Q&A with UTEP Alumni Association President Martha Isabel Aguayo

Tell us what it means to you to be president of The University of Texas at El Paso Alumni Association? 

When I graduated from UTEP in 1994, I never expected I'd have the honor of giving back to my University and be serving as the Alumni Association President. After being involved with the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, I realized UTEP's value and contributions to our community. Without an educated workforce, companies and industries will not consider El Paso as an option to establish or further develop their business. That's when I realized UTEP is the heart of El Paso and that is the reason why I joined the UTEP Alumni Association. I want to help in any way possible and I am extremely honored to be the incoming president.

With more than 100,000 UTEP alumni all over the globe, what is your message to the world about UTEP, and particularly, our Miner Nation?          

I want to encourage alumni all over the world to remain connected to their alma mater and to seize opportunities for alumni engagement through MinerLink, our newest alumni portal. We must serve as role models for our current students and provide the opportunities and avenues they need to be successful. As alumni of this great institution, we should also feel proud to represent the Miner Nation all over the globe!         

In July 2020, there was a major shift in the UTEP Alumni Association to provide a free  membership to all alumni – the Picks Up Membership. Can you describe the importance of this change? What would you say to alumni to encourage them to take advantage of that free membership and engage with UTEP?

The Picks Up Membership now allows all alumni to stay engaged and have access to the association's services and programs. Members receive local and national benefits and perks, which include discounts at the UTEP Bookstore and Professional and Public Programs (P3), and access to the UTEP Career Center and the Student Recreation Center. Perks at the national level include discounts with Liberty Mutual, Jostens and national retailers.

The members of the UTEP Alumni Association Board of Directors all play a role in the success of the association. What can you tell us about this group of people who make up the board this year?

I am very excited to begin working with such a diverse group of individuals. This board is comprised of members from all over the country. We are a working board and each member understands the importance and value of their support and participation throughout their tenure. Our board members are entrepreneurs, attorneys, engineers, doctors, school district and city employees, realtors, health specialists and retirees. Our common goal is to serve UTEP

What are one or two things the association hopes to accomplish in the next year?

I look forward to the association’s commitment to continue supporting the launch of MinerLink and the membership conversion. The board will work as a team and engage with students, alumni and the community throughout the year.

You are becoming president of the UTEP Alumni Association during an unprecedented time in our world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What is your message to UTEP Miners and how should they remain engaged with UTEP during this time? 

Because of COVID-19, we have now experienced the importance of virtual communication. I would like the association to use this platform to engage with alumni all over the world and offer educational workshops, presentations, and trainings to enhance and further develop their careers.

When social gathering restrictions are lifted, what is the first thing you want to do with UTEP alumni?

Once we can meet socially, I would like for the association to have a “Welcome Back” event to see current members, meet new members and present our strategic goals for the year. The board will also plan to resume our annual signature events hosted by the UTEP Alumni Association and the Office of Alumni Relations, which include the Distinguished Alumni Dinner, golf tournament, PICK-Nic and tailgates.

Finish this sentence: The slogan “Miners Forever. Stronger Together” is fitting for the UTEP Alumni Association because …

Together we can share our knowledge, expertise and resources and thus maximize our support to UTEP. As alumni, it is our duty to support current UTEP students, engage with other alumni and to also support each other so that we can continue excelling in our respective careers.

Meet the 2020-2021 UTEP Alumni Association Board Members