One West University Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520 | 956-882-8200







The University of Houston
The University of Houston
The University of Texas at Austin

Classical Rhetoric and Public Address
Communications & Linguistics

January 1970
May 1972
August 1976

Post-Doctoral Studies

Harvard University
Harvard University
Massachusetts Institute of Tech.
London School of Business

Institute for Educational Management
JFK School of Government
Summer Institute
Society for International Business Fellows

Summer 1988
Summer 1989
Summer 1992
Spring 1993



The University of Houston
Pan American University at Edinburg
The University of Texas at Austin
Pan American University at Brownsville
Texas Southmost College

Teaching Assistant 
Teaching Assistant
Adjunct Professor 

1970 to 1972
Spring 1972
1974 to 1976
1977 to 1979
1972-74, 1976-81

Director of TSC Self-Study
Dean of Arts & Sciences

1979 to 1981
1981 to 1986
1986 to 1992

The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College


1992 to present



Gladys Porter Zoo, Brownsville, TX (Advisory)
Chase Bank of Texas/Rio Grande Valley, TX
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Atlanta, GA
Oblate School of Theology, San Antonio, TX
Southern Association of Community, Junior and Technical Colleges
American Council on Education, Washington, D.C.
Academy for Educational Development, New York, NY
Association of Texas Colleges and Universities
Texas 2000 State Coordinating Committee
Council of Advisors to Education Transition Team, Clinton Administration
Texas Council on Workforce and Economic Competitiveness
Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, Executive Board, Cambridge, MA
Society of International Business Fellows, Atlanta, GA
Historic Brownsville Museum
Texas Chamber of Commerce
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas/San Antonio Branch, San Antonio, TX
Chase Bank of Texas, N.A., Houston, TX
National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, Washington, D.C.
Rio Grande Valley Land Fund

1978 to present
1982 2006
1988 to 1992
1989 to 1990
1989 to 1996
1990 to 1992
1990 to 1991
1992 to 1994
1993 to 1995
1993 to 1996
1993 to 1995
1994 to 1999
1994 to 2002
1994 to 1998
1994 to 1998

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, Washington, D.C.

1994 to 2000

The American Council on Education South Africa Project, Washington, D.C.
The Aspen Institute’s Program on Education in a Changing Society
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
The Public Welfare Foundation, 2008 Interim Chair
Texas State Board for Educator Certification
Advisory Committee to Congress on Student Financial Assistance, Chair
THECB Advisory Committee on Regional Higher Education Services
The Presidency Editorial Advisory Board, American Council on Education
Rio Grande Valley Challenger Learning Center
Texas Campus Compact
The Kenedy Memorial Foundation, Corpus Christi, TX
The Philosophical Society of Texas
Project GRAD USA
Ford Foundation
Project GRAD Brownsville
National Campus Compact
National Audubon Society
National Museum of Women in the Arts International Advisory Council
Humanities Texas                        
Borderplex Health Council, University of Texas System, Founding Chair    
Valley Baptist Health System Foundation, Harlingen, TX
The National Academies-- Government, Universities, Industries Research Roundtable, Chair
Raise Your Hand-Texas, Bipartisan Public School Advocacy Group
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
President Elect Obama Transition Team
The Notre Dame Task Force: On the Participation of Latino Children and Families in Catholic Schools
United Brownsville, Founding Tri-Chair
The National Academies Policy and Global Affairs Division
The National Academies Committee on National Statistics
Complete College America

1994 to 1998
1996 to 2004
1996 to present
1996 to 1997
1996 to 2002
1998 to 2000
1999 to 2001
2000 to 2009
2000 to 2005
2000 to present
2001 to 2005
2003 to present
2003 to 2006
2004 to 2007
2006 to 2007
2006 to present
2005 to 2008
2006 to 2008
2007 to 2008
2007 to present
2008 to present 
2009 to present

2009 to 2010
2010 to present
2010 to present
2010 to present



The University of Houston Teaching Fellow
Ford Foundation Fellow for Doctoral Studies
Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Honor Society
Outstanding Young Woman in America
National Institute of Education Research Grant Recipient
The University of Texas Office for Hispanic Research Grant Recipient

