RGC Celebrates Student Success

 Dr. Fernando Quiz received the 2016 Texas State University Board of Regents Teacher of the Year award and was honored by Dora Alcala at the Rio Grande College awards ceremony last Saturday.

Del Rio-Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College students, their families, and RGC faculty and staff gathered in the Grand Ballroom of the Ramada Inn on Saturday, April 28, to celebrate a variety of student accomplishments for the 2015-16 school year.

Dr. Claudia Wright, RGC’s Director of Admissions and Student Services, welcomed the crowd and members of the Del Rio High School Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (JROTC) presented the colors. RGC graduate and staff member Ebdawna Músquiz provided a beautiful rendition of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” on her violin and RGC Assistant Professor of Education, Dr. Sam Garcia, led the invocation.

Del Rio native Dora Alcala served as guest speaker and amused the audience as she reminisced about growing up as a child of migrant workers and told of her father’s dream for her after high school that clashed with her own plans. She stressed the importance of students earning their “papelito” in order to move ahead with their lives. The three-term Del Rio mayor’s resume also includes a six-year stint on the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System. She graduated from Sul Ross State University with cum laude honors and also holds a master’s degree in management.

Drs. Patricia Nicosia, Chair of the Natural and Behavioral Sciences department and Professor of Mathematics, and Tim Wilson, Professor of Education, welcomed 13 new members into the Alpha Chi national collegiate honor society, an organization that recognizes students across all disciplines who maintain rigorous academic standards. The new inductees include Olga Alicea, Angela Bennett, Mark Salas, Daniela Velazco, and Gabriela Velazco, all of Del Rio; Juan Fauntos, Karla Fauntos, Larizza Lopez, Magdalena Luna, and Jameson of Nielson of Eagle Pass; and Yolanda Rocha, Fernando Trevino, and Betel Velasquez of Uvalde.

The Humanities Department held its annual writing contest and Dr. Sarah Roche, the Department Chair and RGC English professor announced the winners including Samantha Alfaro of Eagle Pass and Erika Esquivel and Jill M. Saucier of Uvalde.

Outgoing Student Government Association members were recognized and thanked for their service. Angie Martinez is stepping down as President while Larizza Lopez is passing on the duties of Secretary and Yadira Segura is retiring as Treasurer. All are from Eagle Pass. Incoming members include Pedro Navarro of Uvalde, Jenniffer Montoya of Eagle Pass as Vice President, and Eagle Pass senators Maria Karolina Gonzalez, Katy Mendez, and Irma Tapia.

Rio Grande College alum Carmen Gutierrez introduced the student clubs active at RGC. She is currently the field Representative for Congressman Will Hurd.

Mrs. Alcala took the stage again to announce the 2016 Texas State University Board of Regents Teacher Award. She presented RGC Professor of Education Dr. Fernando Quiz with a framed resolution, a medal, and a pin to mark the honor. She then called Miriam Muniz Quiz to the stage to receive the RGC Favorite Faculty award, an honor voted upon by students.

Students also vote for their favorite male and female students at each site as well as their favorite staff member. Favorite students include Emmanuel Odin and Gabriela Velazco in Del Rio and Abraham Gelacio and Yadira Segura in Eagle Pass. Pedro Navarro was chosen the favorite male student in Uvalde while Lynette Cuellar, Lisa Garza, Nera Garza, Gracie Hernandez, Megan Ramsey, and Pilar Zapata shared the Uvalde site’s favorite female honors. Favorite staff members honored include Brandy Callis, Castroville; Julie Alderete, Del Rio; Juan Tamez, Eagle Pass; and Celso Garza and Aryel Ramirez, Uvalde.

The spring Commencement Ceremony is set for Saturday, May 14, 2016 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the International Center for Trade in Eagle Pass.

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 Students were inducted into the Alpha Chi honor society during the banquet. Pictured here, in back from left to right, Alpha Chi sponsor Dr. Tim Wilson, Mark Salas, Fernando Trevino, and Olga Alicea. In front, left to right, are Gabriela Velazco, Daniela Velazco, sponsor Dr. Patricia Nicosia, Betel Velasquez, Larizza Lopez, and Angela Bennett.