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During the Feb. 14 Del Mar College Board of Regents regular meeting, Transportation Training Services graduate Ashley Leiva, an U.S. Army veteran who won the Hiring Our Heroes Program’s top 2022 award, and DMC faculty and General Counsel Augustin Rivera, Jr., who organized and presented during DMC’s Free Speech Day last October, were recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to the campus community.

Ashley Leiva and Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer Lenora Keas_BOR Meeting Recognition_021423

On Dec. 16 in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes Program announced the recipient of the 2022 Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award after thousands of nominees had been narrowed down to only 11 during the selection process. That individual was DMC Transportation Training Services graduate Ashley Leiva, who completed the College’s program in November 2021. The retired U.S. Army veteran had already earned her Commercial Drivers License (CDL) during her military service but wanted to learn more about industry procedures and safety now that she and her brother operated her late mother’s trucking business. During the December 2022 announcement, Leiva not only received the award but also a $155,000 Kenworth T680 Next Gen Truck, fully-equipped for comfort and safety as a head start to her entrepreneurial career. Transportation Training Services Director Lynette Redding-Cervantes nominated the former student for the prestigious award. Congratulations to everyone involved with Ashley Leiva’s success as the recipient of the 2022 Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award! (Read the full news release covering the announcement.)


BOR Recognition_021423_Free Speech Day at DMC on Oct 20 2022_Dale Anderson and Amy Jones

National Free Speech Week was Oct. 17-23 and was created in 2005 in observance of the value of freedom of speech and freedom of the press to raise public awareness of the importance of these freedoms in our democracy. The Board recognized several faculty, DMC General Counsel and off-campus sources for their participation during the College’s Free Speech Day on Oct. 20 covering legal, journalistic and academic expertise. Organizers offered three sessions––“Campus Speech,” “Freedom of the Press: A Cornerstone of Democracy” and a panel discussion with several DMC faculty. The event was hosted by the College’s Social Sciences Department and Communications, Languages and Reading Department with Free Speech Day providing an educational environment for discussing the 1st Amendment and the importance of free speech to student learning, campus life and the larger community. Thank you to the following DMC participants for sharing their expertise: DMC General Counsel Augustin Rivera, Jr., Journalism Professor Rob Muilenburg, Radio/TV Instructor Rachel Jenische, History Professor Dr. James Klein, Political Science Professor Dr. Paul Gottemoller and Drama Professor Craig Brashears. Other participants during Free Speech Day included Tom Whitehurst, a local journalist, KIII Channel 3 News Digital Director Ana Tamez and Dr. Michael Phillips, a former History Professor at Collin College and current Clements Senior Fellow with the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University. DMC students also participated during the full-day event, including Ana Alldredge, David Carroll, Andrew Clements, Samantha Silva, Samantha Sparks, Eve Stogner, Allison Vela and Nieves Guajardo. Additionally, listed DMC faculty presenters and other colleagues served on the planning committee, including Rivera,  Jenische,Dr. Klein, Muilenburg, Journalism Lab Advisor Scott Beckett, Political Science Professor Adrian Clark, Speech Professor Amy Jones, Associate Professor of Psychology Teresa Klein, Associate Professor of Drama Sharhzad Moghadam and Communications, Languages and Reading Department Chair Dale Anderson. Because Free Speech 2022 Day was so successful, the planning team intends to make the event an annual celebration at Del Mar College to instill the importance of the 1st Amendment. Kudos to everyone who made this event available to DMC’s students and the community!


The College also extends a round of applause to other DMC students and employees for their achievements, personal enrichment and representation of the institution.

TIFA Feb 2023_Vocal Vikings_Bobcat Classic Winners_Jasmine Vasquez and Ana Martinez

Vocal Vikings Show Competitive Spirit with Several Tournaments Completed Before Spring Break

Del Mar College’s forensics team, the Vocal Vikings, have kept up the pace with several competitions completed before Spring Break! In early February, the team competed in two speech tournaments scheduled Feb. 3-5 at Texas State University in San Marcos, including the State Spring Invitational of the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association and the “Bobcat Classic.” The Vocal Vikings competed with several other schools, including The University of Texas (UT) at Austin, UT Dallas, Texas State University, West Texas State University, Rice University, Howard Payne University, University of North Texas as well as Tyler Junior College, San Antonio College, Lone Star College and Central Texas College. Vocal Viking Ana Martinez competed for her first time during this tournament and was named the “Top Community College Competitor in Informative Speaking.” Martinez also won sixth place in the Informative Speaking  competition, and teammate Jasmine Vasquez, who also competed for the first time, won sixth place in the Poetry Interpretation competition.  

The Vocal Vikings moved on to more forensic competition the week of Feb. 13 to meet the challenge during the Texas Community College Forensic Association (TCCFA) state tournament in San Antonio. The tournament was combined with a full tournament that included both community colleges and universities called the Texas Shuffle. But, while both types of institutional teams vied for places, separate awards were given to community college and university Texas Shuffle winners. Del Mar College won the third place Sweepstakes Trophy for community college competition. Additionally, two Vocal Vikings brought home six awards between them with Dorothy Barringer winning two second place awards in TCCFA competition––one for Impromptu Speaking and the other for Persuasive Speaking. Jasmine Vasquez earned awards in both the TCCFA and Texas Shuffle tournaments, winning second place in Poetry (TCCFA), fifth place in Poetry (first and second halves of Texas Shuffle) and fifth place in Top Speaker (first half of Texas Shuffle).

