By Roadtrip Nation

Ann Quiroz Gates


My road in life took a while to figure out.
My parents always reinforced the importance of education when I was growing up.
I learned computing in high school, but ended up majoring in mathematics when I went to college.
My first job after graduating college was as a computer programmer.
After spending a number of years working and raising a family, I decided to go back to school and get my master’s degree in computer science.
Earning my master’s degree motivated me to keep going and get a Ph.D. in computer science.
I went back to the University of Texas at El Paso—my alma mater—as the department chair for computer science and the associate vice president of research.
I'm also the executive director of the Computing Alliance for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI), which promotes inclusion and equity in innovation and discovery.
Keep following my journey


Professor & Chair, Computer Science Department

I collaborate with Engineering Leadership to advance research and student success in the college.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Helping People

Day to Day

As a department chair, I oversee the functions of the department and make sure we're following accreditation requirements. I meet with students who aren't doing well to understand what issues they might be facing and then try to assist and motivate them. I work with a lot of student organizations. Because I also do work at the national level, I travel a lot to do things like speak on panels and work with specific organizations.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Identify leadership opportunities by getting involved in organizations. Seek opportunities to give presentations and ask for feedback. Join LinkedIn; network and establish relationships with a broad range of people; seek mentors.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

Certified Secondary Teacher


The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"You only received that because you are a Latina."

Challenges I Overcame

Racial Discrimination