News and Events

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Shadow Health

ACNM Welcomes Dr. MaryJane Lewitt as Chair of the Division of the Advancement of Midwifery

MaryJane Lewitt By Quickening - 

In 2000, Dr. Lewitt received the American College of Nurse-Midwives’ Kitty Ernst Award, the national outstanding young life achievement award in the profession of Nurse-Midwifery. She graduated from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and Leadership at Harvard in 2004. She has participated both nationally and locally in ACNM since 1994 and is a National Fellow.

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Transition to Graduate Nursing Program

Transition to Graduate program


Dr. MaryJane Lewitt, PhD, CNM, FACNM
Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Dr. Lewitt joins the School of Nursing from the University of New Mexico where she was the Clinical Practice Chair for the graduate programs.  Prior to that she had a distinguished career in academia at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where she coordinated and directed both the FNP and midwifery programs.  She spent seven years in practice as a certified nurse midwife and was inducted as a Fellow into the American College of Nurse-Midwives in 2015.  Dr. Lewitt is a distinguished speaker at state and national conferences and has multiple professional publications on birth, neonatal outcomes, menopause, population health and woman’s health issues.  She is a noted expert in her field.

Dr. Melinda Rodriquez, DNP FNP-BC 
Assistant Professor, BSN Program Director
Dr. Rodriquez has had a distinguished career in both academia and practice.  Most recently she has served as the V.P. for Nursing Education and V. P. Assistant Chief Nurse Officer for Doctors Hospital at Renaissance.  She worked in private practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner for 13 years serving the Rio Grande Valley.  Prior to her distinguished career at DHR she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Pan American where she was taught in both the graduate and undergraduate programs. 

Dr. Carol Pool, DNP 
Assistant Professor
Dr. Pool returns to the Rio Grande Valley as an alumni of UT Brownsville’s MSN in Nursing Education Program.  She has a long and distinguished career in academia, most recently at the San Jacinto College in Houston Texas where she was course coordinator for Maternal-Newborn.  She also has teaching experience in mental health nursing and nursing leadership.  Her professional publications surround areas of nursing education and mentoring.

Reginald Graves, MSN PMHNP-BC, FNP-C 
Assistant Clinical Professor
Mr. Graves is an accomplished practitioner in both mental health and family.  He currently is an APRN for Windmill Wellness Ranch in Canyon Lake, Texas and is responsible for psychiatric evaluations and medical management of clients.  His strong background in mental health, medical-surgical, orthopedics, trauma and emergency room nursing provides our students with expert educational opportunities. 

Betty Philips, MSN FNP 
Assistant Clinical Professor
Ms. Philips joins the faculty as an expert practitioner with experience in Maternal-Infant and Critical Care Nursing.  She had previously been a clinical instructor for UTRGV SON and is able to bridge the gap between education and nursing practice for our students. 

Margaret Rubi, MSN
Ms. Rubi is twice an alumni of UTRGV having received her BSN in 2016 and most recently her MSN in Nursing Education in 2019.  She has a nursing background in home health but also as a teacher of students in English as a Second Language courses at the Villa Maria Language Institute.  Her combined expertise in Language and Nursing makes her a valued asset to the SON. 

Edna Reyna, MSN 
Graduate Student Placement Coordinator
The SON welcomes back Ms. Reyna into a newly created position as the first graduate student placement coordinator.  Ms. Reyna is a previous graduate of UT Pan American with her MSN and UT Brownsville with her BSN.  She was previously with UTRGV as a clinical assistant professor for eleven years until she retired in 2018.    


Returning Faculty in new fulltime positions. 
The SON welcomes back the following faculty as new Assistant Clinical Professors!

Gerardo Castillo, MSN
Patricia Cortez-Animas, MSN
Laurie Deleon Escobedo, MSN, FNP-C, MBA
Velma Hughes, MSN PMHNP-C
Kochurani Joseph, MSN
Mary Jose, MSN
Rita Oteka, MSN
Corina Salinas, MSN
Rose Silvestro, MSN, FNP-C
Nadia Theys, MSN PMHNP-C


Faculty in new leadership positions. 
The SON would like to congratulate the following faculty in their new roles:

Velma Hughes – Interim PMHNP Certificate Program Coordinator
Luz Silva – LVN-BSN Dual Credit Bridge Program Coordinator

Eloisa Tamez was awarded the FD200 by the American University's Antiracist Research and Policy Center and the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives

On February 14, 2018, Frederick Douglass would have turned 200 years old, and all year long the world is celebrating his Bicentennial. We at American University's Antiracist Research and Policy Center have partnered with Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives to honor 200 people whose modern-day work embodies Douglass's enduring legacy of social change.

