Legislative Branch: Senators-At-Large
Jacqueline Benavides is currently a Junior pursuing a degree in Accounting with a minor in legal reasoning and political science, and planning to go to law school after her expected graduation in Spring of 2019. Senator Benavides has graduated from the excel program, shortly after becoming a mentor, to serving a full year as public defender as part of the judicial branch in SGA, where she single handedly fought over 240 student Traffic Court and Supreme Court cases. She is also part of an all-women’s fraternity, Zeta Tau Alpha where their philanthropy focuses on Breast Cancer Education and Awareness. She also serves as the Induction and Recruitment Chair for Pi Sigma Alpha; the only honor society for government majors/minors recognized across the country. She is very excited to take on office as her main objective is to give a voice to the voiceless, and furthermore wants to give back the opportunities she gained from this campus being herself the first-generation college student from her respective family. We are proud to say for Spring 2017 she got accepted to Phase 1 of the Law Preparation Institute (LSPI) where she will continue to thrive to become her dream vocation of an immigration attorney. This summer she will also be serving as appropriations co-chair to help fairly distribute funds to students in need representing UTEP across the country.
Cristian Botello is a Junior studying communications with a minor in sociology. He is actively involved on campus as a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. As being part of the SGA Excel program and serving as a Legislative Assistant for the 2016-2017 term, he anticipates to take the responsibility to improve student life for the students he represents. In doing so, he believes in having an open mind on new possibilities and new ways of thinking to improve the University. During his term, Cristian wants to bring new projects on campus that haven’t been done before to enhance student culture. He also wants to create an environment that encourages diversity among students.
Outreach – Chair
Carlos Chavira is currently a junior pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering, he is very excited to graduate in the Spring of 2019. Senator Chavira is also an officer for his Fraternity’s Executive board; he is the current “High Rho” Alumni Advisor for the Lambda Chi Alpha chapter here at The University of Texas at El Paso. He is very excited to take office in SGA to help the student body become more confident and successful individuals. One of Senator Chavira’s primary goals is to help students develop the necessary social skills to thrive and excel in the professional workplace. He believes that one of the key ingredients in becoming a successful individual is to be well-rounded, and often times one of the hardest things to be proficient in is communication and social capability. Mr. Chavira is thrilled to begin working on solutions to help students achieve their personal goals and grow as professional individuals.
Document Review Committee (DRC) Chair
Outreach – Co-Chair
“I am a fighter, and myself the constant challenger.” M. Fernanda Jaquez is a Sophomore majoring in Music Theory and Composition at the College of Liberal Arts. She is a Juarez native that came to El Paso, TX approximately three years ago. Adapting to a different language and culture was a difficult experience for Fernanda, but she now affirms this was nothing but a challenge that gave her strength. During her first semester at UTEP, she joined the Student Government Association Excel leadership program, in which she learned the importance of being a leader and representing the students. Senator Jaquez is involved in UTEP Music ensembles such as Mariachi Los Mineros and Women’s glee club. She is also currently part of SAI student organization for empowering women musicians. Music and the Arts are a very important aspect for Senator Jaquez. For this reason, she wants to represent Fine Arts students like herself and address important issues regarding them and the Fox Fine Arts building.
Nohemi Lopez-Valdez is a sophomore majoring in Biological Sciences with a concentration Biomedical Sciences, in addition to pursuing a minor in Spanish at the University of Texas at El Paso. She is a Terry Scholar from the Class of 2016, and is currently the President of the Terry Scholars Organization at UTEP for the 2017-2018 academic year. Moreover, Senator Lopez-Valdez is currently in her second year of the A-PRIME TIME program, which is an accelerated track designed to allow students to obtain their bachelor’s and medical degree in six years. She is also an Honors Student in the University Honors Program, and a graduated member from the SGA Excel Program. Senator Lopez-Valdez’s goals are to increase student involvement in activities offered by the university, work with students to identify and improve necessary issues or problems occurring through the university, and promote research programs amongst the student body.
Nathaniel A. Luke
Student Application Review Committee (SARC) Co-Chair
NATHANIEL A. LUKE is an international student studying as a Psychology major, and a Communications minor. He hopes to work as an Occupational Therapist specializing in younger patients. As well as playing for the Men’s Soccer team, Senator Luke is involved with organizations such as Psi Chi, and Toast Masters. While at UTEP, Senator Luke interned with El Paso’s Focus Neurorehab, gaining experience in Occupational Therapy. Senator Luke hopes to strengthen organizations on campus by improving financial methods, ability, and relevant opportunity. He will also focus on continuing the green initiative on campus, as well as student health including working towards improved bicycle lanes. Senator Luke looks forward to working with the student body and addressing respective concerns.
