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.

--S.C. Cutler;

Louie talks to UTEP Chihuahuan Desert Gardens curator John White about the upcoming tour of the campus Chihuahuan Desert Gardens on Saturday, August 9, starting at 9AM. It's a guided tour of the complex, explaining the upkeep of the gardens, the various plants, some of which are rare to the area. The tour is in conjunction with the El Paso Museum of Art's "Vanishing Ice" exhibit.

Louie and John also talk about summer plant care, and how to choose native plants wisely.

For information on the tour, or on the Gardens, visit   

--UTEP University Communications; NASA

UTEP students Edgardo Flores, middle, and Sergio Cordova, right, float alongside NASA mentor Timothy Pelischek, left, on board a reduced gravity aircraft flight on July 10 in Ellington Field at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Photo courtesy of NASACredit --NASA photoEdit | Remove

    Louie talks with three UTEP engineering students chosen to take the NASA experience: Sergio Cordova, Gabriel Garay and Sarah Soto. They were among several chosen to talk with NASA scientists, astronauts and physicists about their own experiments created at UTEP, and how their entries won them opportunities to present in Houston. Their story is at

Louie introduces the faithful to Sarah Upton, the newest member of the UTEP communications department faculty. Sarah is a former UTEP student who has earned her degrees and is now teaching in the summer session, getting ready for the 2014 fall semester.  

Louie talks with PJ Viera, the UTEP Encyclopedia executive editor, about a walking tour slated for 11AM Saturday, July 19, that starts at the Gerald and Stanlee Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, just south of the Sun Bowl. Walkers may expect to walk the campus for at least 1 1/2 hours as Viera shows visitors some of the more obscure vista points of the campus. Bring comfortable shoes and a bottle of water. The tour is free, and more information is available at

--University Relations / --UTEP Alumni Association

Louie talks with Dr. Richard Daniel, UTEP associate vice-president for University Advancement and the UTEP Alumni Relations executive director  , and Margie Brickey, UTEP charter development, about the coast-to-coast UTEP Alumni PICK-nic that is happening on July 12 at various locations around the country, as well as here in El Paso. For detailed information on the PICK-nic in your area, visit; and for general information on the alumni association, please visit or on FACEBOOK: RSVP for the El Paso PICK-nic at Memorial Park by calling 915-747-8600. The El Paso PICK-nic is slated to run from 6-9PM.

Burnham Wood Charter School District

  Louie talks with DaVinci faculty member Alejandro Medina and three award-winning students, Felix Avila, Jacqueline Dominguez and Pilar Gonzalez, about their designs and projects that garnered them a trip to Washington, D.C., and NASA, where they will present their ideas to a proposals board. Medina is a UTEP graduate in engineering.

For information on enrolling at Burnham Wood Charter School and the DaVinci School for Science and the Arts: or phone 915-584-9499 or 915-584-4024.

--Random House

Louie talks with longtime friend and colleague Alfredo Corchado about the recent yearlong book tour supporting "Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter's Journey Through A Country's Descent into Darkness," including the recent release of the book in paperback form, and being printed now in Spanish. They also talk about the formation of the Somos Fund, a nonprofit venture that supports the victims of violence in Ciudad Juarez by offering college and university scholarships. And, there is discussion about the rights of the book being sold to develop into a major motion picture. A portion of the interview is also conducted in Spanish.

For information on the books, or to contact Alfredo directly,

Thomas Dunne Books: St. Martin's Press

Louie talks with Ezra Cappell, UTEP English associate professor, and his college classmate and friend, noted author Natalie S. Harnett about her recent visit to UTEP, and a discussion about writing her first novel, "The Hollow Ground." The book is available through, as well as other fine booksellers around the country.


Jun 16, 2014

Louie visits with Alberto "Beto" Lopez, UTEP vice-president for institutional advancement, university relations and external relations, and Araceli Fleet, UTEP space manager with facilities services and recent UTEP AWARE program graduate; they talk about the yearly UTEP AWARE program that is available to UTEP faculty and staff members. The program is designed to introduce the class to the university: the staff, management, buildings, history, content, architecture, social structure and more. Space is limited, and one of the requirements is that it is preferred that the prospective applicant should have been employed by UTEP for at least six months.

