Global Affiliates

Global affiliates
The Office of Global Engagement works closely with faculty and friends on a number of projects to internationalize our university. As part of this partnership, faculty and friends have the opportunity to join with OGE in its activities. OGE recognizes these contributions by providing them with the title of Global Affiliate. Global Affiliates serve on various OGE committees and promote OGE throughout the campus and the world.

    EEDUC 1646

    Email: | Phone: (956) 665-2341

    Professor Victor Alvarado, Counseling,  joined UTPA in 1972. He was attracted by a university that had a built-in institutional interest in all the different countries and cultures from North, Central, and South America. During his time at our university, he has been involved in a wide range of international activities and grants. He has been a Fulbright Scholar and a Rotary International Fellow. He has been invited by the USAID to conduct seminars on Neurology and in quantitative EEG Analysis and topographic brain mapping of gifted students at the University of Leuven in Belgium. Dr. Alvarado has also been part of research and other initiatives at the Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE) School of Medicine in the Dominican Republic; in the Strategic Planning to all the Rectores (Presidents) of the Bolivian universities; conducted training in, both State and Private institutions under the auspices of the Ministry of Education in Bolivia; and, has given seminars in Comparative Psychology at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, and Southwest University of Chongqing, China. Additionally, he has received two consecutive grants from NASA that allowed him to participate in numerous National and international conferences in Neurology in the Netherlands, France, Hungary, Canada, Chile, and other countries. Presently, he is preparing UTRGV students to provide bilingual counseling training that will enable them to provide mental health services to the local population, that in many cases are classified as being of limited English proficiency. Professor Alvarado has an Ed.D. In Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University and hails originally from Chile.


    Dean, Honors College
    ESTAC 2109
    Email: | Phone: (956) 665-2341

    Dr. Andersen is the Dean of the Honors College at UTRGV. He promotes globalization by providing and promoting study abroad opportunities for honors students, by serving as the campus representative for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, and by mentoring students applying for internationally-competitive scholarship and fellowship opportunities such as the Rhodes, Marshall, Gates-Cambridge, Schwarzman scholarships. He is also campus coordinator for the Archer Fellowship Program and for the National Student Exchange. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1987. His research interests include applications of ecological theory and regional risk assessment in conservation biology and invasive species control, and the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and ecosystem services.


    Professor, Literatures & Cultural Studies
    ELABS 238

    Email: | Phone: (956) 665-3424

    Dr. Linda Belau is a Professor in the Department of Literatures and Cultural Studies and is also the Director of the interdisciplinary Film Studies Program at UTRGV. She designed and led the first Study Abroad trip to London, England in the Department of English at UTPA and is a recipient of the Provost’s Award for the Advancement of Teaching Abroad Programs. Dr. Belau has a PhD in Comparative Literature, and her research and teaching interests are, therefore, broadly global. She brings her internationalist approach to research and publication to the classroom, offering several courses that are both trans-national and interdisciplinary in scope, and she is the recipient of the University of Texas Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. Dr. Belau teaches International Film and topics on a variety of international cinemas, including Third Cinema, Asian Cinema, Italian Neorealism, Russian Montage Cinema, and German Expressionism. She enjoys collaborating with colleagues across the disciplines to support programs that are more global, interdisciplinary, and trans-national in scope. Dr. Belau also publishes on literary theory, traumatic experience and the representation of trauma in global contexts, and international film studies. She is the author of Topologies of Trauma, Essays on the Limit of Knowledge and Experience, and Psychoanalysis et La Femme as well as book chapters and journal articles on the cinematic work of a variety of international directors, including Pier Paolo Pasolini, Jane Campion, Steve McQueen, and Andrei Tarkovsky. She has also published on the writings of Kazuo Ishiguro, Kazumi Yumoto, Ota Yoko, St. Teresa of Avila, Franz Fanon, Jacques Lacan, Julia Kristeva, and Yukio Mishima.



    Associate Professor, School of Art 
    EVABL 1204

    Email: | Phone: (956) 665-2897

    Robert Bradley in the School of Art and has Ph.D. in Art History and Archaeology from Columbia University. Currently, he is an associate professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He has written a monograph entitled The Architecture of Kuelap (VDM, 2008) and his recent publications include “Sudado de Raya: an Ancient Peruvian Dish” in the winter 2012 issue of Gastronomica, “Coca: An Andean Daily Chew” in Cualli: Latin American and Iberian Food Studies Review, and “A Western Mirage on the Bolivian Altiplano” in Buen Gusto and Classicism in the Visual Cultures of Latin America, 1780-1910(University of New Mexico Press, 2013). Professor Bradley assists OGE by leading a study abroad program to Peru each year, and, by serving on the OGE Grants Review Committee.



