Thursday, May 11, 2023
  Science & Technology, Research

By News and Internal Communications

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – MAY 11, 2023 – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will host the “Latina THRIVE Summit” for college faculty and administrators, May 18-19 on South Padre Island.   

This year’s summit, held at the Courtyard by Marriott South Padre Island, will focus on the THRIVE (The Healthy DepaRtment Initiative for InclusiVe Excellence) Partnership, which is supported by the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program and seeks to remedy gender inequity in academic STEM careers.

Dr. Marci McMahon, co-PI of the grant and professor of Literatures and Cultural Studies in the UTRGV College of Liberal Arts, said the summit will be a first of its kind to support Latinas in STEM.

“This will be a historic convening of 60 STEM department chairs, facilitators, Latinas in STEM organizations, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Latina faculty convening to support Latinas in STEM,” she said. “We are excited about the sustainable networks that will be built beyond the summit.” 

The THRIVE Partnership, over the course of the next year, will facilitate a cohort of department chairs and their teams to develop and enact a plan that promotes a psychologically healthy workplace where faculty, especially Latina/x faculty, thrive. The summit will serve as a place for resource sharing, knowledge production and networking. 

The audience will include more than 100 academics and members of professional societies, including STEM facilitators working with the cohort, Latinas in STEM organizations, HSI networks, STEM Latina faculty and some STEM Latina students. 

 PI of the grant and dean for the UTRGV College of Engineering and Computer Science, Ala Qubbaj, said the summit is designed to increase representation and support for Latinas in STEM across the nation.

"As a major HSI, through our STEM education efforts, we at UTRGV are not only building a better future for South Texas but also for our state and nation. Increasing the representation of Latinas in STEM is key to strengthening the U.S. workforce and maintaining our prosperity, leadership, and global competitiveness in STEM,” he said. “We are grateful to the National Science Foundation for recognizing our efforts in this area."

 For more information, visit

Latina Thrive Summit | May 18-19, 2023 | South Padre Island
The UTRGV Latina THRIVE Summit at South Padre Island is is supported by the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program.


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.