The 2013-14 school will unofficially begin this week at SWTJC when faculty and staff report for fall convocation.
New faculty member orientation is on tap for Monday, with the first general session scheduled for Tuesday starting at 9 a.m. in the Matthews Student Center Ballroom.
SWTJC President Dr. Hector Gonzales will give the president's welcome for the first time since assuming the presidency on July 31.
"This is an exciting time for me and I look forward to working with all our faculty and staff to meet the needs of the students we serve," Dr. Gonzales said. "SWTJC is committed to the success of our students and we will continue to work diligently on new and better ways to help them reach their individual educational goals."
College vice presidents and deans will also speak at the opening session before the introduction of keynote speaker Dr. Laura Rendón of the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Dr. Rendón is professor of higher education in the college of education and human development at UTSA. She is also co-director of the Center for Research and Policy in Education.
As a specialist on college preparation, persistence and graduation of low-income, first-generation students, as well as an international thought leader in the field of contemplative education, Rendón is a frequent speaker at colleges and universities.
A native of Laredo, Rendón's passion is assisting students who, like her, grew up in poverty with hopes and dreams but not knowing how to realize them. Rendón is credited with developing the theory of validation, which colleges and researchers have employed as a framework for working with and affirming students of color, many who are low-income and the first in their families to attend college.
Rendón earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She holds a M.A. in counseling and guidance and psychology from Texas A&M University – Kingsville. She earned a B.A. in English and journalism from the University of Houston, and holds and A.A. from San Antonio College.
"Dr. Rendón has developed numerous strategies aimed at helping the types of students that make up a large portion of our enrollment," SWTJC Dean of Liberal Arts Dr. Cheryl Sanchez said. "I am glad she accepted the invitation to be our keynote speaker and I know she will share some very useful information."
In addition to Rendón, Dr. Amaury Nora and Dr. Laura Jean Cortez will be featured speakers on Tuesday afternoon.
Dr. Nora is professor of higher education, co-director of the Center for Research and Policy in Education, and associate dean for research in the College of Education and Human Development at UTSA.
Dr. Cortez, a native of the Rio Grande Valley and a first-generation college graduate, earned her Ph.D. in educational administration at the University of Texas at Austin with a focus on higher education and a certificate in Mexican American studies.
Convocation will continue through Friday with various professional development opportunities, division and department meetings. The first day of classes for the fall 2013 semester is Monday, Aug. 26.
Welcome to Southwest Texas Junior College, one of the top ten community colleges in the United States! More →