Teresita E. Aguilar, Ph.D. – Dr. Aguilar is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor University and her graduate degrees (M.S. and Ph.D) from the University of North Texas. Her doctorate is in Higher Education with an emphasis in college teaching. She is also pursuing the M.A. in Spirituality from the Oblate School of Theology.
Prior to joining New Mexico Highlands, Dr. Aguilar was on the faculty at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas where she served as Director of the Center for Mexican American Studies and Research, the Dean of the School of Professional Studies and the Worden School of Social Service, and as a tenured Professor of Education. Previous administrative positions include: Dean of Graduate Studies, University of New Mexico, and Associate Dean of the College of Education and Integrative Studies, Cal Poly Pomona. She is an alumna of the HERS (Higher Education Resource Services) Bryn Mawr Summer Institute (2002) for women in higher education leadership; a participant in the Institute for Administrators in Catholic Higher Education (2007); and a Faculty Associate to the Chancellor (administrative internship program, 1993-94) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
She taught Multicultural Education for nine years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UN-L), and was promoted to full professor in Teachers College. She also held courtesy rank in UNL’s Latino and Latin American Studies program. She received the UNL Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of People of Color award in recognition of her contributions to improve the campus environment for people of color. More recently, she received the Cultural Arts award from the Hispanic Organization for Public Employees (HOPE). Dr. Aguilar has also presented papers and attended international meetings in Cuba, Jamaica, Canada, Spain, The Netherlands, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Mexico. She is scheduled to give a keynote address at the 23rd National Congress of Educational Sciences at the Kocaeli University in Turkey.
From creating international cultural immersion experiences for student, faculty and staff development to supporting the development of a graduate peer mentoring program, the recognition of the need to transform institutions of higher education and the people within them has remained a critical part of her vision for a new American higher education experience. Her research has been published in the American Educational Research Journal, the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, the American Indian Graduate, Equity and Excellence in Education, SOCIOTAM: Revista de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, and Multicultural Perspectives. Her research interests include cultural competence, beliefs about diversity, teacher preparation, Hispanic student persistence in higher education, and domestic and international cultural immersion experiences.
As the NMHU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Aguilar is committed to enhancing student success and enrichment, increasing faculty and staff development opportunities, showcasing the excellent academic programs and faculty to a regional and national audience, and building upon a rich, historical legacy of Highlands University as a northern New Mexico resource and asset.