Luzelma Canales
Board Chair
Rio Grande Valley Focus Educate Texas

Read bio

Chairperson and CTN Community Leadership Mentor

  Dr. Luzelma G. Canales, is Executive Director for RGV FOCUS, a collaboration with Educate Texas. In this capacity, she is providing leadership for a large-scale collective impact initiative launched to transform college readiness, access, and success across a four-county region in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Prior to joining Educate Texas, Dr. Canales served as a community college and university administrator for over twenty-five years. During her time in higher education she provided oversight for resource development, compliance, organizational development, community engagement, continuing education, workforce development, corporate training, and adult basic education. Dr. Canales also served as the lead for numerous national reform initiatives including Achieving the Dream (ATD), Breaking Through, and several Excelencia in Education initiatives from 2004 to 2011. Dr. Canales currently serves as the lead for the Ford Corridors and the Lumina Community Partnerships initiatives. Luzelma holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Pan American University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas – Pan American, and Doctorate of Philosophy in Human Resource Development from Texas A&M University – College Station. 


Maria Martha Chavez, PhD.
Chief Executive Officer
Catch the Next, Inc.
7600 Chevy Chase Dr. #300
Austin, Texas, 78752

Read bio

President, Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Chavez-Brummel is a sociologist with a history of researching, implementing, and evaluating social policy. Dr. Chavez has a Bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University in Journalism, Psychology, and Spanish Literature and a Master’s degree in Education – Curriculum and Instruction. She also has Masters of Philosophy and Doctorate of Philosophy from Yale University. At Kansas State, Dr. Chavez created The Minority Admissions Program. At Yale, she has served as Assistant Dean in Yale College, and as a member of the faculty. At Yale, Dr. Chavez established the Asian Chicano Cultural Center, The Chicano Boricua Studies program (that has evolved into the American Studies, Race, Ethnicity and Migration major), the LULAC Head Start Program (a preschool initiative for children up to 5 years old), and the building of The Latino Youth Center in the city of New Haven, Connecticut. Maria also worked at Save the Children Federation as Associate Vice President of U.S. Programs and was principal investigator for the state of the union report on America’s Forgotten Children, looking at America’s 101 poorest rural places. She established six community learning centers in the Central Valley of California for the America’s Forgotten Children Campaign. Dr. Chavez also worked with Public Agenda, a research and engagement organization, and was a national partner in the Achieving the Dream Initiative, where she served as engagement coach and member of the Knowledge Development Working Group. 


Allegra Villarreal
Board Secretary
Austin Community College
Austin, Texas

Read bio

Allegra Villarreal is Director of Professional Development for Catch the Next, Inc. She is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College. She enrolled in community college after receiving her GED at age 16 and ultimately transferred the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland, where she would earn a joint honors B.A. in International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies. After graduating, she enrolled at Oxford University, shifted her academic focus, and was awarded an M.F.A. in Creative Writing in 2008. She taught ESL in Mexico and the Czech Republic before returning to the U.S. where she taught English at Mount Hood Community College and South Texas College before joining ACC.


Sarita Brown
President, Excelencia in Education
1717 N St NW #2,
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 785-7350

Read bio

Sarita E. Brown is President of Excelencia in Education, a not-for-profit organization accelerating Latino success in higher education by linking research, policy, and practice to serve Latino students. She has spent more than three decades at prominent educational institutions and at the highest levels of government working to implement effective strategies to raise academic achievement and opportunity for low-income and minority students. She started her career at The University of Texas at Austin by building a national model promoting minority success in graduate education. Coming to the nation’s capital to work for educational associations, Ms. Brown served as Executive Director of the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans under President Bill Clinton and U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley. She later applied her talents and experience to the not-for-profit sector and in 2004, co-founded Excelencia in Education in Washington, DC.

Her efforts have been recognized by many including, the Harold G. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education for “innovative thinking, strong leadership and accomplishment by example”, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators education and the American Association of University Women. She has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from North Carolina State University, Carlos Albizu University and the University of Saint Joseph.

An advocate for educational equity, Ms. Brown currently serves on the Board of Directors for Editorial Projects in Education, Catch the Next and Excelencia in Education.


