Hector Aguilar

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Honors College

Hector Aguilar



Languages: English, Spanish

I was born in Corpus Christi, Texas to my parents, Hector and Susana Aguilar. They taught me the meaning of hard work and perseverance. My parents supported a family of five on a very fixed and limited income. Neither one of them graduated high school and both worked very laborious jobs. My father (born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras) speaks mainly Spanish and worked most of his life as a machine operator at HEB Bakery. My mother took on many jobs ranging from a department store cashier to a housekeeper. My parents understood that the key to opening the door of opportunity and a better life is a quality education. They stressed to me the importance of an education at a very young age. Their dream was that one day their children would lead a life in which they did not live paycheck to paycheck, or struggle to support their family. They succeeded. Their daughters are highly respected registered nurses and I am a Distinguished Teaching Professor and Professor of Instruction in the Department of Chemistry at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), where I earned my Ph.D. in Chemistry. My area of expertise is in organic chemistry and medicinal chemistry. I joined the chemistry faculty at UTSA in 2013 and teach organic chemistry, biochemistry, and chemical communications. My most recent research interest lies in the development and assessment of high-impact teaching practices that promote a sense of science identity in 1st generation college students. As a 1st generation student myself, I understand firsthand the challenges my students encounter in their undergraduate education. I strive to create opportunities and programs that provide students with a learning environment in which 1) obstacles that inhibit students from successful gains are eliminated, 2) students successfully master the knowledge and skills they need to be educated and 3) students learn by providing service to others. Towards this end, I serve as the Co-Director of the College of Sciences Honors Program and Faculty Advisor to UTSA’s American Chemical Society Student Affiliated Chapter.

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