Quick Takes - February 2021
During the February 2021 Board of Regents meeting, faculty member Benita Flores-Muñoz, Associate Professor with the Child Development/Early Childhood Program, and Kiwana Denson, Director of Strategic Initiatives with the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer's Office, were recognixed for their recent accomplishments.
• Associate Professor Benita Flores-Muñoz with the Child Development/Early Childhood Program was appointed last fall to serve on the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs. Consisting of eight members who serve three-year terms, commissioners bring demonstrated commitment to early childhood teacher education at higher education institutions; an understanding of program accreditation systems, policy and procedures and professional judgment in making accreditation decisions. The Commission also works with NAEYC staff to develop guidance documents and data gathering instruments necessary to carry out these functions. NAEYC’s higher education accreditation system accredits early childhood programs at the associate, baccalaureate and master’s degree levels that prepare individuals for beginning career roles as early childhood educators. These degree programs must demonstrate excellence by meeting the NAEYC Professional Preparation Standards. There are currently 197 institutions in 40 states with NAEYC-accredited programs, including Del Mar College. As the College’s Program Coordinator of its Child Development/Early Childhood Program, Flores-Muñoz helped lead the process for accreditation in April 2019 of its Associate in Applied Science degree. She has taught at DMC for over 14 years. Read more about Flores-Muñoz’s appointment by clicking here (DMC Viking News).
• Kiwana Denson, Director of Strategic Initiatives in the College’s Office of the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, was recently honored as a “Y Women in Careers” Award recipient for 2021 and inducted into their Hall of Fame. She joined DMC Corporate Services as a Coordinator in 2012, moving up to Customized Training Director, and spearheaded key training programs in partnership with Coastal Bend industries to advance the area’s workforce. More recently, Denson served as Managing Director for safety training at the construction site of the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures (ExxonMobil/SABIC) collaboration. Among awards Denson has received is the GRIT Award for unsung leaders who eliminate barriers, the highest recognition given to any contractor or affiliate of ExxonMobil & SABIC Industries. In April 2019, tragedy struck Denson and her family with the drowning in a rip current near White Cap Beach of her 18-year-old son, Je’Sani Smith. The incident led to her founding the Je’Sani Smith Foundation and Je’Sani Smith Beach Safety Task Force, which has garnered support from City of Corpus Christi and Nueces County officials, the Texas Department of Transportation and state legislators to advocate water safety and rip current awareness not just in the Coastal Bend but across the state to prevent water-related tragedies. Additionally, in partnership with the DMC Foundation, Denson established the Je’Sani Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund for Richard King High School students majoring in welding, art or music at the College. Read about Denson and other 2021 “Y Women in Careers” inductees by clicking here (Corpus Christi Caller-Times’ Jan. 14).
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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.