    Assistant Professor, College of Liberal Arts, Department of History 
    ELABS 346A

    Email: | Phone: (956) 665-2323

    Friederike Brühöfener is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at UTRGV. She also serves as the Assistant Program Director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program. Dr. Brühöfener received her B.A. and M.A. from Bielefeld University (Germany) and her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research and teaching focus on Modern European and German gender, women’s, cultural, and new military history, as well as the history of sexualities. Currently, she is involved in the organization of the international conference “Social Movements Since ’68: Germany, Europe, and Beyond,” which will be held at Rutgers University in November 2018.


    Professor, Literatures and Cultural Studies
    ELABS 230

    Email: | Phone: 956-665-3427 

    Ed Cameron is Professor of Film and Literary Studies in the Department of Literatures & Cultural Studies. He earned a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and an MA in Philosophy from Binghamton University, and another MA in Humanities from San Francisco State University. He is a recipient of the Provost’s Award for the Advancement of Teaching Abroad Programs. He promotes internationalization by teaching regular courses in International Film, especially Japanese Cinema, French Surrealism, and the European art film. He has published articles on German Expressionism, the Soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, and the Italian director Federico Fellini. His research focuses on the intersection of French psychoanalysis, aesthetic theory, and the history of cinema.

    Professor, Literatures and Cultural Studies
    ELABS 235

    Email: | Phone: 956-665-3425 

    Matthew J. Christensen is Professor of World Literature in the Department of Literatures and Cultural Studies. His research focuses on Anglophone African literature and culture and examines the interplay of literary form and political formations, especially in terms of globalization, transnationalism, neoliberalism, and political sovereignties. In addition to his multiple articles on West African historical drama and Anglophone African detective fiction, Dr. Christensen is the author of Rebellious Histories: The Amistad Slave Revolt and the Cultures of Late Twentieth-Century Transnationalism (SUNY Press, 2012) and editor of the companion anthology The Amistad on Stage: Three Sierra Leonean Plays (Ohio University Press, 2019). His research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Australia National University, and the West African Research Association. He has also served on the board of directors for the West African Research Association and chaired its grants and postdoctoral fellowship review committee.


    Assistant Dean Student Support Counseling Wellness School of Medicine
    HCEBL 3112

    Email: Eugenia.curet@utrgv | Phone 956-296-1412

    Dr. Eugenia Curet is the Assistant Dean for Support and Wellness Services for medical students at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) School of Medicine, non-teaching faculty at the Department of Psychiatry and lecturer within the College of Health Affairs, Department of Social Work. She holds a Master Degree in Social Work with specialization in psychiatric social work, New York University Graduate School of Social Work; a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing on Public Health and Substance Abuse from The Union Institute and University, Cincinnati, Ohio and  pursued doctoral studies on advanced clinical social work at the Adelphi University in New York. She attended the 2 years One Spirit Seminary in New York City and was ordained as Interfaith Minister.  During her tenure at the UTRGV (previously UTB/UTPA) she is/has been the Principal Investigator of several grant funded programs – among them: Weight Management: A Biopsychosocial Approach; Project Peer Educators: Survey of Students’ Sexual Behaviors and Knowledge and Attitudes about HIVCampus Suicide Prevention Program; Violence Against Women Campus Program; and the MSI/CBO Substance Abuse and HIV Prevention program. During 17 years she was the Director of the Vincent P. Dole Research and Treatment Center for Opioid Addiction of Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC), and Clinical Instructor in the Public Health Department. She has published and has been a presenter at numerous national and international conferences on subjects ranging from behavioral health, substance abuse and infectious diseases. She has also trained health providers on the provision of integrated and culturally sensitive delivery of treatment services to diverse ethnic minorities.  She is interested in research that focuses on prevention and integrated treatment approaches for substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and behavioral health within a local and global perspective. 

    Associate Professor, Writing & Language Studies
    ELABS 241
    Email: | Phone: (956) 665-3441

    Dr. Eom works with OGE to promote multilingualism & multiculturalism at UTRGV. Dr. Eom has developed Korean language courses and supported on- and off-campus many cultural events, one example being the Multi-lingual Fest. She has served as a liaison between UTRGV and universities in Korea and introduced intercultural collaboration projects for her undergraduate students. Her research focuses on English as a Second Language, second/third language acquisition, and foreign language learning. Dr. Eom earned her Ph.D. in 2006 in ESL and Foreign Language Teaching and Learning from the University of Iowa.


