Focus on Campus

Fridays at 9am

Focus on Campus devotes time to recognize the latest and greatest on the UTEP campus. Louie Saenz, gives the lowdown on shining athletes, faculty and students. The show also includes information on ongoing research and university programs affecting our campus. It's everything you need to know about UTEP.

Host Louie Saenz talks with CHARLIE MINN, a filmmaker who has focused on issues along the U.S./Mexico border. His latest feature is "43," which investigates the disappearance and possible murder of 43 Mexican student teachers in 2014. The film received a premiere at UTEP and will open city-wide on Oct. 9.

JOIN US FOR JUSTICE is the El Paso Chapter of Americans United, and they will be hosting a talk by two women who challenged religious discrimination in the classroom.  The talk is September 26 on the UTEP campus, and Louie Saenz talks with David Marcus and Raul Amaya, who’ll tell us more details about the event and about the organization.

JOHN LOTT is an American economist, political commentator, and gun rights advocate. He will be speaking at a breakfast on the UTEP campus on Saturday, September 26th at the Hilton Garden Inn. Lott speaks to host Louie Saenz about the implications of carrying concealed weapons on University of Texas campuses (including UTEP), and about the argument in favor of legally carrying concealed weapons.

The UTEP Department of Theatre & Dance is kicking off a new season of stagecraft with the Austin Savage play THE FALL OF WALLACE WINTER. Louie Saenz talks with Ross Fleming, who wrote the music & lyrics with Nathan Stell-Smith. Fleming also directs the play, which takes place Sept 16-20 at the Fox Fine Arts Studio Theatre.

Louie Saenz talks with Paul Adame and Ben Carnevale from the UTEP Staff Council.   The Staff Council is a voice for staff members at the University of Texas at El Paso. They elect representatives to hear the concerns and interests of staff members on campus...issues that can vary from parking concerns to customer relations. 

Louie Saenz visits with Nora Cuvalier and Norma Chacon of the High School Equivalency Program, or HEP, at UTEP.  HEP was created to help migrant and seasonal farm workers pursuing their GED diploma.

Louie Saenz talks with Christian Corrales from UTEP Student Affairs, and Jorge Vasquez, Executive Director of UTEP Special Events about MINERPALOOZA, which celebrates its 25th year on August 28.  It’s the biggest tradition on the UTEP campus, and gives students, faculty, staff, and the public an opportunity to meet the football team, enjoy carnival games, hear live music, and welcome another semester at this yearly event. 


OLLI PAREDES, 90 years young, was one of UTEP's first graduates from the Communication Department (when UTEP was still called Texas Western). He also spent several years at CBS, and makes music in his off time. Hear Olli's entertaining interview with Louie Saenz.

Louie talks with Susan Sobin and Ian Wilson of the Osher Lifelong Institute (OLLI) at UTEP, about the classes being offered this Fall.  El Pasoans age 50+ are invited to sign up for learning opportunities that include arts & crafts, history, languages, music, religion, and physical activities. Classes begin Sept 8, and registration continues through Aug. 21. 

SHFWire photo by Kristopher Rivera

Louie Saenz talks with Congressman Beto O’Rourke about the U.S. MEXICO SUMMIT taking place Aug. 6 & 7 on the UTEP campus.  The summit will feature keynote speakers and several hundred leaders from the public and private sectors in both countries talking about the potential impact of bipartisanship on the U.S.− Mexico relationship, and the complexities involved in fostering the development of an educated and dynamic U.S. − Mexico border. 

Louie talks with Senior Associate Dean Beth Brunk-Chavez and Call Center Manager Raquel Salazar about the cutting-edge UTEP CONNECT initiative.  Students can earn an online Bachelors or Masters degrees, or Graduate Certificates in Criminal Justice, Nursing, Education, Business, and so much more.  


Options for UTEP student housing are expanding, and on the next FOCUS ON CAMPUS, Elsa Espinosa, Rosa Sandoval, and Kevin Marshburn of the UTEP Department of Residence Life, join Louie Saenz to talk about MINER CANYON, a 103,606-square-foot complex with 83 units that each have small kitchen, living area and bathroom. The buildings themselves will be equipped with lobbies, lounges, study rooms and laundry facilities.

