Our Team

Our Team

The staff at the Language Institute provides consolidated coordination of and administrative leadership for all our language programs.  We oversee all processes related to language instruction including marketing to prospective students, extending offers of admission to the LI, enrollment of students, and maintaining permanent student records.  In addition, we are responsible for reviewing policies related to the LI, overseeing the application of current and subsequent policy, and assisting in the development of new language programs.

Contact Information

Edinburg:  956-665-2133
Email: li@utrgv.edu
Brownsville: 956-882-4178
Email: brli@utrgv.edu

  • Leadership

  • Ms. Norma I. Ramos, Director


    Email: norma.ramos@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956)665-2133

    Norma has more than 35 years of experience working in education. She has dedicated her professional career to working with students and people from other cultures. She was born in Mexico and was raised in the Rio Grande Valley. She currently serves as Director of the Language Institute. She has served in this capacity for 15 years. Norma spent a decade working with the Division of Business Affairs in various capacities before taking her current job with the Language Institute in 1991. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Specialization in Reading from The University of Texas-Pan American.

    She is an active member of TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) since 2001 and of NAFSA (Association of International Educators) since 1994. In addition, she has served as a Designated School Official for more than 20 years. She has extensive knowledge and stays current on all immigration regulations relating to international students.

    She also enjoys volunteering her time teaching English as a Second Language to the local community at her church. In her spare time, Norma enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her family, especially her grandkids.

  • Mr. Roman R. Sanchez, Systems Analyst II


    Email: roman.sanchez@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956)665-2133

    Mr. Roman R. Sanchez has been with the Language Institute (LI) for over 15 years. He began his career, with the LI in a clerical position in the front office while continuing his education. He later received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management from the University of Texas-Pan American and minored in Computer Information Systems. Then in 2010 he earned his position as a Systems Analyst II with the Language Institute.

    Professionally, he sincerely appreciates being able to improve the business processes for the department and providing the best solutions for the organization, in order to create an enhanced learning environment while continuously improving client services as well as being a valued team member in providing a superior student experience.

    On a personal level, Roman considers himself a devout family man. He truly enjoys staying active with his wife and two sons by playing at the park, jogging, bike riding and playing sports. He also loves to spend quality time reading to his children, listening to music, dancing, dining out and barbecuing with friends and family on the weekends.

  • Ms. Erika T. Garcia, Administrative Assistant I


    Email: erika.garcia@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956)665-2133

    Ms. Erika T. Garcia has been with the Language Institute for over 20 years. She started working part-time while she was attending the University of Texas- Pan American. She has more than ten years of experience in immigration regulations and is a member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. She has attended several conferences throughout the U.S and Canada.

    Ms. Garcia has been a Designated School Official (DSO) for the Language Institute for over ten years. Interacting with and advising students, has provided Ms. Garcia with increased knowledge and self-confidence throughout the years, both professionally and personally. Some of her professional interests include assisting students in meeting their educational goals and to make sure they appropriately understand all the immigration regulations that may affect them.

    Ms. Garcia also volunteers in the children’s ministry at her local church. At this time her number one priority are her children, one of them is currently attending The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She loves to travel and enjoys being with her family at home, watching movies and playing games.

  • Program Admission - Edinburg and Brownsville

  • Mrs. Monica S. Arguello, Office Assistant III


    Email: monica.arguello@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956)665-2133

    Monica S. Arguello was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. She joined the Language Institute in July 2015. Prior to joining the Language Institute, she was part of the Recruitment and Staffing team at UTRGV.

    She is also a Designated School Official (DSO) who assists and oversees international students enrolled at the Language Institute. Since becoming a DSO, she has been exposed to the different types of Visas available for International students. She also plans to enhance her knowledge on immigration and F-1 regulations by attending her first NAFSA conference in the very near future.

    In her spare time, she loves to watch movies and travel with her husband. During the holidays, she always offers to take her favorite strawberry cheesecake and other desserts to friends and family.

  • Mrs. Lorena Carrizales, Office Assistant III


    Email: lorena.carrizales@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956)665-7101

    Lorena Carrizales was born and raised in Edinburg, Texas and is a graduate of Edinburg North High School. She is a notary public and a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). She is a highly responsible and exceptionally organized young lady. She provides excellent customer service by being courteous and helping students as well as everyone she comes in contact with, to feel at ease as she greets them all with a warm and friendly smile.

    She is fluent in both English and Spanish and she also has plans to continue her education at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where she has set her sights on pursuing a degree in nursing.

    On a personal note, she enjoys spending quality time with her family, loves to cook and bake cookies for her children. She also enjoys going to the park and charming date nights with her husband.

  • Program Instructors

  • Ms. Hilda Tamen, Learning Instruction Specialist II


    Email: hilda.tamen@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956)665-2133

    Hilda Tamen attended the University of Texas Pan American and has a Masters of Arts degree in English as a Second Language. She has over 29 years of experience in teaching English to highly diverse groups of international students. She is an avid reader and is well informed in various cultures through traveling throughout the U.S. and across the globe to include Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Scotland, Germany, Poland, Italy, and Mexico. This experience with other cultures has helped her to better understand her students’ apprehension and frustration as they go through the challenging process of learning a new language.

    She maintains current knowledge about changes and procedures, and she keeps up with the new developments and major issues in the ESL field by attending the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Conference and staying in contact with publishers and professional colleagues around the world. She also prides herself in maintaining a very positive attitude and in being committed to helping her students prepare for college and their careers.

  • Mrs. Blanca E. Duarte, Learning Instruction Specialist I


    Email: blanca.duarte@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956)665-2133

    Mrs. Blanca Duarte has taught English as a Second Language (ESL), Spanish GED, and Spanish for more than 20 years in California and the Rio Grande Valley. She joined the Language Institute in 1994 and is currently serving as an ESL Instructor at the Edinburg Campus.

    She graduated from the University of Texas Pan American with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, an Associate degree in Early Childhood from South Texas College, and obtained a Medical Interpreter Certificate from Reedley Community College in California.

    Her professional efforts focus on contributing to the continued success of the Language Institute at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and personally interacting with international students and learning about the different customs and cultures.