    Associate Professor, Art
    EVABL 1212

    Email: | Phone: (956) 665-2214

    Robert Gilbert is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design in the School of Art, in the College of Fine Arts. He is currently the supervisor of 3 visiting scholars from China. These visiting environmental designers are working on space redesigns for the Brownsville campus. Robert has taught and worked as a designer in Greece. He has also taught graphic design at Hangyang Normal University in China, where he is an Honorary Professor. He serves as the Coordinator for the graphic design area in the School of Art. Robert graduated from the Otis Parsons Art Institute in Los Angeles and received a masters degree from California State University at Los Angeles. His design experience ranges from advertising to publication and he works to refine a visual approach that combines the surprise of commercialism within fine art design.


    Associate Professor, Rehab Srvs & Counseling
    EHABE 2114

    Email: | Phone: (956) 665-5108

    Dr. Sandra Hansmann is an Associate Professor in the School of Rehabilitation in the College of Health Affairs. She served as the principal investigator of the Integrated Global Knowledge and Understanding Collaboration, and past director of Global Security Studies and the Office of International Programs. Dr. Hansmann was a recipient of both the Provost’s Award for International Studies and the Award for Pan-American Studies. Dr. Hansmann has also worked closely with the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program and the World Affairs Council. She is currently the chair of UTRGV’s International Oversight Committee, and, serves on OGE’s grant review committee. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Texas Austin.


    Associate Professor & Associate Chair, Political Science
    BPOB2 1.103B
    Email: | Phone: (956) 882-6517

    Dr. Keck is the founder and director of the Model United Nations Club at UTRGV. She promotes internationalization through her teaching on the UN as well as taking her students to MUN conferences in New York and other locations. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Texas Tech University in 2010. Her research interests include non-governmental organizations, civil war, international organizations, border studies, and US foreign policy.


    Associate Professor, Philosophy
    ELABS 364
    Email: | Phone: (956) 665-8797

    Dr. Stephen C. Leach received his B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Santa Fe, NM, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of New Mexico. He has taught at UTRGV (formerly UTPA) for more than a dozen years, specializing in courses in Asian Philosophy, Film Philosophy, and Religion, Spirituality, and the Environment; he has also taught a Study Abroad course in Japan and has lectured at Xi’an International Studies University in China. He has published in the Acta Kierkegaardiana, the International Kierkegaard Commentary, and NETSOL, among other venues. He is the recipient of a AASCU-CEAIE China Studies Institute Zhi-Xing China Academic Impact Fellowship (Shanghai, Xi’an and Beijing), a Sinological Development Charity Foundation Fellowship (Beijing and elsewhere), a  Japan Studies Institute / Nippon Foundation/AASCU joint Fellowship (San Diego State University, San Diego, CA), a Japan Studies Institute Fellowship in Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto, and Beppu), an NEH Fellowship in Buddhist Traditions of Tibet and the Himalayas (College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA), and two summer fellowships at the Kierkegaard Library, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN. He is also a member of the Mellon/ Notre Dame "Philosophy as a Way of Life" Network.

    Assistant Professor, History
    EVALB 1203

    Email: | Phone: (956)-665-3480

    Katherine McAllen is an Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She received her MA and PhD at Harvard University and her MA degree at the University of Texas Austin. As a Fulbright-Hays fellow and visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome, her research focuses on artistic exchanges between colonial Mexico, Peru, and Early Modern Europe. Current projects include an essay with Cambridge University Press titled "Jesuit Martyrdom Imagery Between New Spain and Rome," which appears in the anthology titled The New World in Early Modern Italy: Encounters with the Americas in the 16th – 18th Century, edited by Elizabeth Horodowich and Lia Markey (forthcoming November 2017). Dr. McAllen is also involved in creation of the upcoming exhibition at the San Antonio Museum of Art (opening February 2018) titled Circa 1718: Mexican Art During San Antonio’s First Century. She contributed a scholarly essay in the Circa 1718 catalogue titled, “Time and Space on the Missionary Frontier: Cultural Dynamics and the Defense of Northern New Spain” (Trinity University Press). 