Mitzi Martinez is a Senior pursuing her Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a minor in Chemistry and Biology and hopes to one day go to medical school and become a pediatric oncologist. Senator Martinez is a member of the Medical Professions Organization and is also actively involved within her sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha, in which she holds an executive board position. She is a BUILD Scholar; a scholarship funded by the National Institutes of Health that allows her to work with Dr. Charlotte Vines in the Biological Sciences Department. When she is not at school, Senator Martinez likes to volunteer anywhere that allows her around the El Paso community. During her term, Senator Martinez wants to work on a UTEP app as well as facilitating the advising process for all majors. She also hopes to leave UTEP a little greener than she found it by pushing for eco-friendly initiatives around campus. Call her, beep her, (email her), if you wanna reach her (with ideas/complaints/etc. and help her help you)!
Luis Pablo Reyes
Excel – Co-Chair
Luis Pablo Reyes De la Riva was born in the city of Chihuahua, Mexico. He is a sophomore currently majoring in cellular and molecular biochemistry. He is an active member of the University Honors Council (UHC), Student Alumni Association (SAA), UTEP Male Empowerment Network (M.E.N.), and Latinos in Science and Engineering/Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (MAES/SHPE). He was also part of the SGA Excel leadership program. He is honored to say that he will be the first member of his family to graduate from a university in the United States of America, so he wants to do as much as he can to be successful. Upon graduation, he wants to pursue his Ph.D. in genetic engineering.
Alexis Anahi Rico
Alexis Rico is a sophomore majoring in Economics at the UTEP College of Business Administration, expecting to graduate in May of 2020. She is currently an intern for the Office of Congressman Beto O’Rourke. Senator Rico is actively involved on campus as a member of the Women’s Fraternity Alpha Xi Delta. She was previously a member of the Student Government Association Excel Program, a leadership program for freshmen and sophomore students. Senator Rico has served in SGA for the 2016-2017 administration as a Legislative Assistant. As a Senator-At-Large, Rico plans on establishing financial and operational transparency between the Student Government Association and the student body. She also wants to enhance student life in order to give each student a great college experience at The University of Texas at El Paso.
Jacob Salado is a Kinesiology major, who is minoring in biology at The University of Texas at El Paso. He is currently serving as your 2017-2018 Senator-at-Large, and is also involved with the Kinesiology club on campus. He has many objectives to accomplish during his term, some of which include investigating and suggesting possible adjustments to the transportation system, with a vision of an efficient and speedy bus system. Now he is not promising something similar to Ms. Frizzle’s school bus or even Otto Man but he does hope to improve it. Another special project that he will be focusing on is “Mini Miner Mania,” where a combination of athletes and Kinesiology students and pair them up with students from lower income schools who might not have the resources to join a recreational sports team, in order so that the students can teach them about the fundamentals of the respective sport, along with nutrition and injury prevention. If you do happen to run into Jacob around campus, whether it be at the Recreational Center, or even taking a nap in the library please do not hesitate to approach him with any questions, concerns or even new ideas that you might have about events that you would like to see on our campus.
Document Review Committee (DRC) Co-Chair
House Creation Committee Chair
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
Kristian Villegas is a senior pursuing a Bachelors’ Degree in Public Administration and Service while minoring in Legal Reasoning. Senator Villegas has been involved with the Student Government Association his entire academic career, starting as a student in the Excel Program to become a legislative assistant to then being appointed Traffic Court Justice. As Traffic Court Justice, Villegas collaborated with senators and executive members to formulate and pass amendments that held justices accountable for their actions. Senator Villegas then spent a semester in Washington D.C. as the only UTEP student during the Fall 2016 semester in the Archer Fellowship Program. Villegas interned at the University of Texas System office where he worked to put together a portfolio of successful projects from UT System schools to present to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). Senator Villegas then interned at the Department of Education under Secretary John B. King, where he worked with department officials and staff with legislation such as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and legislation relating to child poverty and access to education. As a senator, Kristian Villegas looks to bring his experience from years in SGA and D.C. to the student body through much-needed reform and legislation. His focus will be put on making your student government more transparent and personable, appointing professional student personal in the Faculty Senate, and streamlining the traffic appeal process from months to days for all UTEP students and not just a few.