Rose Benavidez and Paul Rodriguez ready to advocate for the interests of community colleges and Latino students nationwide

South Texas College trustees now have the opportunity to represent the region as well as the college on the national stage after being selected to prominent positions with the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT).

STC Trustee Rose Benavidez was elected to the Board of ACCT, and now represents the ACCT’s Western Region. She will now advocate on a national level for the needs and interests of community colleges.

Benavidez recently completed her term as Chair of ACCT’s Board Diversity Committee.

Trustee Paul Rodriguez was elected to serve on the Board of Association of Latino Community College Trustees. In this capacity, he will represent the needs and opportunities for Latino community college students nationwide.

“Motivated by the power of education and the spirit of public service and as a native of Starr County, Texas and President of the Starr County Industrial Foundation, I have witnessed the challenges involved in overcoming high unemployment and poverty levels,” Benavidez said. “To that end, I have worked to reduce many of these obstacles by dedicating my professional career to developing the local economy, improving access to education and creating job opportunities.

“I am honored to continue to be a voice for those in our minority communities that often face a lifetime of disadvantage and help maintain the shared effort of offering them an accessible lifeline to achievement,” Benavidez said.

STC Trustees Graciela Farias, Benavidez, Gary Gurwitz, Rodriguez, and Roy De Leon all attended the national leadership congress hosted by ACCT in Las Vegas on Sept. 25-28. While there, trustees presented on STC’s Baccalaureate programs and provided guidance for institutions facing similar challenges to provide meaningful four-year degree programs.

ACCT is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. Located in Washington, D.C., ACCT is a major voice of community college trustees to the presidential administration, U.S. Congress, the Departments of Education and Labor and more.

The organization educates community and technical college trustees through annual conferences focused on leadership development and advocacy, as well as through publications and online and face-to-face institutes and seminars.

“We are going to do what we can to present the unique demands and needs of our Latino students in the national organization. So, we look forward to serving on these boards,” Trustee Rodriguez said.