America Makes Welcomes UTEP’s Retiring President to Youngstown

The Institute also names Dr. Natalicio an America Makes ambassador.

America Makes welcomed Dr. Diana Natalicio, president of The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) on her visit to the Institute August 1, before her retirement later in August. Dr. Natalicio’s successor, Heather Wilson, former U.S. Air Force Secretary, will become UTEP’s next president on August 15.

America Makes welcomed Dr. Diana Natalicio, president of The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) on her visit to the Institute August 1, before her retirement later in August. Dr. Natalicio’s successor, Heather Wilson, former U.S. Air Force Secretary, will become UTEP’s next president on August 15.

UTEP, a long-standing member of America Makes since 2012, is also the home of the Institute’s first Satellite Center, established in 2015, at UTEP’s W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation. Since 1988, Dr. Natalicio has served as UTEP’s president, a distinction that makes her the longest serving UTEP president, according to UTEP officials.

During her distinguished career with the university, which began in 1971, Dr. Natalicio has also served as vice president for academic affairs, dean of liberal arts, chair of the modern languages department and professor of linguistics. She brought a sustained commitment to provide all residents of the Paso del Norte region access to higher education opportunities.

“It was an incredible honor for all of us to welcome Dr. Natalicio to America Makes and Youngstown today,” says America Makes executive director John Wilczynski. “During her remarkable 31-year tenure as president, Dr. Natalicio has led UTEP to become a center of academic and research excellence, recently attaining Carnegie R1 status as a top-tier doctoral university. Our partnership with UTEP and its Keck Center as our first Satellite Center, has been successful, yielding positive outcomes for both our members and industry.”

“As part of her visit to the Institute, we all felt strongly about naming Dr. Natalicio an America Makes Ambassador in recognition of and appreciation for her continuous demonstration of outstanding dedication to America Makes and its mission,” adds Wilczynski. “She is a visionary and inspiration to us all. We wish her the best as she embarks on the next chapter of her life, knowing she will be leaving an indelible mark at UTEP and the community of El Paso that won’t soon be forgotten.”

The America Makes Ambassador Program was established in 2017 at the Institute’s annual Members Meeting and Exchange (MMX) event. 

After a tour of the America Makes facilities, meetings with the Institute’s and Youngstown State University’s leadership, Dr. Natalicio and America Makes staff participated in an ecosystem roundtable discussion that included representatives from the Youngstown Business Incubator, Center Street Technologies, Defense & Energy Systems, and JuggerBot 3D. The day concluded with a dinner, held in Dr. Natalicio’s honor, hosted by YSU President Jim Tressel where the America Makes Ambassador medal was presented.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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