitment to "access and excellence"

by  // October 24, 2014 // Press Releases


(Photo of Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail, President and Chief Executive Officer, NACME; UTEP President Diana Natalicio; and Mark E. Russell, Vice President, Engineering, Technology and Mission Assurance, Raytheon Company and NACME Board Chairman courtesy of NACME via UTEP Public Affairs)

The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) honored University of Texas at El Paso President Diana Natalicio with its Diversity Vision Award during the group’s 40th Anniversary Awards Dinner and Celebration at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

The Diversity Vision Award is presented to an individual who sets a personal example that inspires minority youth to create a high standard for their educational and professional goals and who believes that the American Dream is a dream that should not be encumbered by boundaries of race or gender.

President Natalicio has spent much of her professional career empowering students, especially underrepresented minorities, to believe in themselves and their aspirations. In her 26 years as president ofUTEP, she has helped create an “access and excellence” model that promotes affordability without sacrificing a competitive, high quality education. She has worked tirelessly to create an educational experience filled with opportunities for undergraduate research and the promise of social mobility for the University’s more than 23,000 students, many who are first-generation college students who come from families of modest means.

“I am deeply honored to be recognized by the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering with its 2014 Diversity Vision Award,” President Natalicio said. “This award strongly validates UTEP’s access and excellence mission and our vision to become the first national research university serving a 21st student demographic. Our success has enabled UTEP to emerge as a model public research university and contribute to a new U.S. higher education narrative.”

Irving Pressley McPhail, Ed.D., NACME president and chief executive officer, said he was “blown away” to find so many UTEP students, staff, faculty members and community leaders who shared President Natalicio’s values during a visit to the institution.

“My dear friend and colleague, Diana, has perfected the paradigm for the 21st century, urban, regional research university,” McPhail said. “The commitment to diversity with equity in the largely Latino community is palpable, and the outcomes of the university in terms of teaching, research and community empowerment are enviable.”

The black tie event brings together more than 500 leaders from industry, academia, government, foundations and other organizations from around the country to honor individuals who contribute to NACME’s mission and raises funds for NACME’s scholarship programs that benefit Latino, American Indian and African-American engineering students.

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