UTA selects Luisa M. Havens Gerardo as VP for enrollment management

New VP brings expertise in undergraduate admissions, scholarships, financial aid and more

Thursday, Oct 19, 2023 • Neph Rivera : contact

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The University of Texas at Arlington has selected Luisa M. Havens Gerardo as its next vice president for enrollment management.

Havens Gerardo currently serves as the vice provost for enrollment management at Virginia Tech, a position she has held since 2017. Her new role at UTA begins on Jan. 15.

“Dr. Havens Gerardo’s appointment signals a transformative era for our institution,” said Tamara L. Brown, UTA provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “Her strategic vision and expertise will undoubtedly boost recruitment and enhance retention efforts, ensuring a brighter future for the University.”

During her tenure at Virginia Tech, Havens Gerardo played a pivotal role in guiding the university in consistently achieving its strategic enrollment, affordability and student success goals. She oversaw a diverse portfolio that included undergraduate admissions, scholarships, financial aid, registration and records, pre-college programs and enrollment planning for professionally oriented graduate programs. Her data and analytics-informed approach was instrumental in shaping Virginia Tech's enrollment and financial aid-leveraging strategies, ensuring the institution's ability to attract and retain a diverse student body, including those traditionally underrepresented and underserved in higher education.

Her efforts extended to the development and implementation of innovative recruitment strategies, focused on segmentation, brand marketing and strategic communication initiatives, all aimed at increasing the university’s reach to a diverse set of in-state, out-of-state and international markets.

“My vision is to lead with innovation and data-informed strategies to best position the University to attract the best and brightest students who value an inclusive, diverse and academically rich community where access and excellence coexist and are the foundation for success on campus and in life,” Havens Gerardo said.

Havens Gerardo previously served for five years as vice president of enrollment management and services at Florida International University. She also has Texas connections, having worked in executive director and director roles in enrollment, admissions and recruitment at the University of Texas at El Paso and as registrar at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

She has presented on topics ranging from using data and analytics for student success to reimagining financial aid and college admissions for racial equity in postsecondary education.

Her educational background includes a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Idaho with a dissertation on at-risk student persistence. She has a master’s in resource recreation and tourism with an emphasis in communications and a bachelor’s degree in telecommunication with a minor in natural resource communication from the University of Idaho. Additionally, she holds a degree in elementary school teaching from Escuela Normal Mixta "Pedro Nufio" in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

She will lead enrollment management efforts at UTA, which has enrolled record numbers of first-time-in-college students for seven consecutive years. A total of 4,809 first-time college students enrolled in fall 2023, eclipsing the fall 2022 mark by more than 8%. The University boasts students from more than 100 countries and every state in the nation, with the largest enrollment gains coming in the College of Engineering and the College of Science.