Corpus Christi, TX,
18:25 PM

QUICK TAKES - September 2021


During the September regular monthly meeting, the Board of Regents recognized five individuals for their appointments and accomplishments, including Benita Flores-Muñoz, Raul Garcia, Joseph Ruiz, David Barrera and Kiwana Denson.

Benita Flores-Munoz_2021 Creighton Award Recipient

Professor and Program Director of Child Development/Early Childhood Benita Flores-Muñoz was honored in August as the 2021 recipient of Del Mar College’s Dr. Aileen Creighton Award for Teaching Excellence. Flores-Muñoz is the 20th recipient to receive the prestigious faculty award. The award serves to honor those faculty who meet the benchmark set by Dr. Creighton as a master teacher. Flores-Muñoz is an alumna of the College’s Early Childhood Program and became a full-time faculty member with DMC in 2004. Read the full news release recognizing Flores-Muñoz as this year’s Creighton Award recipient by clicking here. Congratulations, Benita!

Raul Garcia_THECB Community and Technical Colleges Formula Advisory Committee

Raul Garcia, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, has been appointed to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s (THECB) Community and Technical Colleges Formula Advisory Committee. The THECB advisory committee is charged with providing advice and recommendations regarding a set of formulas that provide appropriate funding levels and financial incentives necessary to best achieve the goals of the state’s higher education plan. Committee membership encompasses Texas public community, state and technical colleges, general academic institutions and health-related institutions. Garcia was praised as much for his expertise as for his good old-fashioned hard work and noted for his capability to take on the microlevel of work needed to understand the state’s financing structure for Texas institutions that fall under the charge of this committee. Way to go, Vice President Garcia!

Joseph Ruiz_THECB Financial Aid Advisory Committee

• Congratulations goes to Financial Aid Services Director Joseph Ruiz for a three-year appointment to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s (THECB) Financial Aid Advisory Committee. The THECB advisory committee was created to provide advice and recommendations regarding development, implementation and evaluation of state financial aid programs for college students and to assist in development of training materials for the Center for Financial Aid Information and other sources providing information about financial aid opportunities for Texas students, including eligibility requirements and procedures for applying for financial aid. Additionally, the committee reviews state financial aid program policies and procedures, along with the collection, use and reporting of data and identifies areas of research for consideration. During the DMC Board meeting, Ruiz noted that he was ready to “roll up my sleeves to work for our students.”

David Barrera Jr_TACHE South Region Representative

Project SENDA Director David Barrera, Jr. has been appointed for a two-year term on the state Board of Directors of the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) as the South Region Representative. TACHE’s South Region includes chapters at Del Mar College and Laredo College with the professional association committed to improving educational and employment opportunities for Chicanos in higher education, including articulating educational problems, needs and issues through advocacy at the local, regional and state levels. TACHE membership also encompasses networking, Chicano student recruitment and retention and cultural promotion on campus and among the communities that chapter institutions serve. Thank you, David, for representing our region and Del Mar College!

Kiwana Denson_Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend Appointee

• City of Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo nominated Kiwana Denson, Director of Strategic Initiatives, to represent higher education as an appointee to the Board of Directors of Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend. The Board represents the public throughout an 11-county region. Fifty-one percent of Board members come from private industry while the remaining members represent education, economic development, literacy and other local service agencies. Denson served as DMC project manager on the industrial side of Gulf Coast Growth Ventures and, along with her team, delivered safety and leadership training to multiple industry leaders throughout this entire area as part of the construction of the $9 billion facility. She brings to the Workforce Solutions Board her extensive knowledge from working with businesses and industry, providing training solutions and training programs that support economic prosperity. Congratulations, Kiwana, on your appointment and representation of higher education!


Additional “Kudos” go to DMC faculty and staff. The following individuals’ accomplishments were included in the “DMC Update” newsletter for September.

DMC Advising Efforts Get Recognized

Del Mar College’s advisors had a busy 2021, earning recognitions and participating in events held by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). Leonor Crumley, Instructor of Medical Laboratory Technology, earned NACADA’s Certificate of Merit of the Outstanding New Advising Award - Faculty Academic Advising. Director of Advising Initiatives Leticia Wilson was selected to serve on NACADA’s Administrators Institute Advisory Board, which advises NACADA’s executives on strategies and activities for providing services to its membership. Additionally, Wilson will team up with Texas State University’s Dr. Terrance McClain to deliver a presentation, “Don't Cancel Your Event! Best Practices for Virtual Event Planning,” at NACADA’s October conference in Cincinnati.

Admissions Director Recognized by Corpus Christi Under 40

In June, Director of Admissions Sara King was recognized by Corpus Christi Under 40 (CCU40), an organization founded by the Young Professionals of the Coastal Bend. King was among 30 area professionals honored for making a difference in Coastal Bend fields such as business, education, health care and a multiple of other disciplines. Starting in 2006, CCU40 honors the accomplishments of men and women under age 40 who have made significant contributions to their professional fields and through service in the community.

DMC Professor’s Poetry Gets Published 

A collection of poetry written by Alan Berecka, Professor and Reference Librarian with DMC Learning Resources, was recently published by Black Spruce Press in Brooklyn, NY. A Living Is Not a Life: A Working Title explores jobs that Berecka has experienced over the years, including baling hay; working as a garbage man, a telephone operator for Ma Bell and a teaching fellow in the English Department at the University of North Texas; and being a librarian, among other odd jobs. Additionally, the collection includes poems that deal with the concept of work, his parents’ jobs and some that are similar to thought exercises. A Living Is Not a Life: A Working Title is available through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Wilson’s TEDx Talk Available on YouTube

Relating workplace interactions to childhood experiences on the playground, Advising Initiatives Director Leticia Wilson gave an informative presentation at the local TEDx Cole Park event this spring. Her presentation, The Double Dutch Theory: Creating Spaces to Unmute,” is now available on YouTube. Wilson’s talk discussed the ways children learn interaction with their peers on the playground and how those experiences can impart lessons on interacting with their peers in the adult workplace, fostering an inclusive environment. The talk utilizes the intricacies of learning Double Dutch rope jumping as an example of how participants learn etiquette and assertiveness to find their place and voice in various situations.

Wilson, Barrera Speak About Project SENDA During TACHE Conference

Dr. Kristina Ramirez Wilson, Associate Vice President of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, and Project SENDA Director David Barrera, Jr. presented La senda del exito: Project SENDA at Del Mar during the 46th Annual Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) virtual conference in May. Their presentation informed attendees about how this Title V grant was built on the College’s strategic plan, ongoing pathways work and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges reaffirmation of accreditation requirements. Wilson and Barrera also shared lessons learned and key takeaways with the group as the project nears its second year of completion. During the conference, Barrera was also named as a 2021 TACHE Fellow and elected to the association’s state board as the South Region Representative.



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.