National Diversity Council: Lisa Firmin is one of most influential Texas women

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Lisa Firmin

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(June 7, 2012) -- Lisa Firmin, UTSA associate provost for faculty and student diversity and recruitment, was named one of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in Texas by the National Diversity Council. She received the award at the Texas Diversity Council's eighth annual Texas Diversity and Leadership Conference.

Firmin coordinates efforts between the UTSA academic and student affairs divisions to attract a high-quality, diverse student population. Additionally, she works at the strategic level to address faculty diversity and placement goals.

Last spring, Firmin led the development of the first presidential-level diversity awards program at UTSA. In 2011, she helped establish a top-scholar recruitment initiative that in its first year contributed to a 10 percent increase in incoming freshmen who ranked in the top 20 percent of their high schools. She continues to develop other top-scholar and targeted recruitment programming. She also serves on the UTSA Veteran Services Advisory Committee (VSAC) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Committee.

In 2010, Firmin retired from the U.S. Air Force as a colonel and its most senior-ranking Latina. She has held key leadership and command positions throughout her 30-year military career and is a highly decorated officer.

Before joining the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, she led the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Detachment 842 at UTSA to national distinction by earning the Right of Line Award as the best large detachment in the nation in 2009.

"I'm delighted to see Lisa recognized for her professional accomplishments with this award," said John Frederick, UTSA provost and vice president for academic affair. "She is a valued member of our administrative team, particularly in her efforts university-wide to attract the brightest freshmen to the university while maintaining the diversity of our student enrollment."

UTSA promotes diversity across its campuses with inclusiveness as one of its core values. In the May 2012 edition of The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, UTSA was ranked No. 5 in the nation in the number of undergraduate degrees awarded to Hispanic students and No. 12 nationally in the number of master's degrees awarded to Hispanics.

This is the second time a UTSA administrator has received this honor from the National Diversity Council. Lynda de la ViƱa, UTSA professor of entrepreneurship and technology management and former dean of the College of Business, was selected by the group as one of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in Texas for 2011.