NHERI's Vielma Joins Faculty at the UTSA College of Engineering

Published on February 14, 2020


Karina Vielma joins the University of Texas San Antonio faculty as assistant professor of engineering education, the first position of its kind. A joint hire between the College of Engineering and the College of Education and Human Development, Vielma will spearhead a new engineering education program and support mentorship of female, Hispanic and first-generation engineering students.

Vielma earned her BS degree in mathematics and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Master of Education in technology degree from Harvard University, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from UTSA. She also holds educator certifications in mathematics (grades 8–12), physics/mathematics (grades 8–12), and principal as instructional leader.

She has considerable experience mentoring students from groups underrepresented in higher education and cultivating programs to advance diversity and inclusion in higher education. She managed the Latina/o Cultural Center for MIT-Harvard University in its inaugural year (2002), was the assistant dean for academic programming in the Office of Minority Education at MIT (2006–2008), and won MIT’s Infinite Mile Award for Innovation & Creativity (2007). She has also held positions in the McNair Scholars Program at St. Edward’s University (assistant director) and UTSA (program manager). Most recently, Vielma led the National Science Foundation National Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure Network Coordination Office-Education and Community Outreach grant with CoE Dean JoAnn Browning to build inclusion within the natural hazards engineering community with a network-wide Research Experiences for Undergraduates program and summer institute for early-career faculty and national hazards engineering community members.

“Dr. Vielma provides the critical link between the technical expertise in an engineering program and the pedagogical knowledge from her education background to develop our engineering education program at UTSA,” said Browning. “Her research experience and connections will provide critical leadership in COE to further develop educational grant opportunities within UTSA and across institutions.”