Dr. R. “Mike” Flores, PhD.,
Incoming Chancellor
Alamo Colleges
Palo Alto College
1400 Villarret,
San Antonio Texas

Read bio

On March 3, 2018, Dr. Mike Flores was voted as incoming chancellor of the Alamo Colleges District by the Alamo Colleges District Board of Trustees. Dr. Flores will assume the duties of the Alamo Colleges District chancellor on Oct. 1, 2018.

Dr. Flores has served as president of Alamo Colleges District-Palo Alto College’s since 2012. Dr. Flores joined the Alamo Colleges District in 1999 and has held all three Vice President positions (Academic Success, College Services, and Student Success) during his tenure at Palo Alto College.

Dr. Flores is a leader for empowering students for success through resources such as high impact teaching and learning practices including usage of academic advising, learning communities, new student orientation, and open educational resources. Other campus-wide changes that took place during Dr. Flores’ presidency at Palo Alto College include new program offerings in high-growth, high-wage areas such as advanced manufacturing, energy, and health care; establishment of the Center for Mexican American Studies; and nine early college high school/pre-college partnerships since Fall 2014. Additionally, Dr. Flores led the College on an award-winning continuous improvement journey utilizing Baldrige criteria, with Palo Alto College earning the 2015 Texas Award for Performance Excellence and being a 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award nominee. Most recently, Palo Alto College was designated as an Aspen Institute Top 150 Community College for 2019, a distinction that places the College in the Top 10% of community colleges nationwide. 

Dr. Flores works with community colleges nationwide to increase student success as an Achieving the Dream Coach and has served as a fellow with the American Council on Education, the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities, and conducted postgraduate study at the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management. Dr. Flores has also worked with numerous community-based organizations in San Antonio, Houston, and Chicago, and presented nationally at numerous higher education conferences regarding student engagement, evaluation, and performance excellence. He also serves as a board member for the Communities in Schools San Antonio, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Hot Wells Park Conservancy, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, San Antonio Tricentennial Commission, and San Antonio Youth Yes (SAY Sı́) Leadership Council. 

The son of migrant farmworkers, Dr. Flores was born in Del Rio, Texas, and is a 1987 graduate of Holmes High School in Northside ISD in San Antonio. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science in Political Science from Illinois State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He lives in central San Antonio with his wife Martha, a talented creative director and entrepreneur, and their daughters, Mara Zoe and Mia Ximena.


Stephanie Alvarez
Associate Professor
Mexican American Studies
Rio Grande Valley University

Read bio

Catch the Next, Inc. Scholar Mentor

Dr. Perez Alvarez is an Associate Professor of Mexican American Studies School of Interdisciplinary Studies & Community Engagement at the University of Texas - Río Grande Valley College of Liberal Arts. She earned her PhD in Spanish from the University of Oklahoma. At Pan American University, she was the founding director of the Mexican American Studies program (2009-2013) & Center for Mexican American Studies (2011-2013). Dr. Perez Alvarez is the recipient of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Outstanding Latina/o Faculty Award (2011) and the University Of Texas Board Of Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award (2009).

Dr. Perez Alvarez is the co-editor with William Luis of The AmeRícan Poet: Essays on the Work of Tato Laviera (2014). Her research intersects in the areas of Latin@ identity, language, literature, culture, education and empowerment and has appeared in various edited volumes and journals such as Hispania, Journal of Latinos and Education and CENTRO: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, among others. Together with Tato Laviera, Edna Ochoa and José Martinez she founded Cosecha Voices, a program that provides migrant farmworker youth the opportunity to document and share their testimonios​


Dr. William, Serrata
El Paso Community College
919 Hunter Drive, El Paso, TX 79915
Phone:(915) 831-3722

Read bio

Dr. Serrata was named the President of the El Paso County Community College District effective August 1, 2012. Dr. Serrata holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Texas A&M University – College Station, a Master’s Degree from the University of Texas at Brownsville, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Human Resource Development from Texas A&M University – College Station. 

