Texas A&M University and The Association of Former Students presented the 2015 Texas A&M University Outstanding International Alumnus Award to Dr. José Manuel Cabrera Sixto ʼ90 on Thursday, April 23, at a lunch in the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center. Texas A&M Interim President Mark A. Hussey and The Association of Former Students’ President and CEO Porter S. Garner III ’79 presented the award along with Acting Vice Chancellor and Dean William A. Dugas of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
In 2011, Cabrera was named the rector general (president) of the University of Guanajuato in Mexico, overseeing its five campuses. Since he became president, the university’s budget has increased by 46 percent, and the number of faculty and students has grown. The university also added a new center, the first to provide engineering programs in an underserved region of Guanajuato.
“Recognizing Dr. Cabrera for his exceptional work is a great pleasure for me,” said Interim President Mark A. Hussey. “As a land-grant university with a mission of promoting education, research, service and extension, we know that not only is his work an admirable example of that mission, it also represents our dedication to expand our reach worldwide. We are very proud to have him represent Texas A&M in Mexico as our Outstanding International Alumnus.”
Born in the Mexico, Cabrera was a member of the first class in the agricultural engineering program at the University of Guanajuato. While on the faculty there, he received a fellowship for graduate studies at Texas A&M, where he earned both a master’s (1990) and a Ph.D. (1993) in Agricultural Engineering. Since then, he has been an ambassador for the exchange of engineering knowledge between nations and a supporter of social and economic development through education. He has also been a strong advocate for Texas A&M University and its relationships abroad, particularly in Mexico.
“The Outstanding International Alumnus Award exists to formally acknowledge those unique former students who came to Texas A&M from across national and cultural boundaries and who now serve as loyal ambassadors of the worldwide Aggie Network,” said Porter S. Garner III ’79, President and CEO of The Association of Former Students. “Dr. Cabrera is truly deserving of this prestigious award as he embodies the Spirit of Aggieland and reflects it in ways that make us all proud.”
“Dr. Cabrera has exemplified the excellence Texas A&M strives for in its graduates,” said William A. Dugas, acting vice chancellor and dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Throughout his career he has been a strong advocate for advancing Texas A&M University through partnerships with the University of Guanajuato and other institutions in Mexico and abroad.”
An agricultural engineering professor at the University of Guanajuato since 1983, Cabrera has served the university as academic provost, director of research and graduate programs, dean of the Institute of Agricultural Sciences, and chair of the Agricultural Engineering Department. He was director of Extension and Outreach at the Guanajuato State Council for Science and Technology from 1998 to 2003. He is a widely published author and holds six patents.
Throughout his career, he has promoted the expansion of biological and agricultural engineering education in Mexico through collaborations with Texas A&M University. In 1997 he initiated a cultural and technical exchange program that continues to enrich the education of engineering students at Texas A&M and at his university’s Irapuato Campus.
In 2011, he hosted a workshop at the University of Guanajuato involving five Mexican universities and four North American institutions, including Texas A&M’s College of Geosciences and the Norman Borlaug Institute. In 2012, he led a delegation of 24 Guanajuato faculty members to College Station to develop collaborative research with faculty in several colleges across Texas A&M.
Cabrera helped to found the Mexican Association of Agricultural Engineers and is active in the Club of Bologna, a professional engineering association representing 49 countries. The Texas A&M University Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering inducted him into its Academy of Distinguished Graduates in 2012 and he received the 2014 Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
The Outstanding International Alumnus Award is jointly sponsored by Texas A&M University, The Association of Former Students and the College of the recipient. Created in 1994, this award honors Texas A&M graduates who were not U.S. citizens while attending the University, but who went on to achieve prominence in education, the sciences, technology, agriculture, the arts, business, humanities or government. Those who are chosen for this award must have a good record of accomplishments that favorably reflect on his or her educational experience at Texas A&M. Other recipients are listed online at http://www.aggienetwork.com/tribute/.