Skip to content

Explore Your Future with Alamo Colleges!

We offer what you need to achieve success. Come explore with us and find out why so many students have decided to call the Alamo Colleges the pathway to their future.

Not sure where to start? Our Career Assessment Tool can help.

 
Close

Welcome to ACES

Alamo Colleges Education Services is a secure portal connecting Faculty, Staff & Students to Academic Resources, Email, and other Online Resources.

Support Contacts Helpdesk (210) 485-0555 Weather Line (210) 485-0189

 

 Vertical_Bar

 

  Click Here to Login

 

 

Close

News

Dr. Robert Vela - Vice…

Dr. Robert Vela: The Road to SAC Vice President
Vela-VP_FEA

Dr. Robert Vela - Vice President for Academics and Student Engagement

 Dr. Robert Vela: The Road to SAC Vice President

From probation officer to vice president of a community college – that’s a trajectory that few people might find logical but that is the path that Dr. Robert Vela followed.  

That path has now lead him to be named San Antonio College’s Vice President for Academics and Student Engagement.

In high school Vela thought he wanted to be a law enforcement officer. He graduated from Texas A&M University - Kingsville (TAMUK) and took a job as a probation officer.  Eventually he earned a master’s degree in counseling and guidance and used his desire to help people to a job as program coordinator for the Upward Bound program.

 “We helped kids become college ready,” Vela says. These were low-income, first time in college students in a rural setting.  

Vela earned his master’s degree in counseling and guidance from TAMUK, and a doctoral degree in a joint doctoral program in Educational Leadership from TAMUK and A&M-Corpus Christi.

A native of Alice, TX, Vela grew up in a dual language household. While he spoke English at home with his brothers and parents, his grandmother spoke only Spanish.  The Vela family history is Spanish and Italian on his father’s side and Mexican on his mother’s side.   

In 2008 Vela joined San Antonio as Dean of Student Affairs and in April 2009 he was named Vice President for Student Affairs.  

He spent eight months as district director for the Center for Student Information. “I went there to get it started –   the hiring process and developing their processes,” he said.

As the new Vice President for Academics and Student Engagement Vela believes his focus will be on  student retention,  faculty development, and graduation and transfer rates.  All the things that spell  student success.
“Above all, I want to be accessible and responsive to the needs of SAC – ensuring that they (faculty and  staff)  have the resources to do their jobs.

“I want to be an advocate for the college and be sensitive to the changing academic needs,” he said. 

What does he see as the No. 1 complaint of students?
“Students not having the financial resources to be successful at college,” he said, adding that this only adds to the student stress and panic.  “This means having the money not only for textbooks, but for a laptop and reliable internet service.”

On a blind date in college Vela met his wife, Annalisa. The couple now has three daughters:  Allison, 16, a varsity cheerleader in 11th grade; Madeline, 11, a 6th grader who plays competitive volleyball; and Emma Grace, 3, called the “strong-willed one of the family."  Mrs. Vela is a 9th grade guidance counselor.

In his spare time, Vela said he enjoys spending time with his girls. He also does some deer hunting in season; and he enjoys fishing.  

We wrapped up the interview with questions to Dr. Vela like those posed by Vanity Fair Magazine (which are borrowed from the Proust questionnaire):

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Perfect happiness for me is being with my family in a place with no stress, no deadlines, no anxiety.   

What historical figure do you most identify with? And why?
Martin Luther King – is somebody that I really admire. And the reason why is I think is because he was able to tie in the passion and emotion for a cause with the intelligence.  

Which living person do you most admire?
 It would have to be my parents (Robert Sr. and Nora Vela).  I don’t think I was a very easy child to bring up.

What is the trait you most deplore in other people?
Lack of sensitivity.   

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
 I’ve always loved Aquaman.
 
If you had a super hero  power what would it be?
The ability to survive both on land and water.

                                                                       --SAC--
 









 

 

latest
news
stories

  • Mother and Daughter Give Words of Inspiration at WE Conference

    A mother and her daughter who graduated together at SAC speak at annual WE Conference. Read More >
  • SAC Sets New Record

    SAC set a new record for students crossing the stage at the 2016 Commencement Ceremony and is poised to hit another record for the total number of graduates in the 2015-16 academic year. Read More >
  • 'Celebrating 90' Comes to an End

    San Antonio College's year of "Celebrating 90" comes to an end this month. Read More >
  • TECH-2-GO

    Office of Technology Services (OTS) at San Antonio College unveils a new Laptop Lending Kiosk at the Moody Cafe Read More >
  • The Ranger Special Edition Issue

    The staff of The Ranger/The Ranger Online, student newspaper at San Antonio College, has produced a special edition with information on the Alamo Colleges trustee election. The edition, which hit stands April 25, also pays tribute to The Ranger's 90th anniversary. The election section includes photos and interviews with the 11 candidates for the four open trustee positions, an editorial encouraging voting, and a map showing the four districts up for election. The editorial stresses the importance of voters in shaping the direction of the Alamo Colleges. Early voting starts April 25, and the election is May 7. Read More >