Palo Alto College announces new titles, roles
for key Student Affairs staff
Dr. Mike Flores, Vice President of Student Affairs, announced a series of promotions in the division, which handles the student support services for the 9,000 students enrolled at Palo Alto College. The promoted individuals now hold these titles and responsibilities:
Elizabeth Aguilar-Villarreal, Director of Enrollment Management, has the distinction of being Palo Alto College’s first student in 1985. She earned her Associate Degree from Palo Alto College, a Bachelor’s degree from Our Lady of the Lake University, and a Master’s in Counseling from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Elizabeth began working in PAC’s Admissions Office as a student in 1985 and served in various roles within the Alamo Colleges while pursuing her education. She returned to Palo Alto College in 2007 to serve in the Welcome Center before moving to her new position, where she is responsible for all student registration and records. Elizabeth said her main goal through her job is to be sure that students understand that education is the key to success.
Katherine Beaumont, Coordinator of Alumni & Scholarships, joined the Center for Academic Transitions (CAT) in June 2010 as a Recruiter/Advisor and most recently served as the Graduation Team lead. Katherine advised students who are interested in transferring to four-year universities and focused on developing strategies to track transfer, graduation, and joint admissions statistics. Katherine is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a Master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. She previously worked as an AmeriCorps Project Coordinator with a non-profit organization called Rebuilding Together Greater Dallas and as an Academic Advisor and Instructor with the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State. Katherine said she is honored to have the opportunity as Coordinator to help students at PAC achieve their academic goals through scholarship awards and help those students stay connected as alumni. She enjoys running half-marathons.
Sonia Jasso, Director of Advising in the Welcome Advising Center, joined PAC in June 2009. As Director of Advising, Sonia assists students with academic advising, transfer and graduation information. In Spring 2011, she led a team of student affairs professionals and faculty through the graduation and certificate completion process resulting in an increase of 83% from FY 2009 to 2010. Currently pursuing a Ph. D. in Leadership Studies at Our Lady of the Lake University, Sonia is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Master’s in Public Administration and has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas Tech University. Sonia has years of experience in higher education and previously worked as an Outreach Specialist for UTSA.
Abel Gonzales, Director of Title V STEM Grant, will oversee the recently awarded $4.2 million Title V STEM Grant, and brings with him a wealth of experience. Abel is a Palo Alto College alumnus and received an Associate of Science degree before earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Master of Science degree in Educational Administration, both from Texas A&M University at Kingsville. Abel has successfully managed grant-funded projects and programs within the College, and in public agencies and schools throughout South Texas, and fully comprehends the depth of grant development, implementation, and advancement. Abel will work primarily with the Title V STEM Grant, while maintaining oversight of the Gateway to College Program. The attainment of this grant will allow Palo Alto College to enhance services that promote student retention and completion.
Alice Regala, Coordinator of Ray Ellison Family Center, started at the Ray Ellison Family Center (REFC) as a preschool classroom teacher in 2005. She previously owned and operated a business in San Antonio for 15 years before returning to the teaching profession. Her past teaching experience has been with the USAA Child Development Center and the San Antonio Independent School District. Alice briefly attended San Antonio College before completing her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines. She has served as the Interim Director for the REFC since 2009 and directed the Center’s accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in 2010 as well as its quest to operational self-sufficiency before being selected as the permanent Coordinator. Alice loves to dance and do karaoke as well as play tennis and travel when she gets a chance. Now her greatest joy is watching the children at the Center mature and learn during their time there.
Carmen Velasquez, Director of Student Engagement and Retention, started at Palo Alto College as a part-time Clerk in the President’s Office in March 2002. She has worked as a Student Success Specialist, Recruiter/Advisor, Scholarship Coordinator, and Interim Director of the Welcome Center. Throughout her nine years at Palo Alto College, Carmen has maintained a presence and rapport with students, staff and faculty across the Alamo Colleges. During her three years as Scholarship Coordinator, PAC increased the amount of funds awarded by 27 percent. Currently completing her M.A. in Communication Studies, Carmen has a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from UTSA. She is continually recognized for her dedication to students and their first-year experience at Palo Alto College.