Texas Tech University
Scholarly Messenger
New Senior Research Associate Named

Patricia Bennett Solís has joined the Office of the Vice President for Research as a senior research associate with the Research Development Team. The Research Development Team works to advance the university’s strategic research priorities by facilitating and supporting multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary research proposals valued at $1 million or more.

As senior research associate, Solís will organize major grant proposals around key Texas Tech research priorities, primarily focused in the social sciences and interdisciplinary proposals with a social science component. Solís will also join the College of Arts and Sciences as a research associate professor of geography in the Department of Geosciences and an adjunct associate professor at the Climate Science Center.

Solís received a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Bachelor of Arts in German in 1994 from Kansas State University with an exchange year on scholarship at the Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland. She also earned her Master of Arts in Geography from Kansas State University in 1996. She earned her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Iowa in 2002 where she was a Presidential Fellow.

Over her career, Solís has developed more than 50 competitively-funded projects totaling more than $7 million, largely from federal sources such as the National Science Foundation, NASA, USAID, U.S. Department of State, and others. As principal investigator, she has published and developed dozens of research products and agendas in sustainable development, climate change, water resources, environmental vulnerability, food security, and geographic technologies. Her publications also include studies on international research collaboration and professional development materials to support academic grantsmanship. Within her projects, Solís has designed and implemented programmatic activities that utilize research for broader social impacts, particularly with respect to broadening participation in higher education for women and minorities and engaging greater numbers of students in research-centered learning at the secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels.

Her international experience includes fostering north-south and south-south collaborations among emerging scholars in sixty countries across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Her creative leadership resulted in the development of collaborative research methodologies and the sustained institutionalization of a public-private global partnership centered on digital geographic technologies. These efforts engaged more than 25,000 youth, their teachers, university students, and professors over the past decade and have been recognized by the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development as a model program.