Honorees will fall into one of seven categories that reflect his immense character: abolitionist, writer, politician, feminist, educator, entrepreneur, and diplomat.

Eloisa receives the FD200

On February 14, 2019, Eloisa Tamez was a recipient of the FB200 Award as Diplomat.  The event was held at the Library of Congress and sponsored by Frederick Douglass descendants and the Antiracist Research Institute at American University in Washington DC.  Two hundred American citizens were honored at Frederick Douglass’s  bicentennial in commemoration of a great scholar.

Research Day Conference 2019

Cultivating Nursing Leadership: Building Global Alliances
Saturday, April 13th, 2019
8am - 12:30pm
UTRGV Student Union Theater
Edinburg, TX

Research Day Conference 2019 Cultivating Nursing Leadership: Building Global Alliances Saturday, April 13th, 2019 8am - 12:30pm UTRGV Student Union Theater Edinburg, TX, Fee: $20 for students, $40 for Registered Nurses, Registered Nurses can earn up to 4.0 Contact Hours

UTRGV School of Nursing Blood Drive

Monday, April 1, 2019
EHABE Skills Lab Room 1.112

Link to School Of Nursing blood drive PDF

For more information contact: | | 

Health Issues of Human Trafficking: Hope & Trust

Scholarship Day Conference

Link to Health Issues of Human Trafficking PDF

November 3, 2018
Student Union Theater
8am - 12:30pm
Cost: $20

Register to win a scholarship of $250

HESI Admission Assessment Exam

HESI exam

Link to Download 50th Anniversary Nursing Reunion PDF
This event is to remember & celebrate all nurses (4,856) graduated from our nursing programs from ADN - BSN to MSN from our legacies institutions: Pan American College, Pan American University, UTPA, UTB and UTRGV from 1967 to 2017. Click on the link below to enroll to this event.

Congratulations Isaacc Nino for Winning First Place in UTRGV's Graduate Research Symposium.

Isaacc Nino My name is Isaacc Nino and I am currently a Family Nurse Practitioner student at the UTRGV.  I earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Texas Pan American and have been a registered nurse for 11 years.  My decision to advance my education began with a desire of expanding my opportunities in the field of nursing by providing primary care services in my community.   

The educational experiences at UTRGV has afforded me new opportunities to expand my understanding of the complex healthcare system in the U.S., and understand how FNP’s contribute to meeting the increased demand for primary care providers in the RGV and throughout the country. I was honored to receive first place at the UTRGV Graduate Research Symposium for the College of Health Affairs.  This award recognizes my work and the exceptionalism of how nurses positively impact the lives of patients we serve.  I would like to thank all my professors and instructors who encouraged me to participate by sharing my project with other researchers and peers.  I would especially like to thank Mrs. Rosalinda Rossow for her mentorship throughout my work on this Practice Intervention Project because she guided and motivated me to create a project that would have a lasting impact within my local community.  

In Remembrance of Joseph Richard Lacher 1942 - 2017

Joe Lacher

Joe Lacher was a great man. He was an exceptional nurse. He was a pioneer here in the Rio Grande Valley having worked tirelessly in the private sector for many years in various roles as human resources manager, chief nurse executive, supervisor, and staff nurse before going into academia.

Read more here.

UTRGV nursing professor named a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing

Dr. Martinez

UTRGV nursing professor Dr. Nelda C. Martinez, RN, Ph.D., has been named a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. (UTRGV Photo by David Pike)

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – OCT. 3, 2017 – Dr. Nelda C. Martinez, RN, Ph.D., clinical professor in the UTRGV School of Nursing, College of Health Affairs, will be inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing during the organization's 2017 Transforming Health, Driving Policy Conference, Oct. 5-7 in Washington, D.C.

Read the full article here.

UTRGV nursing professor Tamez accepts Legacy Award from national organization

Eloisa Tamez

UTRGV nursing professor Eloisa G. Taméz, RN, Ph.D., FAAN, is the 2017 recipient of the Latino Legacy Award from the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. Here, she accepts the award during the 42nd annual NAHN Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. (Courtesy photo)

Read the full story here.

UTRGV Nursing Program Ranked High in the Nation

News Center 23 - Edinburg, TX - October 12, 2016 -The Nursing Program at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley was recently ranked as one of the best in the nation. News Center 23's Jose Saenz tells why the program received that recognition, and why students are choosing over other programs. Continue...