UTEP Book Project


Excelencia in Education co-founders writing book on Diana Natalicio’s vision and transformative impact on The University of Texas at El Paso

Advancing Latino Student Success in El Paso, Texas and the Nation


Excelencia in Education recognizes the one-year anniversary of the passing of Diana Natalicio, University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) president emerita and celebrates her transformative impact on higher education and Latino student success nationally through a book project.

Many higher education institutions serve as anchors within communities and support positive change. For 31 years Diana Natalicio, President Emerita, University of Texas at El Paso, guided the growth and impact of the University of Texas at El Paso in serving students of the Paseo del Norte region. Her leadership choices elevated UTEP within the community, with state legislators, with the UT system, with federal agencies and members of Congress, with fellow higher education leaders, associations and organizations and with private and foundation supporters from across the country.

Her determination, political acumen and vision for public higher education coupled with her commitment to student access, academic rigor, deep faculty engagement, alumni support and sustaining commitment to student success and effective regional community partnerships undergird this important story.

The UTEP Story will describe how a small regional public institution with a visionary leader for over 30 years, clarified its mission, embraced its community, and transformed its campus facilities, instructional approaches, and research programs to become recognized as a national leading institution for advancing Latino student success while achieving Research 1 Carnegie classification. The resulting book will provide a blueprint for those interested in accelerating Latino student success and will provide effective strategies for future leaders striving to increase access, completion, and success for all.

Excelencia in Education was privileged to work with Diana Natalicio for many years and proud she chose to join us as a Senior Fellow upon her retirement. The idea for this book was conceived with her and we are committed to complete it now that she is no longer with us.

This project is led by Excelencia in Education with support from: ACT Center for Equity in Learning, Ascendium Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, Kresge Foundation, the New York Fund and the Trellis Foundation.

Two education leaders in El Paso, William Serrata, President, El Paso Community College and Gary Edens, Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Texas at El Paso, continue the effort to secure funds to underwrite the book project. If you would like to support this important project please write UTEPBookProject@EdExcelencia.org.





Graphic pop-up featuring presidents from our "Presidents for Latino Student Success" national network comprised of more than 165 higher education leaders from 29 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. Next to a "Learn More" button.