1970 to 72
1974 to 76
1974, 1977

Recognized as the first Mexican-American woman in the nation to become President of a college or university


Outstanding Young Texas-Ex Award, The University of Texas at Austin
"Hall of Fame" Education Award, National Network of Hispanic Women
Distinguished Citizenship Award, Grand Lodge Order of Elks
Outstanding Alumnus Award, College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin


Distinguished Citizen Award, Boy Scouts of America-Rio Grande Valley Chapter
Elected to Society of International Business Fellows
100 Most Influential Hispanics, Hispanic Business magazine

Distinguished Leadership Award, American Association of Higher Education, Hispanic Caucus


Outstanding Texas Leader Award, John Ben L. Sheppard Leadership Foundation
Voted Hispanic Woman of the Year, Valley Morning Star Newspaper of Harlingen, TX
The VIDA Award Recipient, In Recognition of Outstanding Individual Achievement in the Hispanic Community



Most Influential Hispanic Women of Texas, Texas Hispanic Magazine
Women of Distinction Awards, National Conference for College Women Student Leaders
100 Most Influential Hispanics, Hispanic Business Magazine
Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree, University of Notre Dame
Woman of the Year Award in Education, GEMS Television
John P. McGovern Award, American Association of Colleges of Nursing
Gems TV Woman of the Year
John McGovern Award, AACN
Inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in Education
Distinguished Professional Woman Award – UT Health Science Center at Houston
80 Elite Hispanic Women, Hispanic Business magazine
100 Most Influential Hispanics, Hispanic Business magazine

Dr. Juliet V. García Middle School opened in Brownsville, Texas
National Hispana Leadership Institute Mujer Regional Award

80 Elite Hispanic Women, Hispanic Business magazine
Advisory Committee to Congress on Student Financial Assistance Award for Service
80 Elite Hispanic Women, Hispanic Business magazine
Honorary Doctorate, Brown University
Hispanic Heritage Award for Education presented at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC
The University of Texas Distinguished Alumna

Top 10 College President, Time Magazine

Latina Leader Award, Imagen Foundation






Texas Southmost College District Revenue Bond Elections

Directed two successful community supported general obligation bond campaigns for construction of new buildings on campus in 1986 and 2004.  The first funded the doubling of instructional and library capacity, restored historical buildings and upgraded infrastructure.   The second bond is helping fund an early childhood center, biomedical research building, digital library, new classroom building, a performing arts center, and renovation of the International Technology Education and Commerce Campus.

Endowment Challenge Grant

Recognizing the need to signal early to junior high and high school students the need for them to take and succeed in more rigorous coursework to prepare them for college, the challenge grant was designed. The $3 million dollar endowment, which has since grown to over $6 million, is used for scholarships earned by local students who take the more rigorous junior high and high school courses, make "A's" and "B's" in those courses, and attend The University of Texas at Brownsville.  More than 10,000 students have received these scholarships and come better prepared for college level coursework.

The unique endowment received state, regional, and national recognition for its innovative approach and successful implementation.

‘The Community University’

Many students begin their college education in community colleges but less than 20% of those same students transfer successfully to baccalaureate granting colleges or universities.  Since most Hispanics, women and non-traditional students begin their college education in community colleges and fail to earn degrees beyond the associate degree, a new model was developed in 1992. The model would borrow the best characteristics of the community college and combine them with the best of the university.

The new model would also eliminate barriers for students to provide them a seamless four-year educational program of study and be called a ‘community university’. The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, known more simply as UTB/TSC, was established effective September 1, 1992.

Eighteen years after the partnership was established:   

  • Student headcount at UTB/TSC has increased by 133% from 7,000 to more than 17,000 students

  • Percentage of degrees awarded has increased significantly at all levels:
  • Certificate                   150%
    Associate                    163%
    Bachelor’s                    240%
    Master’s                      140%

  • Twenty-three thousand degrees have been awarded. 

