"Dr. Cardenas will be responsible for the development, supervision and monitoring of international education programs for students and faculty and will head the university’s Center for International Studies," said Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez, president of UTPA.
The Center for International Studies promotes and encourages international student and faculty exchanges, develops academic and distance learning agreements with universities throughout the world, and publishes Rio Bravo, a journal of border studies.
The center also provides oversight for the university’s multidisciplinary bachelor of arts degree program in Latin American Studies and for UTPA’s major and minor in Mexican-American Heritage. It administers "Summer in Mexico," a Spanish language program in Puebla, Mexico, and similar French language programs in Paris and Quebec.
Cardenas has been a faculty member at UTPA since 1982. He received his Ph.D. in labor industrial relations from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1977. The long-time adviser to the award-winning Students in Free Enterprise chapter at UTPA, Cardenas, a Sam Walton Fellow, in 1998 was the recipient of the first Jack Kahl Entrepreneurial Leadership Award for the Sam M. Walton Fellow of the Year.
Dr. Lino Garcia, who previously served as assistant vice president for academic affairs for international programs and as chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literature, has retired after 30 years of service to UTPA.