Office of Academic Affairs
Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs
In his role as vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Brower chairs the TTUHSC El Paso Academic Council and provides institutional-level administrative oversight of curriculum management and alignment, interprofessional education, graduate medical education, the Training and Educational Center for Healthcare Simulation (TECHS), student services and engagement, the libraries, and the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. He also guides and supports the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine Office of Medical Education, Office of Student Affairs, and Office of Admissions. In addition, he serves as the senior institutional liaison for educational program IT support. Dr. Brower is also a practicing physician and medical educator, certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in neurology and epilepsy, and by the American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology. He holds concurrent appointments as clinical associate professor in the PLFSOM Department of Neurology and as an associate professor with tenure in the PLFSOM Department of Medical Education.
Dr. Brower has been a member of the TTUHSC El Paso family since 1996 and became chair of the PLFSOM Department of Medical Education in 2010. In 2014, he was appointed as associate dean for the PLFSOM Office of Medical Education and designated as the faculty lead for the school's second full accreditation survey by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which was successfully concluded in November 2017.
Dr. Brower received his B.S. in Zoology at the University of Texas at Austin and his M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He completed an internal medicine internship at the University of Utah Medical Center, a neurology residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and a fellowship in epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs
In her role as assistant vice president of Academic Affairs at Texas Tech University
Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso), Dr. Herber-Valdez coordinates various
academic processes and programs to enhance and support the institution’s academic
mission. In addition to overseeing the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness
(OIRE), she serves as institutional liaison to the Southern Association of Colleges
and Schools Commission on College - the accrediting body for degree-granting higher
education institutions in the southern United States - and the Texas Higher Education
Coordinating Board. She played an instrumental role in TTUHSC El Paso receiving SACSCOC
accreditation in 2018 and Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) status in 2019.
Dr. Herber-Valdez holds a faculty appointment as assistant professor in the Foster School of Medicine’s Department of Medical Education and also serves as principal investigator for the Title V Hispanic Serving-Institutions (HSI) grant from the U.S. Department of Education for TTUHSC El Paso. The $3 million award - Puentes Hacia el Exito (Bridges Toward Success) – provides programming for Hispanic students, with a specific aim to address the critical shortage of Hispanic nurses and nurse educators.
With a focus on supporting Hispanic students in their pursuit of higher education, Dr. Herber-Valdez has built her career exclusively at HSIs. Prior to joining TTUHSC El Paso, she held positions at the University of Texas at El Paso and New Mexico State University. Positions included the areas of student services, as well as the management and evaluation of large-scale, federally funded program grants of the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Herber-Valdez earned her B.A. in psychology, her M.A. in clinical psychology and her Ed.D. in educational leadership with a concentration in higher education administration from UTEP.
Associate Managing Director for Academic Programs
In her role as associate managing director for academic programs at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso), Dr. Williams, on behalf of the Office of the Provost, works directly with our faculty and schools to assist in the institution-wide management and continuous improvement initiatives in the areas of instruction, curriculum, assessments, and academic information processes to advance student achievement and program outcomes.
Dr. Williams joins us from our own Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. Prior to becoming a member of the TTUHSC El Paso family, Dr. Williams held several faculty and staff positions at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in the College of Engineering and the College of Education where she led a team to increase engineering program options while improving STEM teacher preparation for school district partners in Texas. During that time, she also served on several district advisory boards, facilitated numerous educator trainings, and collaborated in engineering education research projects. Dr. Williams has also served our community as an educator and facilitator in both the El Paso Independent School District and El Paso Community College. Before joining the ranks of our nation’s educators, she spent over a decade in leadership and consulting roles in the computer industry while also managing two successful businesses. Dr. Williams received a bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, and several degrees from UTEP to include a master’s in engineering, a master’s in education, a doctorate in educational leadership and administration, as well as several teaching certifications.
Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness
Senior Managing Director, Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness
Oliana Alikaj-Fierro, Ph.D., M.B.A., is the managing director for the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness (OIRE) at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso).
Dr. Alikaj-Fierro manages institution-wide planning and assessment processes at TTUHSC El Paso to assure compliance with SACSCOC accreditation. Dr. Alikaj-Fierro was instrumental in writing narratives for TTUHSC El Paso’s application and compliance certification submitted to SACSCOC for separate accreditation.
She is experienced with institution-wide planning and assessment processes with a demonstrated history of working in both private and higher education. Prior to her work in higher education, she honed her business and leadership skills working for private industry as a managing purchasing director and business specialist. Her background and expertise are in higher education, administration, program management, professional and faculty development, curriculum development, strategic planning and accreditation.
Originally from Albania, and now a proud Texan, she possesses over 10 years of experience in higher education and speaks three languages: Albanian, English and Spanish.
Before coming to TTUHSC El Paso, Dr. Alikaj-Fierro served as the assistant director for the bioinformatics program at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).
In May 2015, Dr. Alikaj-Fierro obtained her Ph.D. in teaching, learning, and culture from UTEP. She also earned her M.B.A. from UTEP in December 2007.
Associate Managing Director of Institutional Research
Martin Dario Garcia Salazar, M.S., is the associate managing director of institutional research for the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness (OIRE) at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso).
Before coming to TTUHSC El Paso, Mr. Garcia served as a developer and application support engineer at Hewlett-Packard in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, for more than eight years. In December 2006, Mr. Garcia earned his M.S. from the Tec de Monterrey Campus Ciudad Juarez.
Martin works alongside the director and the team of the OIRE in the design and implementation of an institutional research data warehouse, as well as other computer-based processes to assist and support the institutional research and accreditation projects of the department.
Assistant Managing Director of Institutional Assessment
Julie Blow, Ph.D., is the assistant managing director of assessment for the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness (OIRE) at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso).
Before coming to TTUHSC El Paso, Dr. Blow served two years as a research assistant for the Geneva Foundation with a duty station at William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC). Prior to that, Dr. Blow was a research associate and manager in the Prevention and Treatment in Clinical Health (PATCH) Laboratory at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) for seven years.
Dr. Blow earned her Doctorate in Psychology from UTEP in 2014. She also has a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor concentration in biology, both from UTEP.
Tony Figueroa, M.B.A., is the chief analyst for the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness (OIRE) at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso).
Prior to joining TTUHSC El Paso, he served for 12 years at JPMorgan Chase where he held a banker position and led a team in a customer-facing financial sales and loan origination setting. He provided training to internal partners and acted as a consultant for market leadership regarding existing projects. Before joining OIRE, he served as a senior analyst in Information Technology within the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. He assisted students, faculty and academic staff in defining computing needs, formulate strategies and implement solutions.
Tony attended Webster University where he earned his Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) with a concentration in management and leadership and a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in computer information systems from Park University.
Chief Analyst of Institutional Research
Alejandro Lara, M.S.-ACS, is the Chief Analyst of institutional research for the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness (OIRE) at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso).
Before coming to TTUHSC El Paso, he served at Universidad Autonóma de Ciudad Juarez (UACJ) as a teacher, and worked in some industries as IT leader department and support engineer.
Mr. Lara earned a master’s degree in Applied Computing with a concentration in Soft Computing from Universidad Autonóma de Ciudad Juarez (UACJ). He is collaborating with the Associate Managing Director in the design and implementation of an institutional research data warehouse as well as other computer based processes to assist and support the institutional research.