About Lisa Carrington Firmin
Lisa Carrington Firmin is a Latina, combat vet, writer and poet and currently serves as the Military Liaison for the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). As the founder of the Veteran and Military Affairs department and its inaugural Associate Vice President, she consolidated all veteran support services on campus and established the Center for Military Affiliated Students. She started priority registration and a tailored orientation program for veterans, instituted scholarships for all military affiliated students and created case studies and a training module highlighting Veteran Culture Competence. Serves as the conduit between UTSA and the veteran/military community. In her previous role, as Associate Provost for Faculty/Student Diversity and Recruitment she founded the UTSA Top Scholar program, the first Presidential level Distinguished Diversity awards program and led the addition of Gender Identity/Gender Expression to the university’s nondiscrimination policy.
Firmin serves as Founder/CEO of Carrington Firmin LLC providing writing and consulting services in Leadership, Veterans, Transitions, Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and Diversity and Inclusion. Her poetry is deeply personal, an intimate reflection into the invisible wounds of MST, PTSD, trauma, hardship, and combat. She has been featured on various media to include documentary regarding her leadership, advocacy for underserved populations, her poetry and book, Stories from the Front: Pain, Betrayal, and Resilience on the MST Battlefield (April 2022 - Blue Ear Books).
In 2021, Firmin penned poems displayed in a national art exhibit at the Military Women’s Memorial in Washington, DC. In 2020, she authored an opinion editorial in the San Antonio Express News, Women protecting their country, yet military fails to protect them and a transition article in Latina Style Magazine, A Seamless Military to Civilian Workforce Transition: Consejos Para Usted. Featured in VFW Magazine’s June/July 2021, in Military Officer Magazine in October 2021, LatinBiz Today’s Everyday People Make the World Go Round in 2020, on San Antonio’s Movers and Shakers radio show in 2019 and in San Antonio Magazine in 2018. In 2016, Firmin authored Deploying Leadership: Steady Skills to Serve in Any Environment in the Phi Kappa Phi Forum and authored a book chapter titled “The Transition: Colonel to Associate Provost,” in Adapt and Overcome, Essays on the Student Veteran Experience. In 2013, she co-authored a book chapter titled “Serving Student Veterans at the University of Texas at San Antonio: Accomplishments and Challenges,” in Building Bridges for Student Success: A Sourcebook for Colleges and Universities. Her research, Hispanics:
An Untapped Leadership resource authored in 2002 continues to maintain its relevance in 2021.
Firmin retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel and its most senior ranking Latina officer, after leading UTSA’s ROTC program to the best in the nation. She was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for her efforts in combat as an Expeditionary Mission Support Group Commander in Iraq’s Sunni Triangle, and has received many honors and accolades such as the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, UTSA’s President’s Distinguished Diversity Award, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce National Latina Leader award, the Governor of Texas’ Yellow Rose award, the National Diversity Council’s Trailblazer and Most Powerful and Influential Women in Texas awards, the Texas Diversity Council’s Greater San Antonio LGBT Ally Award, the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas Trailblazer Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Texas A&M University Kingsville.
Firmin serves as a member of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans, a board member of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville University’s Foundation Board of Trustees, the first woman board member of the Hispanic Veterans Leadership Alliance, member of the Veterans Healthy Minds Advisory Council – South Texas, member of Military Officers Association of America, a life member of both the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. She holds the National Diversity Council’s Certified Diversity Professional designation and is a Certified True Colors® Facilitator.