Karen Salinas ‘14
Karen Salinas graduated from UTEP in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Business
Marketing. She has participated in internships creating awareness for local
organizations and creating more participation and community involvement with
BorderSenses and Whats Up Weekly. Karen was involved in planning and analyzing
"Best of the Best" event and worked for local credit unions for 6 years in member
services providing community outreach.
Vice President
Mary Helen Buentello ’94
Mary-Helen Buentello has been a Literacy Coach at Schuster Elementary for the last six
years. She resided in Dallas and worked as a master reading teacher for nine years in
the Plano and Dallas Independent School Districts before returning to El Paso. This is
her nineteenth year in education working with students, teachers, administration and
parents. Prior to her education career she was employed as a Financial Consultant
with Merrill Lynch for ten years.
She graduated in 1994 from UTEP with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, making the
Dean’s List that same year. She also received her Master Reading Certification in 2002 from the State of
Texas and her Series 63 License in 1988.
Mary Helen enjoys volunteering with the UTEP Alumni Association and is active with Race for the Cure. As
last year’s secretary, she devoted her full attention and effort in helping the El Paso Chapter achieve its
Virginia Faye Rojo ‘91
Virginia has lived most of her life in El Paso. In 1991 she earned a BS in Nursing from
UTEP and has enjoyed a fulfilling career in nursing since that time. Her teaching
experience as a nurse led her back to UTEP to pursue a MAT in Science. Although
working full time in the nursing program at El Paso Community College while
completing her graduate work, she is graduating with a 4.0 GPA. Virginia’s husband is
currently pursuing an MS in Geology at UTEP. Their son will start UTEP in the spring of 2015 to pursue a
degree in biology.
Virginia is currently a volunteer in the education department at the Chamizal National Memorial. She is a
member of the UTEP chapter of the Golden Key International Honor Society and the Texas Alpha Beta
Chapter of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society. Virginia overcame a huge obstacle while completing her
graduate work; an obstacle that she describes as a “dark valley.” It is because of this experience that she
is able to encourage others to not give up, but persevere in pursuing their dreams. She has also
discovered that there is no age limit to learning and success. She encourages others to “think outside the
box,” not compare themselves to others and let their gifts shine.
She credits her success to her faculty mentors Dr. Laura Serpa, Dr. Siddartha Das, Dr. Richard Jarvis, and
Dr. Elaine Hampton. Besides working full time and pursuing her graduate degree full time, she also
enjoys hiking, birding, and spending time with her husband and son.
Steven Arellano ‘09
Steven Arellano graduated from UTEP in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business
Management. While at UTEP, Steven attended the Law School Preparation Institute,
and worked with the Institute as a LSAT tutor and teaching assistant. After
graduating from UTEP, he attended The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.
Steven received his Juris Doctorate from Ohio State in May 2013. In November, 2013
Steven was admitted to the Texas Bar and he currently works as an attorney in the El
Paso County Attorney's General Counsel Unit.
Membership Chair
Kaye Mullins ’14
Kaye Mullins is the Education Curator for the Centennial Museum at UTEP. She
graduated from UTEP in 2014 with a degree in Multi-Disciplinary Studies. She enjoys
volunteering her time with youth groups, veterans groups, and special needs
children. An avid Miner fan, Kaye rarely misses a basketball or football game. She is a
member of Girl Scouts of America, the El Paso Native Plant Society, and the Border
Museum Association as well as Texas State Historical Association. Her extensive
experience with both event and volunteer coordination will be most helpful in
expanding the alumni membership.
Event Coordinator
Nickole Heater Rodriguez ‘13
A proud native El Pasoan, Nickole Heater Rodriguez received her Bachelor’s in Political
Science and her Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in Urban &
Regional Planning and Public Policy at UTEP. Rodriguez currently serves as the Chief
Operating Officer at Goodwill Industries of El Paso where she is responsible for
operations and furthering Goodwill's mission to provide training, skills and services for
people with barriers to employment. Previously, Rodriguez served as the Economic
Development Liaison for the Economic & International Development Department at the
City of El Paso where she worked on various redevelopment initiatives and incentives for the City to
include Downtown and infill projects and served as the liaison for developers and partner
organizations. Nickole is a lifelong supporter of the Miners and you can usually catch her on the sidelines
cheering them on to victory.
Dov E. Kupfer AIFD CFD ’81
Dov received his Bachelor of Arts with honors in Art (all levels) and teacher
certification from UTEP in 1981. He is an award winning floral designer and owner of
Designs by Dov E., a freelance floral design enterprise specializing in custom design and
Dov is a member of the prestigious American Institute of Floral Designers, Texas State
Florists Association and the West Texas New Mexico Florist Association. He is also a mentor for the New
Mexico State University Intercollegiate Floriculture Team. He is experienced in photography,
scrapbooking and photo album compilation as well as digital photography and photoshop enhancement.
Dov also teaches the Professional Floral Design classes at El Paso Community College.
Dov has held the positions of vice president, treasurer, and historian for various organizations including
Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, Mortar Board as a UTEP senior, and has served as historian for the El
Paso Chapter for the last six years. He is currently an advisor for The Upsilon Eta Chapter of Alpha Phi
Omega Service Fraternity at UTEP. He has knowledge of the El Paso chapter since its inception in 2005.
An active alumnus, he will provide the chapter with help and guidance to move it forward.

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