Information and online application are available at :

Louie talks with Borderzine webmaster and full time lecturer Lourdes Cueva Chacon and two participants in the fifth annual Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Academy held at UTEP's Cotton Memorial Building this past week (June 1-5, 2014). Celeste Gonzalez de Bustamante (University of Arizona) and Michael Murcotte (University of New Mexico) share their experiences in their "teacher becomes student" tasks in learning the latest methods in multimedia journalism, and what they will take back into their respective classrooms. They were part of a contingent who were split up into teams and assigned stories to test their skills before heading back into their classrooms and workshops. The academy's completed assignments are now available for viewing at

Homegrown Photo

Louie talks with Dr. Yolanda Leyva, department of History chair, and three of her graduate assistants, Gustavo del Hierro, Angelica Martinez and Carlos Varela, about their upcoming Centennial exhibit, "The Chicano Movement in the '70s," at the Centennial Museum. The exhibit opens on June 7th with an open reception and all are welcome. For more information, contact the history department at 915-747-5508, visit their website:  and/or contact Dr. Leyva via email:

The Centennial Museum's website is:

FOCUS ON CAMPUS: 2014 VIDA Conference at UTEP

May 23, 2014
Harper Collins Publishers

Louie and UTEP psychology professor Eddie Castaneda talk about the upcoming VIDA Conference to be held in the Tomas Rivera Conference Center on May 29-30, 2014. They talk about addiction, Castaneda's studies on the brain during and after addiction, and they talk about this year's keynote speaker, Dr. Carl Hart, from Columbia University's psychology department, and the author of the best-selling book, " High Price."

Free admission, however seating is limited and registration is highly recommended. The website is

Dr. Hart's website is

Louie talks with Alexandra Garcia from the UTEP Union Programs office about the upcoming Movies on the Lawn summer movie series at Kidd Field, along with other programs for students attending the summer sessions, and the general public.

For information, call 915-747-5711, or email Alexandra at Their website is


May 9, 2014
KTEP Staff photo / KTEP

Louie talks with Yaya Perez, Robert Garza, Justin Davidson, student members of the UTEP Debate and Forensics team, and Mike Brooks, debate and forensics coach, about the 2013-14 academic year's competitions. They also look into the future plans for the summer and fall of '14. 

For infomation,; on Facebook: and Instagram at

UTEP Communications

    Louie and UTEP Department of English associate professor Ezra Cappell talk about the upcoming visit by Pulitzer Prize finalist Nathan Englander to UTEP's Undergraduate Learning Center on May 1st, at 7 pm. All are invited to attend. Dr. Cappell reads from Englander's latest creation, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank."

For information on Englander's visit, For information on Nathan Englander himself,

FOCUS ON CAMPUS: UTEP Celebrates Earth Week

Apr 18, 2014

Louie and University Wellness manager Eileen Aguilar discuss Earth Week at UTEP, from April 21-25, at various locations around campus. There will be a yoga summit at the Sun Bowl on Monday, April 21, from noon to 1 pm and all are welcome. For information, phone Eileen at 915-747-6738. Visit the website:  

Louie talks with Adam Vargas and Israel Hall from the UTEP kinesiology department about the upcoming Miner Madness basketball tournament that is open to all: students, faculty, staff and the public at large. It is a coed event, and all of the details are at  Information is also available by emailing Rowena Baquera at or Jason Boyle at Deadline to register is Monday, April 14; the event is at Memorial Gym on Friday, April 18.

Louie talks with Dr. Patricia Witherspoon, UTEP Dean of Students, Vincent Burke, UTEP Department of Art, and Michael Pitcher, UTEP Academic Technologies director, about the upcoming campus-wide Open House. For details on where to park, and what to see and do at UTEP during its inaugural Open House, go to

FOCUS ON CAMPUS: Afro-Mexican Studies

Mar 28, 2014

Louie talks with Norm Garrett about his studies of the integration of Civil War-era African-Americans into mainstream Mexico. His class, "Free Blacks and Fugitive Slaves in Texas and the Southwest," is offered though the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute that is housed on campus at UTEP. 

For information on future classes, 915-261-6824 will reach Norm Garrett directly, or you may call 915-747-8848 or 915-747-6280.

FOCUS ON CAMPUS: Spring and your trees

Mar 21, 2014

Louie and his guests, UTEP Chihuahuan Gardens curator John White and Texas Forest Service urban forester Oscar Mestas, talk about the area trees and shrubs coming into this spring season, with a hesitant forewarning about a possible cold spell that statistically might affect your trees and shrubs at your home. Regardless of the weather, they talk about the care and feeding of your plants this season.

For more information, John White may be reached via email:, and Oscar Mestas may be reached via Also, more information on taking care of trees may be found at:

Louie introduces you to KTEP's new development director, John Carrillo. He is an El Pasoan who has worked for a decade at the network level for NPR. Carrillo is also a veteran commercial broadcaster and brings that expertise back home to El Paso.

To inquire about underwriting possibilities at KTEP, contact John at 915-747-6299. Visit us at 

Facebook (Rubin Center)

  Guest host Norma Martinez talks with Melissa Barba, Assistant Director of the Stanlee & Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts on the UTEP Campus.  The Rubin Center is El Paso's only showcase for contemporary art.  Melissa tells us about the unique exhibitions on display at the Rubin Center, and some of the upcoming community events that will be taking place there.  Saturday, March 8, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the Rubin Center hosts a Family Day Celebration of the Himalayan New Year.  To learn more about the Rubin Center, call 915-747-6151, or visit them on Facebook,

Aired March 7, 2014.

Louie talks with two organizers of Project MOVE. The countywide volunteer event is set for Saturday, March 1, at Glory Field, Sun Bowl Drive and Glory Road, with check in starting at 8:30, A rally is set for 9:15, and then nearly 2,000 volunteers are sent to various parts of the city and county to do cleanup and more. For registration, One may also phone Mr. Holmes directly at (915)747-8694.

From March 2 on, interested volunteers wanting to be part of the the MOVEment are asked to contact the Center for Civic Engagement: 

UTEP Center for Civic Engagement
500 W. University Benedict Hall Rm 101
El Paso, Tx. 79968-0626
Phone: (915) 747-7969

Louie talks with Dr. Luis Villalobos, UTEP political science professor, about President Barack Obama's State of the Union address from January, and what the current state of political climate holds for Obama's administration this year. ***REVISED CONTENT as of 11:45AM, 2/21/14***


Audio Pending...

   Louie talks with David Marcus of Join us for Justice, the El Paso Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church & State.  The chapter grew out of the recent debate at City Hall over domestic partner benefits.  Join us for Justice will host "An Evening of Civil Discourse" with guest speaker Ellery Schempp, a plaintiff in the landmark 1963 U.S. Supreme Court school prayer case, Abington School District v Schempp.  The event is  Sunday, Feb. 16, at 2 p.m., at the UTEP Union Cinema.  Information:  915-525-8545,

Louie also talks with John Grost of the International Coin Club of El Paso, which will hold their 51st annual Coin Show, Feb. 14-16 at the El Maida Shrine, 6331 Alabama (Fri 1-6 p.m., Sat 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun 9 a.m.-4 p.m.).  The Coin Show will celebrate the UTEP Centennial with their own UTEP Centennial Coin which will be available for purchase at the show.  UTEP President Diana Natalicio will host a ribbon cutting for the Coin Show at 12:45 p.m. on Feb. 14.  Information:  John Grost 533-6001,

Aired Feb. 14, 2014.

    Louie talks with Lisa Smith, head of the Dance Program of the UTEP Department of Theater & Dance.  Lisa tells us about the growing dance program at UTEP, and about the upcoming production of "The Trials of Pobrero El Campesino."  Lisa explains how this production brings together Stravinsky's "Petruchka," Gershwin's "Three Preludes," and the Kingdom of Bhutan.  Performances are Feb 7, 8, 13-15 at 8 p.m., Feb 9 & 16 at 2:30 p.m., at the UTEP Wise Family Theatre.  Ticket information: 915-747-5118.  Info on the Dance Program, call or email Lisa Smith, 915-747-6509, email

Aired Feb. 7, 2014.

  Louie talks with Rosa Meguerian-Faria, Global Outreach Manager with the UTEP Graduate School.  Rosa talks about the difficulties some international students face in finding themselves in completely different cultural surroundings.  A native a Brazil, Rosa  experienced these feelings herself when she first came to the U.S.  Rosa is asking interested individuals to volunteer their time to help international students adjust to their new surroundings by helping them with daily tasks, sharing meals with them, and other activities.  Information:  Rosa Meguerian-Faria 915-747-6892, email  Information on Miner Trotter is available here:

Aired Jan. 31, 2014.

UTEP Magazine


  Louie Saenz reads "Dreams of My Mother and Father" by Alfredo Corchado, author of "Midnight in Mexico."  The article appeared in the UTEP Magazine, and you can read the article here:   We'll also hear an excerpt of a 2013 interview with Alfredo Corchado.

Aired Jan. 24, 2014.

  Guest host Norma Martinez talks with Greg Taylor, director of the UTEP Dinner Theatre, and Beverly Kerbs-Ward, program coordinator for the Dinner Theater.  Greg Taylor helped found the UTEP Dinner Theatre with a production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" 31 years ago, and has continued to program hit musicals and revues at the Dinner Theatre, including "Cats," "The Full Monty," "Beauty and the Beast" "Chicago," and many, many more.  The UTEP Dinner Theatre will present "Smokey Joe's Cafe" from Jan 31-Feb 16,  "Les Miserables" April 25-May 11 (with possible hold-over dates), and "Chess the Musical" July 11-27.  For information: 915-747-6060,

Aired Jan. 17, 2014.


  Guest host Norma Martinez talks with Tom Fullerton, Professor of Economics at UTEP, about the upcoming 9th Border Economic Forum.  The forum is sponsored by the El Paso Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas in partnership with the UTEP Border Region Modeling Project, and the Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade.  Tom also talks about the unique nature of the El Paso/Las Cruces/Juarez borderplex, and about the complicated equations that are utilized to forecast the trends that will impact business conditions and quality of life in the borderplex in 2014.  

The 9th Border Economic Forum is Jan. 15, 8am-2:30pm, at the UTEP El Paso Natural Gas Conference Center.  Registration is recommended by Fri. Jan. 10.  Information and registration: Marisol Martinez 915-521-5244, email, or visit

Aired Jan. 10, 2014.