OGE Leadership


Associate Vice President, Office of Global Engagement
Email: dennis.hart@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956) 665-7887

Dr. Dennis Hart currently serves as the Associate Vice President of Global Engagement at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He provides overall leadership and administration for the globalization efforts of the university and ensures all related activities are consistent with the goal of UTRGV’s strategic plan.

Prior to this position, Dr. Hart served as the Executive Director of the International Education Center at the University of St. Thomas, the Director of the Visiting International Professional Program (VIPP) at Michigan State University, the Associate Director of the Asian Studies Center, and as a Visiting Professor for the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.  

Between 1994 and 2008, he was Assistant/Associate Professor of political science at Kent State University. As a faculty member, Dr. Hart has received numerous teaching awards, including the Distinguished Teaching Award from Kent State University and Who's Who Among American Teachers.

His research and teaching interests include nationalism, culture and identity, and politics in the Koreas. He has published widely. Dennis Hart earned a Bachelor of Arts in Korean Studies, Master of Arts in East Asian Studies, and a Ph.D. in comparative politics, all from the University of Washington.

Director, International Admissions and Student Services
Email: samantha.lopez@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956) 882-7690
Born in Brownsville and raised in Mexico, Samantha brings more than 14 years of experience in international education to her position as Director of International Admissions and Student Services. Ms. Lopez previously served as Manager of International Student & Scholar Services with the Office of Global Engagement at The University of Texas at Brownsville. Samantha is well-versed in federal and state regulations related to immigration, employment, and educational opportunities for students and scholars.
Among her many accomplishments, Samantha has been an active member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators (the leading professional organization in the field of international education) for more than 9 years. Samantha is a recipient of the “Outstanding Service Award to International Education” for her work in demonstrating outstanding performance of a sustained and serious nature of national impact based on her success in winning a Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeal (BALCA) case with the U.S. Department of Labor in 2011.
Ms. Lopez received both a Bachelor and Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Brownsville. She is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in Higher Education at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Director, International Programs and Partnerships
Email: alan.earhart@utrgv.edu | Phone: (956) 665-3572
Born and raised in Vancouver, Washington, Alan has more than a decade of leadership experience in international programs. He spent 10 years working in study abroad administrative roles in Italy most recently as the director of Georgetown University’s prestigious Villa Le Balze program near Florence, Italy. He also served as the inaugural resident director of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Sicily. Alan was drawn to international education because of his experience as a first generation college student studying abroad in Florence, Italy. He understands the profound impact that this experience can have on all students. He is motivated to serve students and provide academic experiences that improve student success. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Higher Education Leadership at Colorado State University. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Italian Literature as well as a Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering.  Alan started at UTRGV on June 20th, 2016.