Dr. Cristina Villalobos
- Professor in the School of Mathematical & Statistical Sciences, and Founding Director of the Center of Excellence in STEM Education at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
- 2019 RICHARD A. TAPIA AWARD RECIPIENT
Dr. Cristina Villalobos is a Professor in the School of Mathematical & Statistical Sciences, and Founding Director of the Center of Excellence in STEM Education, which focuses on strengthening STEM academic programs and providing resources for the academic and professional development of students and faculty. Her research area is in optimization, optimal control, and modelling. Currently she is working on projects associated with optimizing certain features in the creation of antennas and on creating optimal therapies for the treatment of the eye disease retinitis pigmentosa. Due to her STEM leadership and student mentoring, she has been recognized at the national level with the 2013 Distinguished Undergraduate Institution Mentor Award from the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native
Americans in Science (SACNAS), a 2012 HENAAC Luminary Award from the Great Minds in STEM, and also with the recent 2016 American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Service/Teaching Award. Also, she is a recipient of the 2013 University of Texas Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. She takes great pride in her teaching to prepare RGV students to become leaders. She also serves on the SACNAS Board of Directors (2015-2017) helping to shape the organization in STEM-related activities. Finally, she wishes to state that she is a product of the Rio Grande Valley, specifically from Donna, and received a B.S. degree in Mathematics from the University of Texas-Austin and the Ph.D. in Computational and Applied Mathematics from Rice University.