Janice Odom named vice president of Division of University Advancement
Contact: Melissa Vasquez 956/381-2741
Posted: 10/13/2008
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After an eight-month national search, The University of Texas-Pan American announced the appointment of Janice Odom as the new vice president of the Division of University Advancement.

Janice Odom was appointed the new vice president of the UTPA Division of University Advancement after an eight-month search. She will begin her duties at UTPA starting Nov. 1.

Odom comes to UTPA from The University of Texas at San Antonio where she has served as assistant vice president for Advancement Services. Prior to that position she served as UTSA's interim vice president for University Advancement, July 2007-January 2008. She will begin her duties at UTPA starting Nov. 1.

"She brings with her experience, expertise and a record of accomplishments that will serve us well as she leads our advancement and development effort," Dr. Blandina Cárdenas, UTPA president, wrote in a memo addressed to the University community on Oct. 9.

Odom returns to UTPA after eight years where she held director positions in University Relations, Stewardship and Annual Giving, and Alumni Relations and Special Events, under the umbrella of the former UTPA Division of External Affairs, which was divided in 2007 into the Division of University Advancement and Division of Community Engagement.

"I am truly honored to be invited by President Cárdenas to join her team at UT Pan American as vice president for University Advancement," said Odom. "The years I spent with the university were among the most rewarding of my career, and I am so pleased to be returning to the Valley."

Odom said she is "especially thrilled to be coming back to lead the newly reconstituted Division of University Advancement that provides such important services to UTPA. The offices of development, university relations, marketing, alumni relations and career placement services are staffed with wonderfully dedicated and talented professionals, and I look forward to becoming a part of that team."

Odom, who holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from North Texas State University and a master's in counseling from New Mexico Highlands Univeristy, has been involved in every phase of university advancement during her 40-year career in higher education, including 38 years in advancement management - development, alumni programs, special events, and communications, including broad experience in public affairs, publications, and Web and multimedia. As a development officer, Odom has raised more than $5 million in gifts since 2000.

"Janice's background will provide the division with a new and fresh perspective in performing advancement efforts that will surely result in stronger relationships from the private sector. She will help to advance UTPA's efforts in fundraising, marketing initiatives, career services, and alumni relations," said Lydia Aleman, executive director of the Division of University Advancement.

Aleman, who worked with Odom during her time at UTPA, said her leadership and expertise will be an asset to the division and University overall.

"I am confident that she will transform the division into the well-balanced advancement model that is envisioned, a model to serve our private-giving community well and one that will strengthen the opportunities for UTPA graduates when making career choices. She will definitely make an impact in our philanthropic efforts," Aleman said.

The UTPA Division of University Advancement, one of six divisions at the University, supports, encourages and promotes the mission of UTPA by increasing donor giving to benefit university funding needs, fostering relationships with UTPA alumni and friends, increasing the engagement of the donor community, promoting and branding a positive image of UTPA, and assisting in the placement of UTPA students, alumni and graduates in full-time, internship/cooperative education positions. The University Advancement division is comprised of the following departments: Development, Career Services, Marketing, University Relations, Alumni Relations, and the UTPA Foundation.

"UTPA is such a vital resource for the region and the state," noted Odom. "We need to find more ways to share our compelling stories throughout the country and to attract more philanthropic support for our academic, research and outreach programs. That's what makes this new opportunity so exciting for me."

For more information on the Division of University Advancement, call 956/318-5301 or visit