Louie talks with UTEP Dinner Theatre Director Greg Taylor and Program Coordinator Beverly Kerbs-Ward about the musical PIPPIN, which will run at the UTEP Dinner Theatre from July 10-26.  With its infectiously unforgettable score, PIPPIN ran for over 5 years on Broadway in its original production and swept the New York Awards circuit in 2013, winning the Tony Award as Best Musical Revival.   Greg and Beverly also talk about the remarkable history of the Dinner Theatre.

Louie talks with John Aranda, Margie Brickey, and Ruben Vogt of the UTEP Alumni Association to talk about the UTEP ALUMNI PICK-NIC.  The UTEP Alumni Association is inviting UTEP alumni from all over the world to celebrate their alma mater on July 11.  From El Paso, to California, to Bhutan...there is a celebration near you!

  Louie Saenz talks with curator Scott Cutler and UTEP Biological Sciences professor Liz Walsh about the latest exhibit at the Centennial Museum at UTEP.  Invertebrates are spineless creatures who depend heavily on their jaws to survive, and their unique mouths differ vastly from those of vertebrates. The Centennial Museum on the UTEP campus is celebrating some of the tiniest invertebrates with the exhibit INVERTEBRATE JAWS: No Bones About Them. 

Louie Saenz talks with Carlos Tarin, Matthew Magee, and Katherine Alanis of the UTEP Forensics Program.  The program excels in teaching students persuasive and informative speaking, interpretation of literature, and other skills that could increase the chances of success after graduation. The Forensics Team has won local, state, and national championships.  

Louie talks with Kaye Mullins, Education Curator for the Centennial Museum & Chihuahuan Desert Gardens, about CAMP DISCOVERY, 3 educational & entertaining camps for children who will be enrolled in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades.   The campus are Digging Dinosaurs (June 15-19)...Culture Cruise (July 20-24)...and Kaleidoscope Kapers (Aug 17-21).  More info: Kaye Mullins 915-747-8994 or email http://kmullins@utep.edu

Aired June 12, 2015 


Louie talks with Zita Arocha about the upcoming JOURNALISM IN JULY event taking place on the UTEP campus July 12-19.  Twenty area high school students will be learning about the media and multi-media opportunities available to them as they plan their careers in college and beyond.  Arocha is the director, a multimedia web magazine at UTEP that prepares Hispanic college journalists for jobs in 21st century newsrooms.

Learn more at and http://


Aired June 5, 2015 


Louie talks with Rebecca Rivas, Assistant Professor in the UTEP Department of Theatre & Dance, about the Chicano/Latino Theatre Series, which is presenting performances of the children’s show “Señorita Cucarachita Finds a Husband”…the one-act play “Border”…a dance performance by Another River Interdisciplinary Ensemble…and poetry by local artist Celia Aguilar.  Performances are May 29 at the La Fe Cultural Center…May 30at Café Mayapán…and May 31 at the UTEP Fox Fine Arts Recital Hall.  All performances begin at 7:30 p.m.  Donations benefit the Student Scholarship Fund. Information: 747-6213, email  Admission by donation. 


Aired May 29, 2015


Louie talks with Roger Gonzalez and Yazmin Montoya about the newest department at UTEP, the Engineering Education and Leadership Department, and about E-Lead, the nation’s first engineering leadership bachelor’s degree.  http://

Aired May 22, 2015

UTEP's Department of Theatre & Dance is hosting a series of SUMMER THEATRE & DANCE CAMPS June 8-26. Students will learn about acting, the rehearsal process, ballet, choreography, and much, much more. Louie talks with Adriana Dominguez about the different camps for different age groups.  Connect with the Department of Theatre & Dance online http:// and on Facebook http://  Information also available at 915-747-5118.