    Associate Professor, Chair Department of Literatures and Cultural Studies
    ELABS 204
    Email: | Phone: 956-665-2354

    Dr. Caroline Miles received a BA in American Studies from the University of Wales, Swansea, and an MA and PhD. from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has published numerous articles on issues of gender and economics in the South and is completing a book manuscript on William Faulkner and the economies of the South. Dr. Miles’s new project examines the economic implications of regionalism and geographical borders more broadly. Dr. Miles teaches courses on writing, American literature, Latin American literature, Southern literature, and Women’s literature, and she is a recipient of the Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award. Dr. Miles works with OGE on topics related to Border Studies.

    Professor, Physics
    BLHSB 2226
    Email: | Phone: (956) 882-6679

    Dr. Soma Mukherjee obtained a Ph. D in Physics from the University of Calcutta, India. Her post-doctoral studies were accomplished at Caltech and Northwestern University and at Penn State. She was a faculty equivalent scientist at the Max Planck Institut fur Gravitationasphysik before joining the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College in Fall 2003. She is now a Professor of Physics at UTRGV. Dr. Mukherjee has co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed papers in high impact journals and presented invited talks at multiple international conferences. Her research has been well-funded through NSF and NASA. She is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and a co-author of the gravitational wave discovery paper in 2016.

    Lecturer, Writing & Language Studies
    Email: | Phone: 956-665-3441

    Ms. Mijin Oh-Villarreal (MA, Duksung Women's University in Seoul, South Korea) is a lecturer of Korean language at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She is a multi-year national Korean storytelling champion. Her teaching of Korean extends to the training of Korean traditional music and cultural performances. She has been actively involved in community outreach activities and service learning projects. She works with OGE on a wide range of cultural and academic events to internationalize UTRGV.

    Hankuk University of Foreign Studies


    Dr. Tae Hyun Oum is a researcher, writer, documentary producer, and faculty member at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in South Korea. He is a renowned translator, who has translated Korean classic and modern novels, short stories, and poetry into Romanian. His representative translation work includes The Cloud Dream of Nine by Kim Manjung, Selected Poems by Seo Jeongju, Selected Short Stories of Hwang Sun Won, and Please Take Care of Mom by Shin Kyungsook. He received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Bucharest. His current research includes the analysis of linguistic differences and identities based on gender and generation in Korean and Romanian languages and historical, linguistic, and cultural traditions of Moldova. He is also the East European research director of the Humanities CORE project of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. As a global affiliate, Dr. Oum assists OGE with recruiting and the development of professional programs. 


    Lecturer, Sociology
    ELABN 344
    Email: | Phone: (956) 665-8723

    Dr. Young Rae Oum volunteers at OGE as a translator and an advisor for international students, and, advises OGE on relations with universities in Korea. Dr. Oum’s teaching and research interests are diaspora, border crossing, food sociology, critical race theories, third world feminisms, and postmodern subjectivities. She is interested in how immigrant intellectuals narrate their identities, mobilizing larger discourses and positioning themselves in the intersecting social forces of gender, race, class, and language. She is currently working on a project on Korean American diaspora identities. Dr. Oum has two doctorates, one in Human Development and Family Studies from Iowa State University and the other in Women Studies from Clark University.


    Spec Assignment Staff
    Health & Human Performance

    Currently, Dr. Eunkyung Park is a Co-Director of the Sahmyook University Addictive Program at The University Texas Rio Grande Valley. She received her BA, MA and Ph.D from Ewha Womens University in Korea, and her major was Sports Medicine. She worked as a Clinical Exercise Specialist for seventeen years in Asan Medical Center and taught rehabilitative exercises to patients suffering from the effects of stroke, cardiac problems, DM, obesity and others illnesses. She has done Post-Doctoral work in cardiac disease using mice experimentation in HHP (Health and Human Performance) at the University of Houston. At present, she is focusing on brain damage rehabilitation in clinical setting as well as home based therapy using a wearable monitoring device in UTRGV.

    Asst Dean for Faculty Development
    HCEBL 2134
    Email: | Phone: (956) 296-1481

    Beatriz Tapia, M.D., M.P.H., C.P.H, is the Director of STEER and Course Director for the Environmental Medicine/Border Health Elective. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Assistant Dean of Faculty Development at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Harlingen, Texas. Dr. Tapia is a native of Chicago, Illinois. She attended the Autonomous University of Puebla in Mexico, where she received her M.D., and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University (JHSPH), in Baltimore, Maryland, where she received her Master’s in Public Health.  She is active in numerous border health organizations, and is currently appointed the U.S. co-facilitator of the environmental health subcommittee for the Gulf Taskforce of the United States – México Border Health Commission- Border 2020 (formally Border 2012. Dr. Tapia is a strong advocate for the medically underserved; she continuously provides environmental and public health education to promotoras (lay healthcare workers), public health professionals and community centers.  Her research interests are border health, environmental medicine, public health, minority health and medical education research.
  • BIN WANG, Ph.D.

    Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship
    EMAGC 3.310

    Email: Phone: 956-665-3353

    Dr. Bin Wang is a Professor of Information Systems in the Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship and Associate Dean of the Graduate College.  She received her Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota in 2004.  Her research interest include social media and social commerce, crowdfunding, e-commerce, and information technology adoption.  She has published over 40 research articles in top academic journals such as the Journal of Management Information SystemsInformation and Management, Information Systems Frontiers, and Journal of Business Research.  She currently serves as a Senior Editor at Electronic Commerce Research and Applications and an Associate Editor at the Journal of Electronic Commerce Research.  Her recent awards include the 2018 UTRGV Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching (Tenured/Tenure-Track), the 2016 UTRGV Outstanding International Female Faculty Award, the 2016 Most Developmental Associate Editor Award from Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, and the 2014 UTPA New Faculty Mentor Excellence Award.
  • SIBIN WU, Ph.D.

    Professor, Management
    EBUSA 222C
    Email: | Phone: (956) 665-3559

    Professor Sibin Wu is the Department Chair of Management. He earned a PhD in Management Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Business Administration. His research interests include firm innovation and top management, international entrepreneurship, and behaviors of nascent entrepreneurs. Dr. Wu has presented his research at numerous conferences including Academy of International Business. His works have appeared in top journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Information and Management, and Journal of Business Research. Dr. Wu has been invited to give talks across the world including Australia, China, France, Hong Kong, Korea, Turkey, and Singapore. Dr. Wu also collaborates with scholars from other countries.
  • PING XU, M.F.A.

    Assistant Professor, Art
    EVABL 1209
    Email: | Phone: (956) 665-3480

    Assistant Professor Ping Xu is in the School of Art and teaches graphic design. He began his professional career and served as an Art Director, a Creative Director, and a Production Director in Shanghai advertising industry since 1988. He began teaching at Kansas State University in 2003, continued his teaching career through at the University of Southern Mississippi, and then at Truman State University. He joined The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Fall 2015. His Visual Communication research is focused on Corporate Identity, Typographic Poster Design, Advertising Design, Digital Photography, and Interactive Communications. Professor Xu has received ten American Advertising Awards in AAF competition in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2016, and 2017. He has a Master of Fine Arts, Visual Communications from Kansas State University, and, a Bachelor of Fine Art in Visual Communications from the Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago.

    OGE Recruiting
    Cynthia Yu is an International Student Recruiter at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Ms. Yu received her M.B.A. degree majoring in Marketing and Finance from The University of Missouri Kansas City in December, 2011. Before moving to the United States, she worked as Group Media Director in McCann Erickson Worldwide Shanghai Branch for ten years, then worked as a Division Manager of L'OREAL China for many years. She used to teach Principles of Marketing at Truman State University before relocating to Edinburg. She is a senior marketing professional with FMCG and non-profit organization marketing experience about 15 years, encompassing strategic planning, strong qualitative and quantitative analytical skills, interactive and social media marketing, media planning and buying, public relations, with the ability and skill set to provide creative, innovative, and forward-thinking leadership in a team environment. She believes that expanding strategic international partnerships, research collaborations, exchange and study abroad programs, and alumni relations can greatly enhance UTRGV's educational capabilities, student opportunities and participation, brand reputation and much more.

    Lecturer, Writing & Language Studies
    ELABS 245A  

    Email: | Phone: (956) 665-3441

    Ms. Xin Zhang is a Lecturer in the department of Writing and Language Studies. She received a Masters degree from Beijing Language and Culture University in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics and was selected as an outstanding teacher by the Chinese government. She has taught Chinese language in a range of countries. Her language classes were reported by many mainstream social media in Korea, Japan, China and Mauritius. On 2010, she was awarded first place in the China National Essay Competition. She has published scholarly articles in Literature Read and Contemporary Business Writing, as well as other journals. Since 2013, she has been teaching Chinese classes at UTPA and UTRGV. She lead the development of Chinese language classes from being elective classes to being Asian Studies Minor core courses. She also played a key role in the creation of an interdisciplinary minor in Asian Studies. She is the founder of HSK testing center and also is the founder of dual enrollment program for Chinese language. In addition, Ms. Zhang designed and will lead a UTRGV study abroad internship for Business Chinese.