Cohort 7 – South Texas College, TX

Raifu Durodoye

Raifu Durodoye is a full time instructor of Math and Science at North Lake College part of the Dallas Community College District in Irving, TX.  He has a lifelong commitment to leadership policy in education.  His affinity for education has always intersected with his background in math and science.

Mr. Durodoye has been involved in the development of math and science programs in West Africa. The most popular of the efforts is the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program. The program has 114 member countries with 17 African GLOBE membership. The focal point of the program is the practical and dissemination of mathematics, science, and technology education at various levels of education. The GLOBE utilizes the environment as a laboratory to foster experiment in sciences, collect, analyze and interpret data. The primary infrastructure of the GLOBE delivery is the internet technology. Students, Teachers, Educators and Administrators, College Professors and the community have been galvanized by GLOBE.

Raifu Durodoye has also had the opportunity to work with University of Connecticut (NASA) research project in Nigeria. The research is based on the Low frequency Monitoring Sensor System records sensitive military and security information. Mr. Durodoye negotiated the term and the agreement with the Nigerian Secretary of Defense and other military personnel. The tools of arbitration was the educational benefits of the project to graduate students as well as professors in the Nigerian colleges and universities. He has had the opportunity to manage grant funded GLOBE Programs in Africa for over a decade. These programs have transformed students, teachers as well as community into capacity development, economic prosperity and political enlightenment.

Carlos Garanzuay

Carlos Garanzuay currently serves as the Coordinator for the College Relations Office at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas.  In this capacity, he performs a diverse range of duties including budgetary planning and reconciliation, public relations, and departmental strategic assessment. His multifaceted skillset has equipped him to make significant contributions to departmental projects, such as creating a workflow matrix that creates an assessment report from a strategic plan, and developing an accounting system that allows real-time analysis and next-year projections; to community projects, such as hosting a student-focused television news magazine, and liaison to the district attorney’s domestic violence awareness summit; to campus-wide projects, such as designing an “Employee-Veteran” pin signifying to student-veterans they have fellow veterans working to assist and mentor them in their academic journey and transition into academic culture.  In addition to his administrative role, he also teaches public speaking as an adjunct professor.  Carlos’ career in higher education began as a media production assistant with the College’s television studio. He transferred to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christ where he became a graduate teaching assistant upon beginning graduate school.  Prior to a career in higher education, he served in the U.S. Air Force for two enlistments. Mr. Garanzuay incorporates his experiences as a veteran, a student, and an instructor to provide the best opportunity for a successful college journey to anyone he provides assistance.   This effort is evident in his recognitions as the first recipient of the Dr. June Smith “Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year” award for the state of Texas Speech Communication Association, and “Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year” for the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi College of Liberal Arts, and the TAMU-CC Department of Communication on his way to earning his Master of Arts in Communication in 2013.  Carlos also has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, and Associate of Arts degrees in Public Relations and Marketing, Broadcasting, and Liberal Arts.  A proud father of two daughters, Carlos provides mentorship to many students learning to navigate their college experience, including former classmates and teammates of his daughters.  In 2016, he was recognized as one of Corpus Christi’s “40-Under-40” for contributions to the community’s culture in areas of education and opportunity.

Angelica A. Gomez

Angélica A. Gómez began her career as a professional educator in 2001, as a high school mathematics teacher for the local school district.  Angélica is still currently working as a high school mathematics teacher, as well as, an adjunct mathematics instructor for Del Mar College, since 2010.  Because of her passion for mathematics, education, and diversity, Angélica has also worked the past five summers for the LULAC - Upward Bound Program and the past two summers for Del Mar College Kids Camp.

Angélica received two AA degrees, in Foreign Language - Spanish and Mathematics, from Solano Community College in Suisun, California and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and a Master’s of Science degree in Secondary Education-Mathematics.  She is currently pursuing her MS degree in Statistics and is a doctoral student in the Community College Leadership Program at NAU.

She has two sons; the oldest is a college junior and the other an 8th grader.    She was born in Indio, California, yet was raised in Corpus Christi, Texas.   She loves spending time with her sons, family, and friends.

