On June 1, Maribel Villalva, director of UTEP’s Centennial Museum, will begin service as the executive director of UTEP’s Centennial Celebration. She will succeed Keith Erekson who has served in the position since 2011.
UTEP President Diana Natalicio notes that Villalva is “extraordinarily well prepared” for the role. “Since joining UTEP a year ago, Maribel has developed the museum into the celebration’s official Welcome Center, and she has been deeply involved in both planning and executing numerous Centennial events in the museum and across the campus and community.” 2014 Commission co-chair Ed Escudero expressed his gratitude that “we have been left in very good hands.” “Maribel was already involved with the museum and Roberto Ransom provides a constant tie,” he said, “so we are excited for Maribel to join the team and work with us.”
Villalva received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from UTEP in 1997 and joined the staff at the El Paso Times as an arts reporter covering the border region’s performing and visual arts. She also served as a multimedia reporter for the Times from 2004 to 2008 and was a sports and features writer at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens for Gannett News Service (then the parent company of the El Paso Times). In 2008, she became executive director of the El Paso Holocaust Museum where she oversaw the museum’s day-to-day operations, fundraising, coordination of local and traveling exhibits, year-round programming, and promotion of the institution and all of its activities. She has directed the Centennial Museum since February 2013 and will continue to do so throughout the celebration.
Erekson has accepted the invitation to serve as the new director of the Church History Library for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City. “This is a great honor for Keith,” Natalicio said, “and we wish him well in this new position.” 2014 Commission co-chair, Laura Tate Goldman noted that “Keith was so much a part of the celebration plan that we put together. While we are excited for his new adventure, he has become a good friend and it will be hard to let him go.”
“UTEP Names New Centennial Museum Director” (February 2013)
“Invited to Direct the LDS Church History Library” (March 2014)