A total of 863 graduates are expected to march in four commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 12 at The University of Texas-Pan American Fieldhouse.
The ceremony for graduates from the College of Arts and Humanities, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and College of Health Sciences and Human Services will be at 9 a.m., while graduates from the College of Business Administration and College of Science and Engineering will march at noon. Graduates from the College of Education will have their commencement at 3 p.m.
Students receiving their doctoral and master's degrees will walk at 6 p.m. Among them will be the first three doctoral graduates of the educational leadership program, which became free standing in 1998.
The 9 a.m. commencement also features the first graduating class in the Physician's Assistant Studies program.
Three speakers have confirmed to speak at graduation: Linda Griego, entrepreneur, civic leader and former deputy mayor of Los Angeles, will speak at the 9 a.m. and noon ceremonies; Carole Keeton Rylander, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, will speak at 3 p.m.; and Dr. Karen Lozano, engineering assistant professor, will speak at 6 p.m.
As president of Zapgo Entertainment Group in Los Angeles, Griego develops and produces television programming for young Latinos. She also is managing general partner of Engine Co. No. 28, a successful downtown Los Angeles restaurant that she founded and converted from a landmark firehouse in 1988.
A graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in History, Griego worked for U.S. Sen. Alan Cranston and Congressman Tom Morris. She also was president/CEO of the Los Angeles Community Development Bank and was deputy mayor for the City of Los Angeles from 1991-93.
Griego serves on the board of directors of Blockbuster, Inc., Granite Construction, Inc., the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and is an active speaker regarding urban economics and small business trends. Among her honors, she received a Distinguished Executive Award from Cal State University-Los Angeles and the Woman of the Year award by the City of Hope.
Rylander is the first woman in history elected Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. She also was the inaugural recipient of the Friends of Texas Taxpayers Award from the Citizens for A Sound Economy and has been recognized as one of the Texas Women of the Century by the Women's Chamber of Commerce of Texas.
Rylander began her career as a public school teacher, was elected to the Austin School Board and served as president of the Austin Community College Board of Trustees. She was on the Texas Railroad Commission and a two-term appointee to the National Petroleum Council.
A former president of the Texas Municipal League, Rylander serves on the Board of Directors of the John Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University.
Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Lozano is the first UTPA professor to receive a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award for $375,000 over five years. She has received nearly $588,000 in funding, with another $459,000 pending.
Overall, Lozano has published 10 journals and made 12 national and international presentations. Much of her work focuses on "nanotechnology," which is molecular manufacturing or, more simply, building things one atom or molecule at a time.
Lozano obtained a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from la Universidad de Monterrey and a master's in science and doctorate in philosophy from Rice University in Houston. She is the first and only Mexican woman to graduate with a doctorate from Rice and is one of a handful of Hispanic women on engineering faculty in the country.
The top graduates at each ceremony will introduce the speakers. At the first commencement, the top graduate is Eleazar Rodriguez of San Benito. Chalam Venkata Mulukutla of Corpus Christi will introduce the speaker at noon, and Serapia D. Ojeda of Mission will introduce the 3 p.m. speaker.
The 863 scheduled candidates for degrees include 683 candidates for bachelor's degrees, 176 candidates for master's degrees and four candidates for doctoral degrees.
Graduates are asked to arrive one hour before their commencement begins.
For more information, contact the Office of Admissions and Records at 956/381-2201 or 381-2206. Individuals with disabilities needing assistance or reasonable accommodations must contact the office as soon as possible.