Striking Gold: A special look at Dr. Diana Natalicio’s UTEP tenure

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – After 30 years as president of The University of Texas at El Paso, Dr. Diana Natalico is stepping down this month, a move she announced May 2018. 

Natalicio is UTEP’s first woman president and the longest serving president in the university’s history. 

She was born in St. Louis, Missouri as Diana Siedhoff. 

“I was a switch board operator” said Natalicio, “the Lily Tomlin of Norburg Manufacturing and answered calls and connected them and after a month I realized this is not possible. I cannot live my life with this box.”

Natalicio attended St. Louis University and graduated with a Bachelors in Spanish. Her first ever experience out of St. Louis, or the country for that matter, was through a Fulbright scholarship to Brazil.

After receiving her Masters she obtained a Ph.D in Linguistics from The University of Texas at El Paso.

“I was married at the time and my then husband at the time we were looking for two academic jobs which was hard at the time,” said Natalicio, who started off at UTEP as an associate professor and then dean. 

Forty-five years later Natalico remains in El Paso. Here is a look back at her 30 years at the helm. 

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