Aired May 15, 2015


Education is not something that ends at college.  In our Third Age, we can continue to learn and grow, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UTEP is offering this opportunity for our second 50 years of life!  Learn more about OLLI's upcoming Spring classes with Susan Sobin and Ian Wilson.


Aired May 8, 2015


A local bad girl dares a young boy to outrun an oncoming train on a narrow trestle over a creek. Who is this antagonist, and what lies behind her darkness? Louie talks with actor Klarissa Robles, who plays the part of Pace Creagan in the UTEP Department of Theatre & Dance's production of TRESTLE AT POPE LICK CREEK.  Performances are April 24, 25, 30, May 1 & 2 at 7:30pm, April 26 & May 3 at 2:30pm, at the UTEP Fox Fine Arts Studio Theatre.  Information at 915-747-5118 or

Aired April 24, 2015 

  The First Thanksgiving celebration didn't take place with the pilgrims in the East, but right here in the Southwest.  San Elizario hosts the First Thanksgiving celebration this year, and Louie Saenz talks with Juan Pereira of UTEP Opera and George Cordova, President of the El Paso Mission Trail Association, about their collaboration to present a unique celebration including zarzuela, historical re-enactments, music, and more.

Information: 851-9997, email jreed2@utep.edu

Aired April 17, 2015.

  Louie talks with Ryan Saenz and Leslie Ramirez about the UTEP Medical Professions Organization, which provides support & information to the UTEP family about medical and health professions by providing opportunities for its members to interact with practicing professionals in each field.  Weekly meetings take place Wednesdays at 5 p.m. each semester at the UTEP Physical Sciences Building.  On Friday, April 10, at 5:30 p.m., the MPO hosts a Speed Mentoring event at the Mike Loya Building on the UTEP campus, allowing students to talk one-on-one with area physicians.  Learn more about this event and the organization at

Aired Fri. April 10, 2015.

Louie talks with Johnnie Rivers and Jon Shapiro about The Battle of El Dorado.  3 historically Black colleges with outstanding marching bands will be coming to El Paso to compete at the Sun Bowl. Alcorn State, Mississippi Valley State, and Prairie View A&M will be putting on a show for the ages at The Battle of El Dorado, taking place May 2 at Sun Bowl Stadium.

Aired April 3, 2015

  Louie talks with Carolina Franco and Elisa Garrido, UTEP Art Majors who are representing the Tom Lea Institute.  The Institute is hosting mural tours the last Thursday of each month, and the public is invited to view the history of El Paso through the eyes and art of Tom Lea.  Tours meet at noon in front of the historic Federal Court House, 511 East San Antonio.  Private tours are also available.  The next scheduled tour takes place Thursday, April 30th at noon.  Murals include Tom Lea’s “Pass of the North,” Carl Callejo’s “Our History,” and John Valadez’s “A Day in El Paso.”  Tours available in English, Spanish, and French.

RSVP to 533-0048, or email or  

Aired March 27, 2015.

  Louie talks with UTEP students Cynthia Alvarez and Roger Canales about the UTEP Department of Theatre & Dance production, ESPERANZA RISING, which tells the story of a privileged girl living in Mexico who, after a tragedy, must cross into the U.S. to labor as a farm worker. Performances are March 20-21, 26-28 at 7:30pm, March 22 & 29 at 2:30pm​ at the UTEP Wise Family Theatre.  Information available at 915-747-5118, or visit them on Facebook:

Aired March 20, 2015

  Louie welcomes Mariana Schenk to tell us about the opportunity entrepreneurial students at UTEP will soon have to create a mock startup in an extreme hands-on environment. The UTEP 3 Day Startup Program is taking place March 20-22 on the UTEP campus Learn more at

Aired March 13, 2015

  Louie talks with Alfonso Soto, Attorney, CPA, and Board Certified in Tax Law.  Soto is also an instructor of Individual Income Tax for the UTEP Accounting Department.   It's tax season, and Soto gives us tips on the Affordable Care Act, deductions, working in another state, and scams to watch out for.  For more information, contact Alfonso Soto at

Aired March 6, 2015.