Alfredo H. Arellano

College of Nursing, BSN, 1986: MSN, 1990

Alfredo H. Arellano is a community mental health advocate who has made significant contributions to improving mental health services in the El Paso Region. Mr. Arellano is a psychiatric mental health clinical nurse specialist in private practice, treating adults, military personnel and dependents, Veterans and the elderly with the most up-to-date treatments in psychiatry.

Mr. Arellano has served as a clinical instructor and mentor for undergraduate UTEP students and is currently a preceptor for graduate students. He is also a longtime supporter of UTEP Athletics and a UTEP football and basketball season ticket-holder.

Jon Dorenbos

College of Liberal Arts, Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies, 2009

Jon Dorenbos is a former NFL long snapper who played for the Buffalo Bills, the Tennessee Titans and the Philadelphia Eagles. He is now a professional magician and motivational speaker who has appeared on “America’s Got Talent” and “Ellen.” His book “Life is Magic” is being developed into a feature film. In 2022, Dorenbos was the keynote speaker at Orange Fever Fiesta, UTEP Athletics’ annual fundraising event.

Martha Rubi Gasca

College of Health Sciences, B.S. in Clinical Laboratory Science, 2011

When COVID-19 threatened El Pasoans’ health, Martha Rubi Gasca and the lab team at the El Paso Department of Public Health rose to the occasion. Gasca is a medical laboratory scientist who specializes in biological and chemical threats. During the pandemic, she led the charge in setting up COVID testing and was instrumental in designating UTEP as a testing site. She also helped develop COVID-19 safety measures that were sent to hospitals both locally and beyond El Paso County as guidelines for implementation at their facilities.

J. Carlos Hernández, Ed.D.

College of Education; BBA in Accounting, 1988; M.Ed. in Education Administration, 2005; Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Administration, 2009

Through a career in higher education spanning over 30 years, Jose Carlos Hernandez, Ed.D., has shaped financial and operational policies at several universities, including UTEP, the University of North Texas (UNT), UNT Dallas and Sam Houston State. His depth of knowledge and willingness to mentor earned him leadership positions in organizations such as the Texas Association of State Senior College and University Business Officers. In his current role as president of Sul Ross State University, he works to advance the university’s goal of providing an accessible and life-changing education.

Leila Melendez

Woody L. Hunt College of Business; MBA, 2008

Leila Melendez’ career has been about serving the people of El Paso and the surrounding region. As CEO of Workforce Solutions Borderplex, she drives the organization’s mission of developing the borderland economy by connecting employers with skilled employees. She has maintained close ties with UTEP and applies her talent to help students in the Woody L. Hunt College of Business. She was a key driver and designer of a mentorship program that paired alumni and local business leaders with undergraduate and MBA students. She currently serves as a board member for the Executive Forum and the El Paso Fireman and Policeman’s Pension Fund.

Rudy Piña

College of Science; B.S. in Biological Sciences-Microbiology, 1978

Rudy Piña is the president of Dynatec Scientific Labs, a Latino-owned medical device testing lab. Piña established the Rudy Piña Endowed Fund for Microbiology at UTEP and has been an advisory board member for the UTEP College of Science. He has worked with the Food and Drug Administration, the Texas Department of Health and other entities to ensure high safety standards for medical devices and hospital settings.

Irazema S. Rojas

College of Engineering; B.S. in Civil Engineering, 1995; M.S. in Civil Engineering, 2010

Irazema Solis Rojas is the Chief Technical Officer for Water, Wastewater and Reclaimed Water at El Paso Water. In the position, she oversees a $500 million budget and six departments that ensure the safe and reliable delivery of clean water and advance critical infrastructure projects throughout the El Paso region. She has more than 25 years of experience in water management and has also worked on important infrastructure priorities that address environmental stewardship, community growth and rehabilitation of aging infrastructure. Solis Rojas frequently recruits students from UTEP to participate in internships and apply for jobs with El Paso Water. She has worked tirelessly to advance inclusion in the workplace and retain talented engineers.