Del Mar College Board of Regents Grants Distinguished Title of “Professor Emeritus” to Three Newest Honorees
Now retired, Professor of English Norma Ayala-Maynard, Professor of Child Development/Early Childhood Benita Flores-Muñoz and Professor of Accounting Dolores G. Huerta impacted DMC students’ lives through dedication and over 100 combined years of teaching
Article by DMC College Relations Office
During the Del Mar College (DMC) Board of Regents’ regular December meeting, three retired professors were bestowed the prestigious title of “Professor Emeritus,” a distinction that marks their exemplary teaching and dedication to DMC students and the institution. The Board unanimously granted the title to Professor of English Norma Ayala-Maynard, Professor of Child Development/Early Childhood Benita Flores-Muñoz and Professor of Accounting Dolores G. Huerta, who all retired during the past year and met the requirements to become “Professor Emeriti.”
Ayala-Maynard’s career at DMC spanned more than 34 years as both a full-time and adjunct faculty member. During her tenure, she consistently advocated for student success and provided leadership in the areas of developmental education and English.
Her accomplishments while with the College are quite notable, including receiving Diamond Pin Awards and recognition for her years of service in teaching. Additionally, Ayala-Maynard was nominated as a Del Mar College Teacher of the Year during multiple semesters since 2008, and she was invaluable in serving students through several organizations such as the Hispanic Student Association, Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education and the DMC Mexican American Studies Program. Ayala-Maynard also provided dedicated service to the College as a member of multiple faculty hiring committees, instructional program review committees and College standing committees that included the Faculty Council, the Affirmative Action Committee and the Recruitment and Retention Committee.
Among the campus community, Ayala-Maynard was known for her mentorship to students and faculty, innovative teaching methods and involvement with college and professional affiliate activities. She was instrumental in developing curriculum for early versions of the College’s Mexican American literature courses and did so at a time when Mexican American literature anthologies were practically non-existent. She also served the English and Philosophy Department and the College for over a decade as the English Adjunct Mentoring Coordinator, facilitating professional development for scores of adjunct faculty members during that time.
Ayala-Maynard’s engagement through professional affiliations included the Conference of College Teachers of English, the College English Association, the Conference on College Composition and Communication and the National Council of English Teachers.
Throughout her career at DMC, Flores-Muñoz demonstrated outstanding contributions in the classroom, on campus and in the community for more than 27 years, first as an adjunct instructor for nine years and then for more than 18 years as a full-time, tenure track instructor and term instructor. Retiring as a tenured educator, she earned high regard from both her students and peers with a teaching style marked by passion and enthusiasm that created a positive, conducive learning environment where she shared relatable real-world experiences.
Students’ evaluations consistently praised Flores-Muñoz as an excellent instructor who was approachable and inspiring to them. In fact, for her hard work and commitment , she was selected and honored as the College’s 2021 recipient of the Dr. Aileen Creighton Award for Teaching Excellence, which is the highest faculty award given by Del Mar College.
Flores-Muñoz demonstrated adaptability and growth through technology integration and flexible scheduling to meet student needs, and she contributed significantly to developing online courses in the Child Development/Early Childhood Program (CDEC). She also served as the CDEC Program Director and played a vital role in mentoring faculty while also meeting her teaching duties. Additionally, she led the CDEC Program through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) National Accreditation in 2019, a feat that only 11 Texas colleges achieved.
Among her other accomplishments, Flores-Muñoz was recognized as the Disability Advocate of the Year and as the Blue and Silver Alumni Faculty of the Year at Del Mar College in 2016. She also actively participated in several college-wide committees such as the Curriculum Committee, Del Mar NOW Committee, Dual Credit Committee, Wellness Committee and the Faculty Professional Development Committee as well as participated in outreach activities and community events, including Week of the Young Child, the annual Teddy Bear Drive, Special Olympics and with the YWCA as a volunteer.
Huerta served for more than 45 years as a full-time, tenure-track faculty member, beginning her career at Del Mar College in 1977. Her dedication to higher education was recognized twice by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development by receiving their Excellence Award in both 2002 and 2012. Among her other accomplishments, Huerta was named Who’s Who Among American Teachers and Educators, along with being a three-time recipient of Del Mar College’s Faculty Academic Advisor of the Year Award.
While at DMC, Huerta served as an active member of numerous committees, including the Curriculum Committee, Employee Grievance Policy Review Committee, Accounting Advisory Committee, Retention Committee and one of the College’s Presidential Search Committees, along with numerous other committees. And, her commitment to her students and the discipline she taught was evidenced by her collaborations to establish work-based learning experiences with external organizations for accounting students completing practicum requirements before graduating from Del Mar College.
Additionally, her demonstrated dedication to the College’s community were numerous and invaluable including participation and promotion of Junior Achievement, involvement with the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education as well as participating with the American Association of University Professors. Huerta also demonstrated the value of lifelong learning by consistently seeking professional development to enhance her own teaching skills and knowledge within the accounting discipline.
To see the Professor Emeritus presentations for all three retired faculty members and to hear their own words about their experiences at Del Mar College, the inspiration that led them to teaching and their thoughts about receiving the prestigious title, view the edited video from the Dec. 5, 2023 regular Board of Regents meeting.
Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.