Sharon Hyak

Sharon Kay Hyak is dedicated to the service of others and considers her call in life to be helping others in the pursuit of knowledge. Sharon began her education at a community college, eventually completing a master’s degree in biology. She currently works at Victoria College as an associate professor of biology. She contributes to the shared governance of Victoria College, expressing ideas and concerns while working toward solutions in various committees. Sharon currently serves as the Victoria College Faculty Senate Vice-President. She has worked on Strategic Plans, Southern Association of College and Schools accreditation, and most recently, worked with others to create and implement the Students Engaged in Active Learning program, as part of the Quality Enhancement Plan for Victoria College.

Sharon views integrity, and trustworthiness as impetuses necessary for success. Sharon Hyak’s success is by improving her life and being a positive influence to those around her.

Lisa Muilenburg

Lisa has been chair of TLA District 4 and has served on several committees associated with TLA.  This year, she is the chair-elect for the Reference and Information Services Round Table (RISRT). Outside of libraries Lisa is an active member of The Order of the Eastern Star and in 2014-2015 was the Deputy Grand Matron for her section.

Lisa had her first college experience at a community college: Del Mar College.  Therefore, she is especially excited to be in a leadership program that promotes this wonderful type of educational experience.  “NAU has given me an amazing opportunity to achieve an advanced degree in a program area I love, while maintaining my full-time position.  I had been looking at programs for a few years and this one just suited all my interests and needs so perfectly.”

Jim Nutt

For the past four years Jim D. Nutt has been the Director of Skills Development Grants for the Lone Star College System in Houston, TX.  These grants totaling more than 4.1 million dollars were awarded by the Texas Workforce Commission to Lone Star College and large corporate business partners including National Oilwell Varco, Tenaris, FMC and Anheuser Busch.  During his tenure Jim has been responsible for the delivery of over 136,000 hours of training to over 3,300 employees of international companies based in Houston.

Jim received his B.A. from Abilene Christian University in Biblical Studies and his M.Ed. in Educational Psychology from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.  He began his career in education as a high school and collegiate women’s basketball coach with psychology as a teaching field.  He served as the Chair of the Department of Psychology at Lubbock Christian University in Lubbock, TX.

After moving into sales Jim was a regional marketing director for a national medical staffing firm in Dallas, TX.  Before joining Lone Star College, he founded and led as president The Shepherd’s Staff, a national search firm which played a leading role in the implementation of executive search models to the emerging market of mega-churches.  Many of the strategies and innovations that Jim and his team introduced remain the standard in that market today.

Jim looks forward to his role in December as Santa for the benefit of local non-profit organizations. The remainder of the year, Jim, a.k.a. Claus, will speak on the essential fundamentals of leading in life.  Jim resides in Tomball, TX with his wife Dr. Lee Ann Nutt, Ed.D. and their two children Michael and Rachel.  Jim’s oldest son Brackston and his wife Katie are the proud parents of Everett.

The foundation of Jim’s effective leadership is his ability to grasp vision, his capacity to powerfully communicate with a variety of stakeholders and his competence building effective teams.

Robert Nyabiti

Robert Nyabiti is an international student, living in Wichita, KS.  He was born and raised in Tanzania, East Africa. His educational philosophy is “I know firsthand what lack of education to the underprivileged individual can lead to, as I have lived to be one among them in a country which was and is still underdeveloped”.

In 1997, Robert had a chance to visit the United States of America and saw how this nation had built its education curriculum to empower its citizens. He promised himself that if given the chance to study in the United States of America, he would make use of all the education opportunities to the fullest up to attaining a Doctorate degree.

Robert’s educational background includes a Masters of Business Law from Friends University, a Masters of Education in Organizational Leadership and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from Newman University in Wichita, Kansas.  He also earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Newman University in Wichita, Kansas and Associates of Arts in Business from Cowley County Community College in Arkansas City, Kansas.

