UTRGV sustainability innovators celebrate achievements in education

UTRGV Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Havidán Rodríguez gave the welcoming remarks for the university’s first Project Sin Fronteras banquet, hosted by the UTRGV Office of Sustainability on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, at the Embassy Suites McAllen Convention Center in McAllen. (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)

EDINBURG, TEXAS – SEPT. 2, 2016 – UTRGV deans, faculty and staff recently celebrated the advancement of sustainable development through academics, during the first Project Sin Fronteras Honors Banquet, held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton McAllen Convention Center Hotel.

Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, welcomed everyone to the event.

“When Project Sin Fronteras was launched in 2014, we did not realize the transformative impact of this initiative, that an extensive number of faculty would be actively engaged in infusing sustainability and sustainable development throughout the curriculum, and that sustainable development would be integrated into several hundred courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at UTRGV,” he said.

Those achievements were possible because of the leadership and hard work from in the university’s Office for Sustainability, as well as the active engagement and commitment of dozens of UTRGV faculty.

“UTRGV is committed to the continued success of these types of programs, including Project Sin Fronteras, and engaging students, faculty, staff and the external community in these very important initiatives,” Rodríguez said.

At the Aug. 26 banquet, five professors were recognized for their exceptional efforts to institutionalize sustainable development through academics and research. Rodríguez and Chief Sustainability Officer Marianella Franklin presented the awards to:

  • María Leonard, Vackar College of Business & Entrepreneurship.
  • Dr. Mohammed Jasim Uddin, College of Sciences.
  • Dr. Immanuel Edinbarough, College of Engineering and Computer Science.
  • Dr. Owen Temby, College of Liberal Arts
  • And Dr. Alexis Racelis, College of Sciences (Dean Parwinder Grewal accepted on Dr. Racelis’ behalf).

The dinner marked a milestone for UTRGV as it develops new strategic goals to increase the welfare of students and the community, while fostering the well-being of the environment and providing a quality, affordable education.

Tony Forina, UTRGV Athletics sales and broadcast specialist, served as Master of Ceremonies. 

Guest speakers included South Padre Island Mayor Barry Patel, and Dr. Denice Wardrop, director of the Sustainability Institute at Penn State University.


Developed in 2014, Project Sin Fronteras (PSF) is a transformational platform that infuses sustainability concepts and practices into the UTRGV curriculum and systems. This innovative approach to education for sustainable development provides participants with information, training and skills to produce new or revised sustainability focused or related courses. With its pioneering approach, basic concepts are used to incorporate collaborative, interdisciplinary service learning, connecting student and faculty research and learning with the community. During the past three cohorts, 55 faculty from 11 colleges, among others, have provided more than 300 sustainability courses influencing more than 5,100 UTRGV students. The Office for Sustainability has managed this initiative.

For more information about the Office for Sustainability, visit http://www.utrgv.edu/sustainability/

PHOTO GALLERY: https://www.flickr.com/gp/utrgvnews/bGHo8e


UTRGV Chief Sustainability Officer / (956) 665-3030

UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications / 956-665-2742