On March 1, 2022, Quest University’s Academic Dean, Halia Valladeres Montemayor, will be receiving a Mujer Tec Award from Tec de Monterrey. Montemayor’s gratitude for this award is multi-faceted; receiving recognition from her alma mater, receiving this award for the sciences category, and being nominated for this award by a PhD candidate that she had only interacted with two times prior to being nominated.

Halia Valladeres Montemayor is fairly new to Quest, officially starting her position as Quest’s inaugural Academic Dean on August 1st of 2021. Since starting at Quest she has had an incredible impact on the community, leveraging her years of expertise to serve the students of Quest University well. We are thrilled to have Montemayor on board and want to celebrate her in the community for being one of the 2022 winners of the Mujer Tec award.

Now in its tenth year, Mujer Tec nominates individuals in 9 different categories, listed on the Monterey Tec’s website. Winning the award under the Sciences category is a particular honour for Montemayor. She sees this award as a way of furthering “to prove that you can do hard scientific research in international business… You can study it from the academic point of view or you can study it from the research point of view.”

Studying at Monterey Tec for her undergrad, Montemayor was part of one of the early cohorts on the Licenciado en Comercio Internacionales (LIN) program at Monterrey Tec. The LIN program (which translates to International Business and/or Trade [International Business]), was fairly new to Monterrey Tec when Montemayor first began her studies there. Throughout her undergrad she noted that comments were often made regarding LIN, dismissing it as an easy program of study and not truly a science. Going on eventually to get her PhD in economics, Montemayor is grateful that she never let the perceptions of others deter her from pursuing the things she is truly passionate about.

International business, international trade, and supply chain management were all prevalent themes throughout Montemayor’s PhD thesis. She takes a very interdisciplinary approach to all of her work and she credits this methodology, in a way, leading her to Quest. The educational approach to Quest is different, and this difference is something that Montemayor has always found herself striving towards – to be able to connect seemingly disparate topics to make greater insights to the world of international business, science, and technology, than people may have initially thought to be possible.

She comments that one of the main reasons she loves the Quest program is because it acknowledges the fact that it is arts and sciences working together where we see the greatest breakthroughs in academia. Being able to identify issues or examine something through both qualitative and quantitative methods is important, however, without the ability to translate that knowledge in an accessible way leads nowhere. Montemayor notes; “You can know something in your head but writing something in a way that people can understand takes a lot of work and a lot of practice.”

This ability to take complex issues and to communicate them in an accessible way has taken her far in her career. Her impactful communication is perhaps one of the main reasons she was nominated for this award in the first place. She recalls hearing about the award a number of years ago but never thought too much about it; she knew self-nominating was an option but nothing she ever considered in depth. This year was different, two days prior to nominations closing Montemayor received a call from a PhD student that she had interacted with on two occasions prior to receiving this call. The student heard about the Mujer Tec award and immediately Montemayor’s name came to mind. Together, the two of them worked tirelessly to compile Montemayor’s numerous international awards, degrees, certifications, and publications together for the application and submitted the nomination minutes before the deadline.

A few weeks later, Montemayor heard back that she had been selected for the award and was absolutely thrilled. Not only for her own sake but also to prove that your opportunities and passions do not need to conform to how people perceive you, your passions, or your degree. In life we are often told what to like, what to study, and where to work in order to gain security later on in life. Montemayor wants to leave readers with the acknowledgement that if you see happiness or success as a destination, you will never reach it because you’ll always want more. Instead, one should look at where they are and find happiness in spite of the hardships that they may face.

Montemayor is an incredible woman, leader, academic, and friend. We are so honoured to have her as part of the Quest community and want to congratulate her on being selected for a Mujer Tec 2022 Award. If you would like to tune in to this event, please use this link to join. 

Feb 17, 2022 | Contributed by Monica Rawlek Elizondo
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