Monday, April 8, 2019
  Announcements, Community

By News and Internal Communications

By Jayshree Bhat

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – UTRGV, through its newly established Office of Professional Education & Workforce Development, will launch several executive education programs in the coming months.

Given the complexity of leading an organization in today’s fast-changing world, providing knowledge and guidance for top-level decision makers is becoming increasingly important, so these UTRGV’s programs are designed for today’s executives in mind.

The first program will be the Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership, designed as a hybrid course – online content paired with in-class review sessions that include hands-on exercises to tie the online content to real-life situations. Online content will be self-paced, allowing flexibility for participants to learn when they can dedicate focused attention to the course.

Jayshree Bhat, assistant vice president for Professional Education and Workforce Development, and the leader of Executive Education programs at UTRGV, said participating executives will be taught by expert practitioners who have developed expertise in these areas through years of practice.

“While the online component is taught by industry experts from across the country, instructors for the in-class sessions are local practitioners who have been hand-picked for their expertise and in-depth knowledge in the nonprofit sector,” Bhat said.

Practitioners for the first course were selected by Bhat for their extensive background in nonprofits. 

  • Dr. Elaine Hernandez, of McAllen, has more than 20 years of experience managing community-based projects in the nonprofit sector, with budgets ranging from less than $100,000 to more than $5 million multi-year budgets. Her passion is for telling compelling stories of impact based on grassroots efforts.

  • Zoila C. Zambrano, UTRGV Ph.D student, has served as a key member of top management teams in the nonprofit sector and is experienced in providing finance and compliance insight during the strategic planning process. Zambrano has overseen budgets consisting of private, foundation and government grants totaling up to $7 million. She currently is pursuing a doctoral degree in International Business at UTRGV with a concentration in Marketing. Her research interests are focused on nonprofits.

Some of UTRGV’s Executive Education programs to be offered later this year may include “Executive Certificate in Healthcare Hospitality Management” and other topics that address challenges experienced by senior management positions in various industry sectors – such as, driving performance, leading change, developing a leadership mindset, creating clarity and focus, solving problems and making important decisions.

“We want to stay ahead of the curve in identifying current trends in Executive Leadership and tailor the topics to help executives optimize their performance and lead effectively,” Bhat said.

For more information on UTRGV Executive Education programs, visit or call (956) 665-2071.


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.