“I am trying to get out into the community and into the service area,” she told the crowd of a few dozen who stood inside the college’s student union building. “I will commit to you that we will continue to be a beacon, a light in the community.
Espinoza comes to CBC from Yuba Community College District in Marysville, Calif., where she served as vice chancellor for educational planning and services. She is an experienced educator and college administrator with 25 years in higher education.
She holds a Ph.D. in rehabilitation psychology and educational psychology and a master’s in rehabilitation psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison; and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg.
Espinoza was hired in March to fill the position left vacant when Dr. Thomas B. Baynum left last year. She assumed office this month.
“We are going to engaged and continue to be that seed that continues the next generation of learners and scholars,” she said.
“We want to make sure we are on target with the learning that needs to take place to build the economy we want to achieve for Bee County and our service area.”
Coastal Bend College has already created courses geared towards those wanting to take advantage of the Eagle Ford Shale economic boom.
Classes include petroleum rigs, well completions, safety certifications and more.
College staff have interviewed several companies and, as a result, have added even more classes and hope to continue to do so.
Some of the additional classes CBC is looking at adding because of the Eagle Ford include a landman certification and gauger training.
The college’s CDL program has expanded from being offered at one campus to being offered at several campuses.
Espinoza stood before the crowd on Monday, offering her thanks to the many that showed but especially her family, whom she called to stand beside her at the lectern.
“I appreciate them very much,” she said as she turned her head to the right, where they stood.
“They are really at the core of me continuing my education and my ability to want to serve students and community in the same fashion in which I was served — with a lot of support.”
The sampling of family that evening was small compared to its totality.
“In the end, coming from a family with eight siblings and coming from a migrant worker background, it was essential to have the support of family,” she said.
“I know we serve a lot of people that come from similar-type backgrounds that need family support.
“I would like to be an example for them of what good things come out when family stands behind, beside and in front of you and braces all around you.
“Our parents were very instrumental in us continuing that education,” she said.
It is from her, Espinoza said, that she gets the expression students will likely hear from her often.
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.