|– Dr. Magdalena Hinojosa|
“I consider myself very lucky. There are people who have opened doors for me from the person who gave me my first job to (Dr.) John Edwards, who gave me an opportunity and is now giving me another. One of the things I told him is that I won’t let him down, and I won’t let this University down,” she said.
As part of the University’s reorganization efforts, Dr. John Edwards, vice president for the Division of Enrollment and Student Services, said the position was created to focus more on enrollment issues, which is critical for any higher education institution.
“We needed an organization unit more focused just on the enrollment issues. Thus, we pulled together some of the ‘up front’ functions of dealing with new and returning students – recruitment, orientation, visitor services, admissions (undergraduate) and records/registration. This is the unit, which Dr. Hinojosa will direct with her new title,” Edwards said.
In this new role, Edwards said Hinojosa is charged with improving the University’s processes to become more student-customer focused as well as reviewing policies and procedures, and implementing the new software system. Edwards said Hinojosa’s extensive experience in the basic areas of enrollment management and her crucial role in refocusing UTPA’s recruitment efforts for entering freshmen and transfer students made her the right choice for the new position.
“She has exhibited great acumen for the planning process, which is so important as we set recruitment and enrollment objectives for the future,” Edwards said.
Named assistant director of financial aid at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi at the age of 25, Hinojosa said she remembers when financial awards were given to students manually. Today she said that is no longer the case because technology is changing how University’s do business.
“I see the enrollment area truly becoming a lot more automated. I see the paper going away,” she said. “We are going to see a lot more communication to the students being done electronically allowing the students to do much more self-service. Our students are savvy and very used to getting information at the press of the enter key. We are getting there, but we are still a little ways away from where we want to be.”
As far as the University becoming more automated, Hinojosa said starting this fall all high schools will be required to send transcripts electronically to the Office of Admissions and New Student Services, resulting in the reduction of paper.
Ultimately Hinojosa said her goal is to put all things related to recruitment, admissions, and the registrar online to better serve the students.
“I really want to focus on streamlining processes from the point the students get admitted to this institution to the point that they leave four years from now,” she said.
Personally, Hinojosa said her aspiration in life is to one day become a vice president for enrollment and student services, but for now she is excited about her new position and the challenges it will bring. Most importantly Hinojosa said she is looking forward to making a difference at UTPA and taking care of its students needs to make their University experience a pleasant one.
“I look forward to being in higher education a few more years and seeing what comes up next, because every time we turn around something different is happening,” she said.
Hinojosa, a native of Premont, Texas, obtained her bachelor’s in business administration from Texas A&I University, her Master of Public Administration from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and her doctorate in educational leadership from Texas A&M-Kingsville/Corpus Christi.
Prior to UTPA, Hinojosa served as the registrar and director of Admission at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She was also an account manager and consultant for SCT Corporation in which she assisted numerous admission, registrar and financial aid offices throughout the country with the latest technology in higher education. Her career in higher education began at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, where she held the positions of scholarship coordinator and financial aid assistant director.