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2008 DAA Recipients

Ciro Valent Sumaya, M.D.
Dean, Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health


"Starting at TSC helped me grow… both in maturity as well as earn a quality education."

Ciro V. Sumaya has been founding dean of the School of Rural Public Health at the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center since 1997. He holds the school’s Cox Endowed Chair in Medicine. 

Sumaya was born in Brownsville and was the valedictorian of Brownsville High School’s Class of 1959. He attended Texas Southmost College from May 1959 to August 1960. A 1962 Phi Beta Kappa graduate with high honors from The University of Texas at Austin, Sumaya also earned his medical degree from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 1966. He also has a master’s degree in public health and tropical medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine and School of Public Health in New Orleans. 


Ruben Gallegos, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, International Education Services Inc.,   

"My parents always emphasized the importance of getting an education, and I wanted to go to school, finish high school and go to college. I owe a lot to Texas Southmost College."

Ruben Gallegos is executive director of International Educational Services, an agency that provides children of illegal immigrants who have been arrested a basic education as they await deportation or reunification. 

Gallegos was an associate professor at the University of Texas – Pan American at Brownsville, the predecessor to UTB/TSC, from 1984 to 1991 and retired from public school administration in 1993.

He has also been an assistant elementary school principal, a Head Start program coordinator, assistant superintendent and chairman of the Texas Association for Mexican American Educators. 

Gallegos was born in El Calavoz, Texas and is a graduate of Brownsville High School.

He earned an associate of arts degree from Texas Southmost College in 1957 and was awarded a bachelor’s degree in education from Pan American College (now the University of Texas – Pan American in Edinburg) in 1959. He earned a master’s degree in education from East Texas State College (now Texas A&M University at Commerce) in 1962. He continued his studies and was awarded a doctorate of philosophy from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University at Commerce) in 1970. 

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