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Remembering her roots as a founding staff member.

As UTPB celebrates our 50th anniversary, there are very few on campus who have been here since the beginning. Vickie Gomez is one of those few and is a founding staff member of the university. If you want to know what this campus was like 5 decades ago, Vickie is the person to ask.

She moved to Odessa by the time that she was 5, and later became a first-generation student from both sides of her family. She earned an undergraduate degree from UT Austin (fun fact: she was the first Hispanic female from Odessa to graduate from there!) She also received her master's degree from UTPB. Fast forward a few years later, higher education would be a part of her journey.  

vickie-gomez-self.jpgAs one of its founding staff members and administrators, Ms. Vickie Gomez has worn many hats during her time at UTPB.  

“As far as the jobs I have done while working here, I have always believed that ALL jobs have a purpose and are important. Throughout my time here at the University, I have helped move furniture, clean the office, all types of office work, etc.” 

The official titles and positions that she has held include: Administrative Assistant/Recruiter, Assistant Director of Admissions, Recruiter & International Student Adviser; Associate Director of Admissions, Director of Admissions & Intl. Student Adviser, Assistant VP for Enrollment Management/Director of Admissions & Intl. Student Adviser. She currently serves as a Retention Officer, helping students meet their goals towards graduating. 

Ms. Gomez has been with the University since June of 1972.  

She has served 50 years, except for one year when she took a Sabbatical in Morocco in 1996. If her years of service weren’t enough, it’s her legacy at UTPB that is commendable. Her passion has been, and always will be, helping students.

“From the time I started working at UTPB, I have always LOVED working with students. Many of those ‘pioneer’ students still keep in touch with me.” 

The students that she has come across throughout the years have become like family to her. 

“As our international student population grew, I became even closer to most of them; and many of them still keep in touch with their ‘American Mum.’ Though single and never married, I have ‘sons, daughters, and grandchildren’ in several countries! Now, as the Retention Officer, it is difficult NOT to become close to ‘my little darlins,’ as I call them. I LOVE to know that they graduated and are well on their way to becoming productive citizens or, in many cases, more productive citizens!” 

Ms. Vickie has been a part of many historical events at UTPB. 

“The change that excited me the most was UTPB being elevated from an upper-level university to a full 4-year University. The addition of competitive sports has all played a huge role in our enrollment growth; and certainly, having a Conference Champion football team has placed a feather in our cap or should I say added a MAJOR feather to our Falcon!

As many moments that she’s witnessed, she has many more reasons to love UTPB. She says she loves the fact that we are a University of Texas System school located right here in the Permian Basin.

“I also love the fact that UTPB has helped thousands of students earn their degrees, both at the undergrad and grad levels! Of course, I also love the fact that our Lord has granted me the opportunity to have been around long enough to allow me to be celebrating 54 years since the University was established; and 50 years since we opened for classes!” 

She has not only made an impact within the University, but also in the region.  

Apart from her time and effort to higher education, she has also been involved in local community organizations, school boards, and districts, serving in roles on the ECISD Board of Trustees and President of the ECISD Board.

“I presently serve on the City of Odessa board of Survey and at the State Level as a community/lay member on one of the Boards of the State Bar of Texas.”  

Her professional accolades also include serving as Vice President for Admissions for Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (TACRAO); and served as Nominations Chair for the national organization American Association of Collegiate Registrars & Adm Officers (AACRAO). She even obtained a Certificate from Harvard’s Admissions Institute. 

“Along with Ben Mancha, I am co-founder of the Mexican American Scholarship Committee (MASC), which was established in 1972, to award scholarships to students attending OC and UTPB.” 

A fun fact that she adds: “I am the first Hispanic FEMALE in Odessa to have been a disc jockey (DJ) at KOYL radio.” 

50 years of service appreciated 

On behalf of UTPB, we would like to thank Vickie Gomez for her commitment to aiding students, families, and the community. Her years of dedication in serving our university and the lives of students she has touched made a positive impact. 

Ms. Vickie Gomez, we appreciate you