Congratulations to these students and to all the Vocal Vikings who represented Del Mar College during competition!

DMC Music Students Perform During TMEA Convention in San Antonio

During the annual Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Convention, participants can expect to experience unparalleled professional development and inspiring performances. The association brings both educators and selected students (or future educators) together in San Antonio each February for a convention that features over 275 clinics and 100 performances overall. After auditioning months in advance, 11 DMC Music Department students who were selected to participate in rehearsals and performances attended the 2023 TMEA Convention  held Feb. 8-11, which included the Texas Community College Band Directors Association All-State Symphonic Band and the Texas Two-Year College Choral Directors Association All-State Choir. Under the direction of Caroline Beatty with Texas State University, DMC students who participated with the All-State Band were Matthew Gomez (Bass Trombone), Jaden Byars (Trumpet) and David Hernandez (Euphonium). Students who participated with the All-State Choir included Ariana Adame-Gonzalez (Alto), Gabriella Alvarado (Alto), James Austin (Bass), Ana Colchado (Tenor), Rolando Esquivel (Tenor), Alexis Saldaña (Soprano), Marisol Salazar (Soprano) and Jaxon Smith (Bass). The All-State Choir was directed by Utah State University’s Craig Jessop. Additionally, four DMC trumpet students collaborated with other trumpeters from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi to perform on the Lobby Stage  with the Coastal Bend Trumpet Ensemble during the TMEA Convention and included Juan Dominguez, Cole Flores, Juan Gonzalez and Isabella Solis.

The Music Department also thanks and recognizes the following faculty for their service as mentors and for assisting these students in their preparation for empowering musical experiences such as the TMEA Convention:   Interim Director of Choral Activities Dr. Daniel Arredondo, Department Chair and Professor of Music Cynthia Longoria (Voice), Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Daniel Miller (Trumpet, Jazz Band and Mariachi Ensemble), Associate Professor of Music Dr. Donald Pinson (Trombone and Low Brass), Professor of Music Dr. Raphael Rada (Voice) and Associate Professor of Music Dr. Abel Saldivar Ramirez (Concert Band).

Congratulations to all 15 students who represented Del Mar College, including those who performed with the All-State Band, All-State Choir and the Coastal Bend Trumpet Ensemble! 

Music Department Holds First Chair Honors Band for Area High School Band Students

In early February, the Music Department held their First Chair Honors Band with 95 area high school musicians participating during two days of rehearsal culminating with a concert on Feb. 4. Under the baton of Dr. Abel Saldivar Ramirez, Associate Professor of Music, students from the following 12 high schools participated this year: Calallen, Carroll, Flour Bluff, Gregory-Portland, King, Miller, Moody, San Diego, Sinton, Tuloso-Midway, Veterans Memorial and w. B. Ray.  Congratulations to the young Coastal Bend musicians who made this year’s First Chair Honors Band! Learn more about the DMC Music Department at www.delmar.edu/offices/music/index.html.

Del Mar College and City of Corpus Christi Celebrate Groundbreaking of City Police Department’s New Training Academy on Oso Creek Campus

The weather was cold and windy, but the conditions on Feb. 16 didn’t stop the City of Corpus Christi from holding their groundbreaking ceremony for their new Police Training Academy that will be constructed on Del Mar College’s Oso Creek Campus. College administrators and City officials have partnered through an interlocal contract approved by the DMC Board of Regents  that allows the City’s construction of their new facility on nine acres of land on the campus for $10 per year for 50 years with the option to add another 50 years in the future.

The City’s $29 million 34,000 sq. ft. two-story Police Training Academy features an auditorium and two large classrooms, along with other training components such as a newly developed weight room and facilities that accommodate specific training for crime scenes and defense tactic driving simulations. The building has been designed by Turner Ramirez Architects, the same firm that designed the College’s Oso Creek Campus.

City of Corpus Christi Groundbreaking_Police Training Academy_DMC President_CEO Mark Escamilla_021623

Before representatives broke ground, DMC President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mark Escamilla joined City officials, including Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo, District 5 City Councilman Gil Hernandez, City Manager Peter Zanoni and Corpus Christi Police Chief Mike Markle, to speak about the benefits of the partnership between the College and the City. Other DMC representatives who attended the groundbreaking event were Board of Regents Chair Carol A. Scott, First Vice Chair and At-large Regent Dr. Nick Adame and District 3 Regent Bill Kelly.

With the development of the Oso Creek Campus, the College has already covered costs for preconstruction feasibility studies, a traffic impact analysis, environmental studies and infrastructure support that can be applied to the new Police Training Academy and that saves the City and taxpayers money.


About Del Mar College

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.