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Francisco Guajardo, Ph.D., succeeds Shan Rankin – both renowned figures in chronicling region’s borderland heritage – as CEO for MOSTHistory

Featured: Francisco Guajardo, Ph.D., the new Chief Executive Director for the Museum of South Texas History (MOSTHistory) in Edinburg, and Shan Rankin, the former Executive Director of MOSTHistory who has retired after a stellar career that spans more than 30 years, will be honored at the cultural/historical center on Thursday, September 26, 2019.

Photograph By PAMELA MORALES

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UTRGV football feasibility committee to hold its first meeting on May 19, announces Rep. Canales

Photograph Courtesy of UTRGV ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT

A football feasibility study committee, chaired by legendary coach Mack Brown, will hold an organizational meeting on Thursday, May 19, 2016 during a time and location to be announced later by officials with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, has announced.

Photograph Courtesy of UTRGV ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT

“College football has a positive economic impact on a region in many ways, such as through the millions of dollars that would be generated from thousands of visitors coming to the Valley for the games and related activities,” said Canales. “It also is a tremendous marketing tool for UTRGV, which is one of the best universities in Texas in terms of its proud reputation in academics and sports. Football generates excitement on and off the field.”

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National women’s business council taps UTPA students Rebecca Reyes of Edinburg and Gabriela Hernández of Alamo for entrepreneurship program

Photograph By JOSUE ESPARZA

Featured, from left: University of Texas-Pan American students Rebecca Reyes and Gabriela Hernández, both business management majors, were among 22 students nationwide selected to participate in the 2015 Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s Student Entrepreneurship Program held in Austin on June 21-26. Photograph By JOSUE ESPARZA

Junior Rebecca Reyes of Edinburg and senior Gabriela Hernández of Alamo, both business management majors, recently spent a week gaining valuable information and mentorship in the prestigious program that aims to foster growth for the next generation of women-owned businesses. The program, which began in 2008, offers tailored curriculum and mentoring from certified women’s business enterprises and Fortune 500 corporate members as well as a pitch competition where the students “sell” their ideas on future businesses. “I competed in the pitch competition,” said Reyes, who expanded her family’s nursery business – Reyes Nursery in Edinburg – into Paraiso Escondido, a venue for events and plant rental company. “I didn’t make it into the next round … but I threw myself out there and gained experience from giving it a shot. One of my mentors right before my competition told me, ‘Fear has no place in your success.’ All the people there were so supportive.” Reyes’ business concept for Paraiso Escondido landed her first place in UTPA’s business plan competition in Spring 2014. Hernández, a first-generation college student, who hopes to be a hospital CEO one day, came home from the conference with a better idea of how impactful networking can be for budding entrepreneurs. “My corporate mentors took me under their wing the whole time. We wouldn’t be able to walk a couple of feet without them running into someone who they had worked with,” she said. “I left the convention with so many business cards, my wallet is filled right now.”

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Dr. Juliet García, former President of UT-Brownsville, named to National Commission on Financing 21st Century Higher Education

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Featured, Dr. Juliet V. García, Executive Director of The University of Texas Americas Institute, formerly President of the University of Texas at Brownsville, and one of the members of a national blue-ribbon panel on higher education, the National Commission on Financing 21st Century Higher Education.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

Increasing pressure on state budgets, along with changing student demographics and new academic models arising from advances in teaching and learning, create both opportunities and challenges for American higher education. However, without creative new funding policies that expand access to meaningful educational opportunities beyond high school, including increased access made possible by wise use of existing public funds and by partnerships that generate greater private investment, the nation could fall short of the educated population it needs. To address the need for innovative new ideas, the University of Virginia’s Miller Center on Tuesday, March 31, announced the creation of a nonpartisan National Commission on Financing 21st Century Higher Education. With support from Lumina Foundation, the commission will initiate blue-sky thinking to develop policy proposals aimed at providing long-term sustainable finance models for U.S. higher education. Dr. Juliet V. García, Executive Director of The University of Texas Americas Institute, formerly President of the University of Texas at Brownsville, is one of the members of this blue-ribbon panel. The commission will foster a new national dialogue as it works toward a consensus on new policies that have the potential to help the nation meet educational attainment goals. During its deliberations, the commission will explore how public and private dollars can clear the way for innovation, ensure fair educational outcomes for all students, and affordably educate enough people to reach attainment goals. “Thomas Jefferson — the first American president to found a university — felt that individuals ‘endowed with genius and virtue’ should receive an education ‘without regard for wealth, birth, or other accidental condition or circumstance.’ Jefferson’s mission has come to a major obstacle. State support for public higher ed and federal support for student aid both face real limits, so many deserving students are finding it harder to pursue their own educational journeys without running out of financial resources. The commission aims to do something about that,” said William Antholis, Director and CEO of the Miller Center. By commissioning outside nonpartisan research and analyses, the Miller Center’s group will identify creative and practical solutions involving public funding and private capital. Each policy option will be examined for its ability to expand the capacity of states to increase the percentages of residents with high-quality postsecondary credentials. In addition to García, the commission will be led by two former governors and will include other state leaders who have experience working with budgets, presidents of several colleges and universities, and CEOs of some of America’s largest companies.

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Alex Meade, CEO of Mission EDC, to participate with Keith Patridge, President and CEO of McAllen EDC, and Gus García, Jr., Executive Director of Edinburg EDC, in “Economic Development – A Regional Outlook” on Thursday, March 26 at Edinburg Conference Center

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Alejandro “Alex” Meade, Chief Executive Officer, Mission Economic Development Corporation.

Photograph Courtesy OFFICE OF THE TEXAS GOVERNOR

Alejandro “Alex” Meade, Chief Executive Officer, Mission Economic Development Corporation, will be joining Keith A. Patridge, President and CEO of the McAllen Economic Development Corporation, and Agustín “Gus” García, Jr., Executive Director of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, on Thursday, March 26, in “Economic Development – A Regional Outlook”, hosted by the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. The EEDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The event, which is open to the public, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, 118 Paseo Del Prado. The gathering, which also will allow business professionals to meet, network, and create opportunities for the companies they represent, costs $18 per person, or $200 for a table of eight, and includes a hot lunch, beverage and desert. For more information or to make a reservation, individuals may call the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce at 956/383-4974. “The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce is looking forward to the gathering of three of the leading economic development professionals in the Rio Grande Valley,” said Elva Jackson Garza, Vice President of Edwards Abstract and Title Company, which is one of the event sponsors, and Vice Chair of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce’s Public Affairs Committee. Public Affairs Luncheons are an initiative introduced in 2006, and have featured popular topics with speakers who cover important community and legislative issues. The vision is to inform, involve and educate chamber investors and civic leaders. “There are several important factors for scheduling the economic development panel. Primarily, the growth and vitality of the Rio Grande Valley have been impacted by the continued work and efforts of the economic development corporations,” Garza explained. “The Valley is poised to experience changes in the educational, industrial, commercial and residential sectors. Bringing these three EDC entities together will help further the regional mindset in the civic, business and community leaders.” Fred Sandoval, City Manager of Pharr and Director of the Pharr Economic Development Corporation, had also been invited to participate in the event, but a schedule conflict prevented his valued participation, according to Ronnie Larralde, Director of Marketing/ Special Events at Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. The Thursday, March 26 session is consistent with the strategies of the Edinburg Mayor, Edinburg City Council, and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, who have made regional cooperation with other South Texas cities a priority as part of their efforts to promote socioeconomic advances in deep South Texas.

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