Theresa Maldonado, Ph.D., has been named Dean of the College of Engineering and Professor of Electrical Engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Maldonado most recently served as founding senior vice president for research, innovation and economic development at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Her role there was to build a comprehensive research administration infrastructure for the new school, blending existing structures and transforming institutional culture to support basic, applied and translational research in all disciplines.
Starting her engineering career at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Maldonado went on to earn a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and pursue research and teaching at The University of Texas at Arlington. She earned tenure there and was promoted to professor, taking on administrative roles as an associate dean of engineering and then associate vice president for research. She also has served as associate dean of engineering at Texas A&M University, associate vice chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, and division director at the National Science Foundation (NSF).
With a distinguished career as an expert on optics, Maldonado has published her work in the Journal of the Optical Society of America, the Journal of Lightwave Technology, and Applied Optics. She has competed successfully for millions of dollars to fund research and education from federal and state sources, primarily from the NSF and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. She has received numerous awards for teaching, research and leadership, including the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the NSF, the NSF Director’s Award for Program Management Excellence, and Outstanding Teaching Awards from both her department and college at UT Arlington.
“Dr. Maldonado’s record exemplifies academic and administrative excellence, and she is passionate about providing access to excellent engineering educational opportunities for the students we serve at UTEP,” said Howard Daudistel, Ph.D., interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Her broad experiences in industry, at multiple campuses of The University of Texas System, on the U.S.-Mexico border, and in Washington, D.C. lend valuable perspective to the work she will do in El Paso.”
“We are delighted to have a leader of Dr. Maldonado’s experience and stature join our team at UTEP,” added UTEP President Diana Natalicio. “She is uniquely prepared to lead the students, staff and faculty of the college and their inclusive vision to advance engineering locally, nationally and globally.”
Maldonado said, “I am very excited about this opportunity to serve as dean of engineering at UTEP, especially at this time of rapid changes in our profession and our demographics. I have observed the tremendous, impactful growth in education and research at this university since I launched my academic career in 1990. President Natalicio is a globally recognized leader in higher education, and she clearly has established a strong foundation here to move forward in innovative and critically important ways.”
Maldonado will assume leadership of the college on July 1 from Interim Dean Carlos Ferregut, Ph.D.
“Dr. Ferregut’s commitment to colleagues and students has allowed the college to make significant progress during the two years he has served in this role,” Daudistel said. “I am deeply grateful for his insightful guidance, and I look forward to his continued leadership in the global engagement of our students and faculty in engineering.”