Sandra Ochoa

Sandra Ochoa is an Instructor in the Imaging Sciences, at Del Mar College. She has been an educator for over 9 years. Sandra also continues to work for a local non-profit hospital. She has been a compassionate imaging professional for the last 23 years. As a lecturer and Clinical Coordinator, she serves the college as an instructor for both our Radiology Technology and Computed Tomography Certificate program students. She serves as an advisor and mentor to not only her students but to other imaging professionals in the community. Sandra believes in lifelong learning and is a strong advocate of higher education. She believes that a teacher must be able to reach students at whatever level of learning they are at and therefore utilizes all avenues to facilitate a great learning experience for all her students. This love for education goes beyond the didactic learning in a classroom, she encourages them to keep pursuing education because of the opportunities that it can afford them.

Separately from instruction, she serves on various college boards and student committees, such as the Radiology Technology Advisory Committee, Hall of Fame and is a Radiology Club sponsor. She is also a member of ACERT. This is the Association of Collegiate Educators in Radiologic Technology, a non-profit educational organization. ACERT is dedicated to Improving the quality of education among collegiate Radiologic Technology Programs, which is important cause for her. Outside school, she is a founding charter member of the W.B Ray Class of 85 “Gone but Not Forgotten Scholarship” committee. This scholarship helps students from her alma mater get some assistance to lessen the financial burden of attending a college or university.

Currently, Sandra is a doctoral student in the Community College Leadership Program (CCLP) at the Roueche Graduate Center, National American University in the South Texas Cohort. Sandra earned her undergraduate degree from the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) in Organizational development with an emphasis on Human Resources. She earned her Master’s in Arts and Administration in Organizational Development from UIW as well, and is proud to be a life-long Cardinal.

Natalie C. Villarreal

Natalie is currently the Assistant Director for the Adult Education and Literacy program at Del Mar College where she works towards the advancing the GED/ABE/ESL program for 12 counties in the DMC service area. Natalie was recently appointed to the Higher Education Taskforce for the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce. She has also served with the Junior League of Corpus Christi board as an At-Large Member and was chosen to attend the Junior League Organizational Development Institute Conference (ODI) in 2013. Natalie enjoys spending time volunteering in the community. She serves on the Rodeo Corpus Christi committee and is the Chair for the Sweethearts of the Rodeo. In the past, she has devoted much of her time to helping other organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Corpus Christi Youth Cathedral Choir, St. Patrick School, and the Corpus Christi Ballet.  A proud Longhorn Alumni, she also volunteered with Exes for Texas and has given time to career advancement at her hometown high school.

Natalie, a proud 5th generation Tejana, grew up in the small town of Orange Grove, TX. She graduated from Orange Grove High School in 1995 and went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1999. After graduation, she stayed in Austin and earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling from St. Edward’s University in 2002. During that time, she worked for the University of Texas and Communities in Schools-Central Texas.  After living in Austin for 12 years, she relocated to Corpus Christi.  She and her husband Eric have 3 beautiful children, Ezra(13), Eli(10), and Carmen(4) and enjoy living in the Sparkling City by the Bay where she was has been  honored with the CC Under 40 Award and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Mi Casa Es Su Casa Honoree. She has participated in Leadership Corpus Christi, Class 44. She is currently serving on the steering committee for Leadership Corpus Christi, Class 45.  Living a civic minded life continues to be a priority for Natalie and her husband Eric. They enjoy spending time volunteering as a family and giving back to the community that they now call “home.”

Arthur Smith

Arthur Smith was born and raised in, what is today, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.  In 1969, he immigrated to the United States, where he joined the United States Army, and he received his American Citizenship in 1971.

After his military service, he enrolled at Medgar Evers College, City University of New York, where he captained the soccer team, was active in student affairs, and met his wife, Barbara.  In 1976, he graduated from the City University of New York with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

After college, he re-enlisted in the US Army, where he rose to the rank of Sergeant, completed a one-year tour of duty in Korea, and participated in REFORGER (Return of Forces to Europe) exercises in Germany.  Upon his return to civilian life, he and his family relocated to Texas where he received his Masters of Arts from the University of Texas at Tyler.

He currently serves as Professor of Government at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, TX.  He has also taught at Texas College, also in Tyler, and as an adjunct at Kilgore College, in Kilgore, Texas.

He has been married to his wife, Barbara since 1977, and they have raised seven children.   When he is not teaching, he enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, and spending time with his grandchildren.