Luis Galarza

In early 1997 after finishing my studies at the CIE, I returned to Mexico to continue to work in distance education, my professional passion since my early days of grad school at UMASS.  While in Mexico I worked at Monterrey Tech as a graduate program director and subsequently for a large Mexican corporation in the cement and concrete industry.  In those days, I had the responsibility of training the company’s personnel in multiple international locations as it expanded to become one of the largest multinationals in the country.


Soon after my oldest daughter, who was born in Massachusetts, began walking, I took a position to teach at DePaul University in Chicago.  I landed in the school’s adult education program, where I was responsible for launching the university’s first online degree program.  Back in the day, online education looked very different from what it is today.  In those days, I not only had to instill good adult education theory into my work, but I also had to learn much about technology and university administration.  A seed grant from the provost ended up being a great success for many seeking to continue their education online.  


A few years into my tenure-track, I decided to take leave and return to Veracruz, Mexico to work in a public-private university consortium to expand access to higher education in Mexico.  As a family, we also did this to give our daughters the opportunity to grow and learn about Latin America as we also exposed them to their family backgrounds.  In 2011, my passion for online learning had taken me many places, so I took an opportunity at a tech company in DC that provides software solutions as an adult learning consultant. 


Online and adult education theory has always inspired me to learn about other aspects of the modality.  In 2012, I joined a large online program management company directing their international operations, primarily in the Spanish-speaking world.  More recently I founded the Education Deployment Network, an organization devoted to providing online learning solutions in the form of talented individuals who are experts at what they do.  This includes faculty members teaching for universities online from many parts of the world.


Today, I also serve as the Chief Academic Officer at AVENU Learning, an organization created by the largest non-profit private university in the US, recently expanding its reach to the Latin American region.  I very much enjoy continuing to work with many higher education experts and across geographies.


I fondly remember my time at the CIE and very much miss our Tuesday Center meetings!  It was at the CIE that I was allowed to pursue my passion to help others grow through education.  Over the past 20 years, I have supported the growth of educational opportunities for Hispanic immigrants in the US.  Under my leadership, the Mexican consular network launched secondary and high school education online for Mexican nationals living in the US.


Living and working in a truly trans-national education environment today, clearly would not have been possible without the support of colleagues and faculty at UMASS.  I feel very proud of reading and learning about its members, graduates, and projects.  More importantly, I feel proud to belong in a community of a humble Center that has for decades contributed to the development of leaders in international education.




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CIE Graduate