The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Global Affiliates

Global affiliates
The Office of Global Engagement works closely with faculty and friends on a number of projects to internationalize our university. As part of this partnership, faculty and friends have the opportunity to join with OGE in its activities. OGE recognizes these contributions by providing them with the title of Global Affiliate. Global Affiliates serve on various OGE committees and promote OGE throughout the campus and the world.
  • MARK C. ANDERSEN, Ph.D.

    Dean, Honors College
    ESTAC 2109
    Email: mark.andersen@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956) 665-2341

    Dr. Andersen is the Dean of the Honors College at UTRGV. He promotes globalization by providing and promoting study abroad opportunities for honors students, by serving as the campus representative for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, and by mentoring students applying for internationally-competitive scholarship and fellowship opportunities such as the Rhodes, Marshall, Gates-Cambridge, Schwarzman scholarships. He is also campus coordinator for the Archer Fellowship Program and for the National Student Exchange. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1987. His research interests include applications of ecological theory and regional risk assessment in conservation biology and invasive species control, and the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and ecosystem services.

  • MINHEE EOM, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor, Writing & Language Studies
    ELABS 241
    Email: minhee.eom@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956) 665-3441

    Dr. Eom works with OGE to promote multilingualism & multiculturalism at UTRGV. Dr. Eom has developed Korean language courses and supported on- and off-campus many cultural events, one example being the Multi-lingual Fest. She has served as a liaison between UTRGV and universities in Korea and introduced intercultural collaboration projects for her undergraduate students. Her research focuses on English as a Second Language, second/third language acquisition, and foreign language learning. Dr. Eom earned her Ph.D. in 2006 in ESL and Foreign Language Teaching and Learning from the University of Iowa.

  • ROBERT GILBERT, M.F.A.

    Associate Professor, Art
    EVABL 1212

    Email: robert.gilbert@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956) 665-2214

    Robert Gilbert is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design in the School of Art, in the College of Fine Arts. He is currently the supervisor of 3 visiting scholars from China. These visiting environmental designers are working on space redesigns for the Brownsville campus. Robert has taught and worked as a designer in Greece. He has also taught graphic design at Hangyang Normal University in China, where he is an Honorary Professor. He serves as the Coordinator for the graphic design area in the School of Art. Robert graduated from the Otis Parsons Art Institute in Los Angeles and received a masters degree from California State University at Los Angeles. His design experience ranges from advertising to publication and he works to refine a visual approach that combines the surprise of commercialism within fine art design.

  • SANDRA HANSMANN, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor, Rehab Srvs & Counseling
    EHABE 2114

    Email: sandra.hansmann@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956) 665-5108

    Dr. Sandra Hansmann is an Associate Professor in the School of Rehabilitation in the College of Health Affairs. She served as the principal investigator of the Integrated Global Knowledge and Understanding Collaboration, and past director of Global Security Studies and the Office of International Programs. Dr. Hansmann was a recipient of both the Provost’s Award for International Studies and the Award for Pan-American Studies. Dr. Hansmann has also worked closely with the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program and the World Affairs Council. She is currently the chair of UTRGV’s International Oversight Committee, and, serves on OGE’s grant review committee. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Texas Austin.

  • MICHELLE KECK, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor & Associate Chair, Political Science
    BPOB2 1.103B
    Email: michelle.keck@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956) 882-6517

    Dr. Keck is the founder and director of the Model United Nations Club at UTRGV. She promotes internationalization through her teaching on the UN as well as taking her students to MUN conferences in New York and other locations. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Texas Tech University in 2010. Her research interests include non-governmental organizations, civil war, international organizations, border studies, and US foreign policy.

  • YONG LANG, Ph.D

    Professor, Writing & Language Studies
    ELABS 225
    Email: yong.lang@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956) 665-3429

    Professor Lang plays a central role in establishing and nurturing UTRGV’s relationships with universities in China. He has served as supervisor of 24 visiting scholars from China and coordinates the Chinese Program. Working with visiting scholars from China at UTRGV, he has co-authored 13 articles and has two books in preparation. Professor Lang works closely with OGE to provide support to visiting scholars from China. His research focuses upon applied linguistics. He earned his Ph.D. in 1998 in Foreign/Second Language Education from The Ohio State University.

  • BONNIE A. LUCERO, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor, History

    Email: bonnie.lucero@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956)-665-7009

    Professor Lucero supports OGE’s mission through her efforts as the founder and director of the Global Latin America Lecture and Engagement Series, which brings exciting events highlighting the region’s diverse cultural, ethnic, and racial heritages to the UTRGV community. She has helped to internationalize the campus with talks, academic presentations, and by organizing international events. Professor Lucero conducts her research across Cuba and the United States, and won two FLAS fellowships to learn Portuguese in Brazil and Haitian Kreyól. She earned her Masters of Philosophy in Latin American Studies from Cambridge University in the U.K. in 2009 and her doctorate in History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

  • CAROLINE MILES, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor, Chair Department of Literatures and Cultural Studies
    ELABS 204
    Email: caroline.miles@utrgv.edu | Phone: 956-665-2354

    Dr. Caroline Miles received a BA in American Studies from the University of Wales, Swansea, and an MA and PhD. from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has published numerous articles on issues of gender and economics in the South and is completing a book manuscript on William Faulkner and the economies of the South. Dr. Miles’s new project examines the economic implications of regionalism and geographical borders more broadly. Dr. Miles teaches courses on writing, American literature, Latin American literature, Southern literature, and Women’s literature, and she is a recipient of the Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award. Dr. Miles works with OGE on topics related to Border Studies.
  • SOMA MUKHERJEE, Ph.D.