  • Attracted to the new model and its emphasis on innovation and effectiveness with the non-traditional minority student, faculty have been recruited from all over the world

  • Campus facilities have grown to include new state-of-the-art buildings for Science and Engineering, Life and Health Sciences Building, Education and Business. In addition, students have passed fee proposals to build a new Student Union, a new Recreation Center and expand athletics.

  • Forty seven new degree programs have been added, including bachelor’s degrees in chemistry, engineering, and computer sciences, as well as master’s degrees in mathematics, physics, biology, and public policy.  UTB/TSC welcomed the inaugural class of its first doctoral program in the School of Education in Fall 2007.

  • A new Math and Science Academy was established on the University campus fall of 2007 for junior and seniors in high school. The Math and Science Academy makes it possible for students to get a head start on their college careers by earning their last two years of high school concurrent with their first two years of college.

  • The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board tracks the research expenditures by universities each year. In the year 2000, UTB/TSC’s share of research dollars was barely $369,000. By FY 2008, our annual expenditures had increased to $5.9 million. Most recently, UTB received an additional $8.9 million in new grants, with the largest amount from NSF for our Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy and the second largest amount from the US Department of Education for redesign of the alternative certification program for teacher training.

  • A competitive chess team was established that played in the 2009 President's Cup and placed 3rd internationally.

  • The campus has undergone a transformation over the last 18 years. What started as a campus of 40 acres has grown to more than 460 acres. Over the next 4 years we will be completing more construction than we have in the entire last 20 years.

  • But the most important part of our transformation has been accomplished by the people that we have gathered from all over the world to teach and conduct their research here; the staff who work tirelessly and creatively to support the mission of the university; and our students, most of whom are first generation students, who while they lack experience, are not lacking in neither ambition nor potential.

  • Relevant Leadership Experience
  • Chaired accreditation teams for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and served as Chair of the Commission on Colleges and as a member of the Board of Trustees. 

  • Facilitated the development of a Strategic Plan for Technikon Mangosuthu in Durban, South Africa, as part of a project for American Council on Education and USAID.  1995-1997.

  • Participated in discussions on the North American Free Trade Agreement with the Mexican President in 1993.  Appointed as a member of the Council of Advisors to the Education Transition Team for the Clinton Administration on issues for U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley.

  • Served as Chair of the American Council on Education,  the major coordinating body for the nation's higher education institutions by seeking to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and to influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.

  • Served as president of Texas Southmost College during the development of the Community University. Helped lead negotiations between the Texas Southmost College Board of Trustees and The University of Texas Board of Regents to establish the unique partnership. Was selected to serve as president of the new University and design and install the new concept with legislators, community leaders, faculty and staff.

  • Currently serve as chair of two committees for the Ford Foundation Board of Trustees including the Proxy Committee and the Committee on Asset Building and Community Development.  

  • Served as a member of the Selection Committee for the newly appointed presidents of the Ford Foundation, Public Welfare Foundation and National Campus Compact. 
  • Served as chair of Texas Campus Compact, a coalition of 47 university presidents committed to encouraging civic engagement on their campuses.

  • Served as founding chair of the Borderplex Health Coalition, comprised of two medical schools and two universities serving the Southern region of Texas.

  • Lecture annually at the Harvard IEM leadership program in the School of Education and invited to speak extensively at national meetings on issues relating to successful and innovative models for higher education, and gender and minority issues.  


  • The Public Welfare Foundation, Washington, D.C.
  • The Ford Foundation, New York, NY 
  • Texas Campus Compact, Austin, TX
  • Raise Your Hand-Texas, Bipartisan Public School Advocacy Group, Austin, TX
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ
  • The Notre Dame Task Force: On the Participation of Latino Children and Families in Catholic Schools, Notre Dame, IN
  • United Brownsville, Brownsville, TX
  • The National Academies Policy and Global Affairs Division, Washington D.C.
  • The Natinoal Academies Committee on National Statistics, Washington D.C.
  • Complete College Amercia, Washington, D.C.  


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