CTN’s virtual Spring Gala was held on May 12th from 6-7 pm, and featured a panel discussing the future of higher education. The gala began with an introduction of the panel by CTN CEO Dr. Maria Chavez. This was followed by Ascender students from various CTN campuses who spoke about the positive effects of the program.

Linda Hagedorn, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs, International Programs, Student Services, Diversity, and Community in the College of Human Sciences and Professor in the School of Education at Iowa State University, served as moderator for the panel. She began by asking each panelist to answer three questions:

“Tell us one thing about yourself. Tell us one thing we should know about your college. Tell us one word that describes your outlook for the future.” She then asked the panel about the major challenges facing higher education, the value of higher education and the often prohibtive costs of higher education. After the panel answered these questions, they responded to questions from the audience. Next mentors shared their experiences within the program. The gala ended with a performance by the Val Ramos Flamenco Ensemble

The panel consisted of Dr. Shasta Buchanan, Vice-Chancellor of Austin Community College; Dr. Hector Gonzales, President of Southwest Junior College;  Dr. Plummer, Vice-President of Information Services, Planning & Strategic Initiatives and Assistant Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives at South Texas College; Dr. Tina Jackson, Assistant Commissioner of the Division for Workforce Education for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; Chris Nelson, Dean of Liberal Arts, South Texas College; Dr. Gilbert Becerra, Vice-President for Student Success, Palo Alto College; and Dr. Stella Lovato, Vice President of College Services and Nursing Education and Interim Vice President of Academic Success, San Antonio College.

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