Michael S. Garcia - Director
Mr. Garcia is a native of El Paso, Texas, and third-generation El Pasoan. He attended local public schools and graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with Computer Option, in May of 1983. Mr. Garcia graduated in December of 2006 from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) with a Master of Science in Program Management. He was the top Army civilian student in his NPS graduating class, receiving the Army Achievement Award for Academic Excellence. He is retired from the United States Civil Service at White Sands Missile Range having built a rewarding career there over 34 years, most recently serving as Director of Range Operations in charge of Range instrumentation, Range Control Center Operations and Post-Test data processing functions. Mr. Garcia was recognized as Outstanding "Ex" (honored alumni) from Eastwood High School in 2005, is a recipient of the Department of Army Civilian Achievement Medal and Commander's Civilian Service Medal, was selected as one of Federal Computer Week’s Federal 100 in 1999 and made national television appearances on "Good Morning America" and CNN representing White Sands and the US Army on their Y2K efforts. He was awarded the El Paso Catholic Diocese Supporters of Catholic Education (SEED) Award for volunteerism, and is former President and Secretary of the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES). Mr. Garcia served as Technical Advisor to the St. Raphael Elementary School Board and Superintendent of Catholic Schools, is a member of the University of Texas at El Paso Department of Computer Science Advisory Board and the UTEP Heritage Commission, the Socorro Independent School District Technology Advisory Board and is President of the Stone Gate West Property Owners Association. Mr. Garcia began his academic career at the El Paso Community College as an IT, Project Management and Software instructor with the Center for Corporate and Workforce Training. He is now Clinical Professor of Marketing and Management at the UTEP College of Business Administration where he teaches Total Quality Management, Organizational Behavior, Franchising, Service Operations and Operations Management. His research interests include the commercial use of autonomous vehicles and aircraft, the role and effect of innovation and entrepreneurship within existing business enterprises and legacy computing challenges faced by business and educational institutions. Mr. Garcia has published articles and research in the Proceedings of the International Telemetering Conference, Army RD&A Magazine, and the Joint Applied Projects Collection of the Dudley Knox Library at the Naval Postgraduate School.
Phone: (915) 747-8631
Aaron Cervantes - Director of Operations
Aaron Cervantes is the Director of Operations for the Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a concentration in Software Development. He is a proud alumnus of the MBA program of the College of Business Administration at UTEP, and he also holds a Masters in Information Technologies from the College of Engineering. His has served as a consultant for the Labor Bureau in Mexico, worked at one of the largest telecommunications companies in Mexico, and was CEO and founder of Cervantes Consultores Inc., a consulting firm that provided organizational development and technological platform services. He has designed and created many educational programs and is well versed in entrepreneurship education. His academic experience in combination with his professional expertise provides the right mixture to direct the center’s operations and to bridge the gap between the College of Business Administration and the College of Engineering.
Phone: (915) 747-6157
Sandra Jimenez - Undergraduate Assistant II
Sandra Jimenez is currently pursuing a bachelor's in Industrial Engineering. She is an active member of the University of Texas at El Paso honors program and the Multilingual and Exchange Teaching Association. She has been involved in several international robotics competitions where her team received the Rookie Award and Best Business Plan Award in 2013. As an undergraduate assistant, she collaborates with the organization and execution of the center's programs.
Phone: (915) 747-8731
Paola Chavez - Undergraduate Assistant II
Paola is pursuing a degree as a Financial Analyst at the College of Business Administration and will graduate in May of 2017. Paola is actively involved in the American Marketing Association (AMA) and is their former Vice President of Finance. Currently, she serves as the 2016-2017 College of Business Senator for the Student Government Association. Paola was also elected to be one of the 40 recipients of the Student Entrepreneurship Fellowship, a program that provided structured education on evidence-based entrepreneurship sponsored by the UT System. Paola collaborates with planning and organizing the center's programs to support our mission, and to promote innovation and entrepreneurship among business and engineering students.
Phone: (915) 747-8731
Valeria Gonzalez - Undergraduate Assistant II
Valeria Gonzalez is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Marketing at the College of Business Administration. She is an active member of the American Marketing Association (AMA). She is currently involved in an educational research project at the College of Education and last year she participated in the 12th Annual ABC conference in May as a workshop facilitator. Valeria helps with the administration and organization of the center's educational programs.
Phone: (915) 747-8731