Wednesday, February 28, 2018
  Awards and Recognitions

By News and Internal Communications

Edinburg, Texas For pushing the boundaries of innovation and knowledge, Dr. Karen Lozano, the Julia Beecherl Endowed Professor in mechanical engineering at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, will be presented with the Outstanding Latino/a Faculty in Higher Education: Research/Teaching (Research Institutions) Award by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) in March.

This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated excellence in both research and
teaching and has provided significant contributions to his/her academic discipline. Lozano was selected by a panel of experts in higher education for this honor.

‘‘Dr. Karen Lozano is recognized by her contemporaries as a scholar and leader. She has a strong record for pushing boundaries and initiatives that impact educational outcomes.
—Dr. Loui Olivas, AAHHE president’’

“Dr. Karen Lozano is recognized by her contemporaries as a scholar and leader,” said Dr. Loui Olivas, AAHHE president. “She has a strong record for pushing boundaries and initiatives that impact educational outcomes.”

Lozano, also the founder and director of the UTRGV Nanotechnology Center of Excellence, said the secret to her success is hard work, personal responsibility and innovation. Her work focuses mostly on the development of nano-reinforced polymer composites and the development of nanofiber systems.

She is a prolific inventor who co-founded an industry focused on the industrial production of nanofibers and has received several national/international awards including the Inspiring Leaders in STEM Award, Insight into Diversity 2017; Engineer of the Year, Great Minds in STEM, 2015; and the R&D 100 Award, 2011.

“I have become passionate about furthering my knowledge in engineering and developing novel technologies/applications, but even more, what fuels my spirit is the privilege I have of working with young minds,” Lozano said. “My goal is to prepare them to lead emerging technologies by providing them with the tools to succeed in a competitive environment.”

Through high-tech projects, Lozano encourages, inspires and educates students.

“There are no words to express the satisfaction of observing the professional careers of my students, they are now leaders in industry and academia and they are a great influence in their families. We are changing a community one student at a time,” she said.

Lozano will be recognized at the 13th annual national AAHHE conference in Irvine, California, set for March 8-10. The awards celebrate and recognize the work of Hispanics in higher education and other national leaders.

The American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) is a national, educational, IRS-approved 501(c)3, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of higher education. AAHHE is primarily focused on the need to develop Latino/a faculty and senior administrators as well as serving as a leading research and advocacy group for Hispanic higher education issues. AAHHE upholds two critical beliefs: that higher education should address the needs of Hispanics, and that institutions of higher education can be more effective in meeting the needs of a changing U.S. demography. AAHHE works collaboratively with all sectors of education, business, industry, as well as community and professional organizations to enhance the educational aspirations and to meet the professional growth needs of a significantly increasing Hispanic population.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.