KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Focus on Campus

Fridays at 10am

Focus on Campus devotes time to recognize the latest and greatest on the UTEP campus. Louie Saenz, gives the lowdown on shining athletes, faculty and students. The show also includes information on ongoing research and university programs affecting our campus. It's everything you need to know about UTEP.

Rudolfo Anaya is perhaps known as one of the best southwest writers nationally and internationally. One of his better-known works is a coming of age story, Bless Me, Ultima. This week, we visited with UTEP Theatre and Dance professor Rebecca Rivas to discuss the upcoming production of  Bless Me, Ultima. Shows will run from October 3rd - October 14th, more information and tickets available here

If you watch or listen to the news on a daily basis, you hear stories on gun control and freedom of speech. But do you know the rest of the Consitution? This week, we spoke with Dr. Charles Boehmer and Dr. Irasema Coronado to learn more about UTEP's upcoming event, Constitution Day. 

Dr. Josiah Heyman, director of the Center for Inter-American Border Studies, and Dr. Eva Moya, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Social Work, met with us this week to discuss the upcoming conference "Humanitarian Crisis at the Border - Family Separation and Detention: Challenges and Responses." The conference will be held September 6th from 3-5 PM at the Tomas Rivera Conference Center. 

Did you know that in the last decade only 7 girls have made Texas All-State Jazz? This week, we visited with El Paso native, Amanda Ekery, as she discussed her group El Paso Jazz Girls, a clinic for female identifying high school students set to help change this demographic.

Daniel Carey-Whalen is the Director of the UTEP Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens, and this week we got details on the museum's current exhibits, which are open to the public.

Every summer, the University of Texas at El Paso selects a talented group of high school students who are interested in pursuing journalism as their professional career and are exposed to the day-to-day environment a multimedia journalist faces in the 21st century. Journalism in July is an intense journalism "boot camp" and here to tell us more about the program's activities, as well as the results students can expect within the one week workshop, is UTEP Multimedia Journalism professor, Dino Chiecchi. 

Summertime means vacation and visitors - but sometimes, we may get some unexpected company. This week we visited with John White, Chihuahuan Desert Gardens Curator here on campus at the University of Texas at El Paso and co-host on KTEP's Good to Grow, and we discussed unexpected pests and summertime gardening. 

It's been growing by 5,000 members every year, and there are chapters everywhere from Prague, to Bhutan and across the United States. This week we visited with Maribel Villalva, Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations, and Crystal Saavedra, Coordinator of Chapter/Network Development, from the UTEP Alumni Relations as they discussed the upcoming 7th annual Alumni Pick-Nic.

More information on the event can be found here.

Are you making a difference in someone's life? Have you read, or seen a presentation that's impacted you? This week, we visited with Dr. Gina Nuñez, Director of Women and Gender Studies here at the University of Texas at El Paso. Dr. Nuñez shared details on this year's Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS) Summer Institute, which is an organization of Chicanas/Latinas and Native American women working in academia and in community settings with a common goal: to work toward the support, education and dissemination of Chicana/Latina and Native American women’s issues. 

More information: malcs.org & malcs.utep.edu.

Do you enjoy talking about different topics? Sometimes, making sure your side is heard? Well, now you have your chance. This week we visited with Norma Gradsky, Mike Brookes, and Alexis Vega to learn more about The Talk of Texas, and how you can be part of their summer camp.

Dr. Adriana Dominguez, Director of Audience Development for the Department of Theatre and Dance, visits with us to give us an insight on what the UTEP Department of Theatre and Dance has planned for the summer, as well as a quick peek into their next season.

More information on the summer camps can be found here.

There are about two-thousand variations of them and they are at the bottom of the food chain. This week, we visited with UTEP professor of Biological Sciences Dr. Liz Walsh as she shared details about UTEP preparing to host the 14th Rotifer Symposium.

More information found here.

Would you like to learn the basics of playing folk guitar? Or, did you know that at one time, there were Mexican cowboys in Hawaii? This week we visited with Ian Wilson, Sheri Schwartz and Susan Sobin of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, better known as OLLI. They share details on the various classes offered to community members 50 years of age and older, and how one can take part in this continuing education opportunity.