    Professor, Physics
    BLHSB 2226
    Email: soma.mukherjee@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956) 882-6679

    Dr. Soma Mukherjee obtained a Ph. D in Physics from the University of Calcutta, India. Her post-doctoral studies were accomplished at Caltech and Northwestern University and at Penn State. She was a faculty equivalent scientist at the Max Planck Institut fur Gravitationasphysik before joining the University of Texas at Brownsville in Fall 2003. She is now a Professor of Physics at UTRGV. Dr. Mukherjee has co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed papers in high impact journals and presented invited talks at multiple international conferences. Her research has been well-funded through NSF and NASA. She is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and a co-author of the gravitational wave discovery paper in 2016.
  • MIJIN OH-VILLARREAL, M.A.

    Lecturer, Writing & Language Studies
    Email: mijin.ohvillarreal@utrgv.edu | Phone: 956-665-3441

    Ms. Mijin Oh-Villarreal (MA, Duksung Women's University in Seoul, South Korea) is a lecturer of Korean language at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She is a multi-year national Korean storytelling champion. Her teaching of Korean extends to the training of Korean traditional music and cultural performances. She has been actively involved in community outreach activities and service learning projects. She works with OGE on a wide range of cultural and academic events to internationalize UTRGV.
  • YOUNG RAE OUM, Ph.D.

    Lecturer, Sociology
    ELABN 344
    Email: youngrae.oum@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956) 665-8723

    Dr. Young Rae Oum volunteers at OGE as a translator and an advisor for international students, and, advises OGE on relations with universities in Korea. Dr. Oum’s teaching and research interests are diaspora, border crossing, food sociology, critical race theories, third world feminisms, and postmodern subjectivities. She is interested in how immigrant intellectuals narrate their identities, mobilizing larger discourses and positioning themselves in the intersecting social forces of gender, race, class, and language. She is currently working on a project on Korean American diaspora identities. Dr. Oum has two doctorates, one in Human Development and Family Studies from Iowa State University and the other in Women Studies from Clark University.

  • ANGEL SAAVEDRA, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor, Political Sciences
    ELABS 228
    Email: angel.saavedra@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956) 665-3239

    Professor Saavedra works with OGE on a number of important global projects. He is a reviewer on the OGE Grant application committee and also serves on the Study Abroad Advisory Committee. Professor Saavedra provides leadership to the Community of Scholars for visiting international faculty. His research focuses on political psychology and Latino politics.  He earned his Ph.D. in 2011 in Political Science from Stony Brook University.

  • BEATRIZ TAPIA, M.D., M.P.H., C.P.H,

    Asst Dean for Faculty Development
    HCEBL 2134
    Email: beatriz.tapia@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956) 296-1481

    Beatriz Tapia, M.D., M.P.H., C.P.H, is the Director of STEER and Course Director for the Environmental Medicine/Border Health Elective. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Assistant Dean of Faculty Development at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Harlingen, Texas. Dr. Tapia is a native of Chicago, Illinois. She attended the Autonomous University of Puebla in Mexico, where she received her M.D., and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University (JHSPH), in Baltimore, Maryland, where she received her Master’s in Public Health.  She is active in numerous border health organizations, and is currently appointed the U.S. co-facilitator of the environmental health subcommittee for the Gulf Taskforce of the United States – México Border Health Commission- Border 2020 (formally Border 2012. Dr. Tapia is a strong advocate for the medically underserved; she continuously provides environmental and public health education to promotoras (lay healthcare workers), public health professionals and community centers.  Her research interests are border health, environmental medicine, public health, minority health and medical education research.
  • SIBIN WU, Ph.D.

    Professor, Management
    EBUSA 222C
    Email: sibin.wu@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956) 665-3559

    Professor Sibin Wu is the Department Chair of Management. He earned a PhD in Management Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Business Administration. His research interests include firm innovation and top management, international entrepreneurship, and behaviors of nascent entrepreneurs. Dr. Wu has presented his research at numerous conferences including Academy of International Business. His works have appeared in top journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Information and Management, and Journal of Business Research. Dr. Wu has been invited to give talks across the world including Australia, China, France, Hong Kong, Korea, Turkey, and Singapore. Dr. Wu also collaborates with scholars from other countries.
  • PING XU, M.F.A.

    Assistant Professor, Art
    EVABL 1209
    Email: ping.xu@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956) 665-3480

    Assistant Professor Ping Xu is in the School of Art and teaches graphic design. He began his professional career and served as an Art Director, a Creative Director, and a Production Director in Shanghai advertising industry since 1988. He began teaching at Kansas State University in 2003, continued his teaching career through at the University of Southern Mississippi, and then at Truman State University. He joined The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Fall 2015. His Visual Communication research is focused on Corporate Identity, Typographic Poster Design, Advertising Design, Digital Photography, and Interactive Communications. Professor Xu has received ten American Advertising Awards in AAF competition in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2016, and 2017. He has a Master of Fine Arts, Visual Communications from Kansas State University, and, a Bachelor of Fine Art in Visual Communications from the Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago.