Teresita Aguilar

Dr. Teresita Aguilar

OLLU Director of Center for Mexican American Studies and Research


As a first generation college student, Dr. Teresita Aguilar overcame all obstacles to become one of 2,540 Hispanic PHDs in the nation. Dr. Aguilar grew up in Belton, TX one of 10 siblings thinking that college was too expensive. But a full scholarship to the local university changed her life. She graduated with a bachelor’s in recreation and a minor in sociology from Mary Hardin- Baylor and later earned her master’s and doctorate from the University of North Texas in Denton. Since 2011, the educator has served as director of the Center for Mexican American Studies and Research (CMASR). In this role, she also facilitates campus events centered on Higher Education for a New America (HENA), an OLLU national initiative to improve the way schools reach, teach and graduate all of their students. This year Dr. Aguilar organized the CMASR's 9th annual conference entitled “From Demography to Identity: Who We Are in America.” Upon arrival to OLLU, she served as Dean of the School of Professional Studies from 2005 to 2011. Prior to OLLU, Dr. Aguilar served as the Dean of the Graduate School at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and held the appointments of Associate Dean of the College of Education and Integrative Studies at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, CA.; Faculty Associate to the Chancellor, Department Vice Chair, and Chair of the Graduate Program in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Aguilar's areas of expertise include academic program coordination and progressive administrative responsibilities with strong emphasis on diversity, multicultural and cross-cultural education, and inclusiveness. Between 1982 and 2000, she held faculty positions at the University of New Mexico, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Arizona State University in the academic fields of leisure studies, therapeutic recreation, ethnic studies, and multicultural education. Outside of the university, Dr. Aguilar is a board member on the West San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and served on the board of Hispanas Unidas.

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