UTPA honored with Brillante Award for excellence in higher education
Posted: 10/22/2007
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The University of Texas-Pan American was the recent recipient of the most prestigious honor granted by National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), which recognizes the contributions of exemplary individuals to the Hispanic community.

Brillante Award recipients are distinguished experts in their fields who demonstrate strong leadership, resiliency, innovation, and who make a considerable impact.

Pictured left to right are comedian Alex Reymundo, who served as the master of ceremonies at the Brillante awards celebration, and UTPA Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Paul Sale.
"This award is significant because the award recognizes UTPA's Hispanic outreach efforts at the national level," Dr. Jane LeMaster, professor of marketing, management and international business, said. "This award recognizes and commends excellence."

The University was recognized for its retention efforts, such as the Early Warning System, which targets freshmen and sophomores taking core curriculum courses, and the learning framework course which acquaints new students with college expectations. UTPA was also honored based on its tutoring efforts and partnership with South Texas College to assist students in transferring to the UTPA campus to achieve a four-year degree. Additionally, the University was acknowledged for the Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology (HESTEC) Week event which has been held yearly since 2002. HESTEC attracts thousands of students, teachers and families to campus while serving to steer minorities into science, engineering, technology and math fields of study and careers.

The award, which is the most esteemed honor granted by the NSHMBAs, is given to outstanding leaders and organizations whose work and contributions reflect the society's mission to "foster Hispanic leadership through graduate management education and professional development in order to improve society," according to the NSHMBA Web site.

UTPA was nominated for the award by the president of the Rio Grande Valley Chapter of the NSHMBAs, Imelda Leal.

"I nominated UTPA because of the tremendous impact the University has made in our community and on Hispanics as a whole. Aside from the fact that UTPA educates more Hispanic students than any other university in Texas and the second highest number of Hispanics in the nation, I strongly believe that UTPA has played a critical role in the rapid economic growth of the Rio Grande Valley," Leal said. "The university takes economic development challenges such as low educational attainment levels and low graduation rates and implements successful programs to address and overcome these challenges."

Past recipients of the educational excellence award include Cornell University, University of Michigan, The University of Texas at Austin and Rice University.

"The Brillante Award is a tribute to the hard work of the faculty, staff and students of UTPA," Dr. Paul Sale, UTPA provost and vice president for academic affairs said. "It is recognition from a national group of our increasing prominence in the preparation of the next generation of leaders."

For more information about the Brillante Award, contact LeMaster at 956/381-2976 or visit