Roland S. Arriola, vice president for External Affairs at The University of Texas-Pan American, was recently featured in Hispanic Engineer and Information Technology as one of 50 most important Hispanics in Technology and Business.
Among CEOs, presidents and directors of national/international corporations, government agencies and academic institutions, Arriola was recognized for not only his past achievements as former mayor of Waco, Texas and being named one of 1983's Ten Outstanding Young Men of America, but also for his accomplishments at UT Pan American.
"I don't really see it as an honor for me, but an honor that reflects on UTPA and the good work it is doing," Arriola said. "This is a very prestigious award and I'm very proud that our University is recognized. It is something that really puts us in the national spotlight."
Among the accomplishments mentioned in the magazine is Arriola's role in creating HESTEC (Hispanic, Engineering, Science and Technology Week), which brings thousands of K-12 students to the UTPA campus to meet role models in science and technology.
"It's great that our University and its personnel has been responsible in attracting students to our science and engineering programs," Arriola said. "Hopefully this award will bring us more recognition and additional funding for programs like GEAR UP that will help high school students embark in science or engineering careers."
Arriola, a 1966 graduate of Edinburg High School who attended then-Pan American University for two years, earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Public Policy and Administration degrees from Baylor University. In 1986, he graduated from Harvard University with a Master of Public Administration degree, and named a national finalist in the White House Fellowship Program.
Before joining UT Pan American as associate director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED) in 1987, Arriola was chief of economic development for the Texas Department of Community Affairs.
Last year, UTPA President Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez was included in the list of 50 most important Hispanics by the magazine. It cited Nevárez's leadership, and achievements in helping advance access to technology, demonstrating effectiveness in engaging technology within the global market economy and his contributions to furthering technical literacy within the Hispanic community as reasons for his selection.
Also included in this year's selection are Orlando Figueroa, director of Solar System Exploration Division and Mars Exploration for NASA, who is scheduled to speak at this year's HESTEC event; and Dr. Richard A. Tapia, Noah Harding professor of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice University, who spoke at HESTEC 2003.