The curtain has been raised on UTEP's Theatre Department and it's put them on the national stage. This week, we visited with UTEP Theatre Assistant Professor, Kim McKean and UTEP Theatre student and actress Ana K. Miramontes as they discussed the awards received at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for the department's production of Lydia.

The UTEP Department of Theatre and Dance received the following awards:
•Outstanding Performance and Production Ensemble
•Outstanding Production of a Play
•Assistant Professor, Kim McKean received Outstanding Director of a Play
•Cast members Ana K. Miramontes, Gabriela Torres (now at Juilliard) and Antonio Romero, Jr., were recognized individually as Outstanding Performance by an Actress/Actor in a Play
•Outstanding Performance by a faculty guest artist Rebecca Rivas, assistant professor

When we think of native desert plants, we often think of cacti. But for those of us who live in the desert southwest, we know that there are many fruit and flower-bearing plants in the area. This week we visited with the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens Curator, Good to Grow co-host, and a good friend to the station, John White as we discuss the upcoming annual native plant sale - FloraFest.

More details on the event found here.



 Louie talks with Howard Campbell, UTEP Sociology and Anthropology chair, about his ongoing study of narcocorridos, a specialized version of songwriting that has its roots that date back at least a century and can be traced as a storytelling tool to Iberian talespinners.

Former County Judge Veronica Escobar defeated five other challengers to get the nomination for the 16th Congressional seat in November. But the fall election may be a tougher nut to crack according to political experts. This week we visited with political scientist Dr. Gregory Rocha to discuss this recent primary election, as well as what to look out for come November.

When we hear the term “street photography,” most of us get images of homeless people or old buildings. This week we visited with David Smith Soto, acclaimed street photographer, as he shared details on his latest upcoming exhibit. We also visited with Centennial Museum director Daniel Carey-Whalen and Professor Zita Arocha as they discussed Centennial exhibits, and an esteemed professor who will talk about past and present US-Cuba relations.



Larry Lesser, CETaL Director and Mathematical Sciences Department professor, joins us to discuss and play his new song “What We Carry Now”, inspired by current dialogue on gun violence and campus concealed carry.

Do you know your rights when interacting with immigration officials? This week we visited with the director of the Center for Inter-American Border and Studies, Dr. Joe Heyman, and discussed an upcoming program designed to help anyone who may have some misunderstandings about their rights. Whether you're interacting with officials at a checkpoint, airport, or a common carrier, this program is created with all your questions and worries in mind. 

Despite the videos, books, and personal testimonies, there are many people across the world who insist that the Holocaust never happened. This week, we visited with Dr. Ezra Cappell from UTEP's Inter-American Jewish Studies Program and discussed Dr. Cappell's class, Confronting the Holocaust in Germany and Poland.

When we hear about the Civil Rights Movement in the 60's, there are a lot of people come that come to mind. The University of Texas at El Paso has the honor and privilege of hosting one prominent activist as part of the African American Studies Program Lecture Series. This week we visited with Dr. Michael Williams, director of the African American Studies Program, as he shares details on Angela Y. Davis' visit to kick off the program's lecture series.

The annual UTEP Borderlands History Conference brings together scholars of Mexico's North and historians of the US-Mexico borderlands to deepen and advance the field of borderlands history. We visit with Miguel Juarez and David Robles as they share details on this year's conference, which will be held February 2-4, 2018.

Tequila is a drink that is quickly associated with Mexico. But what is the drink's history? We visit with El Paso-born, UTEP alum, and Austin-based photographer Joel Salcido, as he discusses his upcoming exhibit Aliento a Tequila.  The exhibit opens tomorrow at the UTEP Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens and will remain on display through May 19, 2018. 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! And if you're looking to get your home ready for the holidays, we have some Christmas tree tips for you. We receive helpful tips from UTEP's Chihuahuan Desert Gardens Curator, and frequent KTEP contributor, John White.