Col. Lisa Carrington-Firmin, USAF (ret.)
Show Date: November 6th, 2019
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Col. Lisa Carrington-Firmin,
Associate Vice President,
Veterans and Military Afffairs
University of Texas at San Antonio
Col. Carrington-firmin received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She is one of just three awardees this year and one of 92 alumni to receive this honor in the university’s 94-year-old history.The award is the most prestigious honor awarded to alumni at the university. The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to individuals whose personal and professional accomplishments have brought widespread respect and admiration to their Alma mater.
Firmin coordinates and integrates support services at the strategic level for the nearly 5,000 UTSA veteran and military-connected students. Since her arrival at UTSA in 2010, Firmin has been instrumental in the initiation of many pioneering programs to enhance the academic experience for military-affiliated and other under served student populations.
Most recently, Firmin helped consolidate all veteran support services under one department with the creation of the Center for Military Affiliated Students located in the John Peace Library (JPL 1.01.14) on the UTSA Main Campus. She led other recent initiatives to support veterans on campus such as priority registration, an online certification process, and Veteran and Military Orientation for new UTSA students from within the military community.
Through her leadership, UTSA is consistently ranks among the top 10 most military friendly schools in the nation, according to Victory Media.
In her previous role as UTSA Associate Provost for Faculty/Student Diversity and Recruitment, Firmin created the UTSA Top Scholar program. Aimed at high achieving students, the program combines merit scholarships with student enrichment experiences to enhance the quality of each incoming freshman class. She developed the first ever Presidential level Distinguished Diversity awards program for students, faculty and staff, and championed the addition of Gender Identity/Gender Expression to the university’s nondiscrimination policy.
“I have always wanted to make a difference to help others, especially those from underserved populations,” said Firmin. “The proof that I was successful is in the outcomes achieved and in the positive impact I have made on others. Their success is so rewarding to me. I’m so honored to receive this award from my alma mater, as the strong educational foundation that I received catapulted me onto quite a life journey.”
Firmin began employment at UTSA one month after retiring from the United States Air Force as a Colonel and as its most senior ranking Latina officer. Her distinguished 30-year career included being awarded the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star, among numerous other awards, as well as being the first colonel to command the expeditionary mission support group at Balad Air Base in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. While in the Air Force, Firmin led UTSA’s ROTC program to the best in the nation.
The first person in her family to graduate college, Firmin earned a B.A. in Journalism and graduated cum laude from Texas A&M University-Kingsville (then Texas A&I University) in 1979 before joining the Air Force and going on to earn two graduate degrees.