Dr. Serrata comes to EPCC from South Texas College in McAllen where he served as the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management for over seven years. During his career, Dr. Serrata has provided enrollment management leadership in fostering enrollment growth as well as increases in student retention, dual credit enrollment, and graduation rates with an emphasis on first-generation and Hispanic populations and establishing a college-going culture.  He has served on the Texas Workforce Education Leadership Committee and on the Executive Committee for the Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. He has presented at numerous national conferences as well as state conferences on subjects including strategic enrollment management, student development and the role of student affairs in facilitating student success. Serrata has been inducted as an honorary member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and is a recipient of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award.   Dr. Serrata is an active member of the El Paso community and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Workforce Solutions Upper Rio Grande, Board of Directors for the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors of the United Way of El Paso, the Executive Committee of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Directors for Sierra Providence Hospital. Dr. Serrata is a member of the Texas Association of Community Colleges, and serves as Chair of the Student Success Committee and the Chair of the Texas Success Center Advisory Committee. On the national level, Dr. Serrata is a member of the Board of Directors of Excelencia in Education, Catch the Next and the National Student Clearing House Advisory Council. He serves as an Advisory Board Member of the Higher Education Research and Development Institute (HERDI) and was recently selected to join the 2015 class of Aspen Institute Ascend Fellows.  Under Dr. Serrata’s leadership, the Aspen Institute announced that El Paso Community College (EPCC) was named one of 10 nation-wide finalists for the Aspen Prize for community college excellence which recognizes a college’s impact on student success in fall 2014. EPCC was selected from a pool of nearly 1,200 community colleges and is one of only two Texas institutions to be selected as finalists for this distinguished achievement. 

Dr. Serrata and his wife Jessica have been married for over a decade and are blessed with two wonderful sons, Nathan and Joshua. Dr. Serrata enjoys fishing, reading, and spending time with his family.


Margaretha Bischoff, PhD
Dean of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
South Texas College
P. O. Box 9701
McAllen, TX 78502-9701
Phone: 1-956-212-8530

Read bio

Dr. Margaretha E. Bischoff serves as the Dean for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences which oversees a team of 15 department chairs, including the Developmental English and Reading departments, and two assistant deans for Humanities and Visual and Performing Arts. The departments serve 19 academic programs, including an Interdisciplinary degree, three Associates of Applied Science, and College Success. In this role, which she has performed since 2004, she has been instrumental in the initial creation, implementation, and submission of learning outcome results, and the continuous adjustment of teaching methodology as needed.   She has been leading the developmental acceleration initiatives for Reading and Developmental English since Fall of 2012 and implemented the CTN Program as part of three founding Texas Community Colleges in collaboration with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Catch the Next, Inc, the New York-based educational institute which has as its mission to support at-risk and first generation students. She served on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Developmental Advisory Committee in 2012 and 2013. She facilitates articulation agreements state-wide with other institutions of Higher Education and sets an example as a certified faculty advisor to encourage and increase participation of the Liberal Arts and Social Sciences faculty in faculty advising and faculty advising training.

Dr. Bischoff holds a Doctorate and a Master’s of Arts in Clinical and School Psychology from Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University. She started her education at Norwalk Community Technical College, Norwalk, CT, where she earned her Associates in General Studies. She joined South Texas College in 1999 as a Psychology instructor at the Mid Valley campus. In that role she also served as the academic advisor to the Dean of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, which was followed by her appointment as the Chair of the Criminal Justice and Social Sciences department. During that time she served as the President of the Council of Chairs and was part of decision making committees such as the Curriculum and Program Review committee and the Institutional Effectiveness committee. Through a nation-wide search process and after having served as an interim Dean, she obtained her present position in 2007. She engages in ongoing Professional Development by either being a contributor and/or attendee at national Community College conferences such as the League of Innovations, the Annual convention of the American Association of Community Colleges, and NISOD, where she has presented on Learning Outcomes, Developmental initiatives, and the CTN program. She recently joined the Board of Directors of Catch the Next, Inc, and still coordinates the Dream Catchers Program at South Texas College.  


Dr. Charles Cook
Provost and Executive Vice President
for Academic Affairs
Austin Community College District
5930 Middle Fiskville Rd.
Austin, Texas 78752
512-223-4ACC (4222)

Read bio

Dr. Charles M. Cook joined Austin Community College as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2014. As the chief academic officer, he guides and oversees all programs relating to instruction and student services. Dr. Cook has participated in CTN institute events usually welcoming our guest and faculty to the Austin area.

Previously, Dr. Cook oversaw academic matters for Houston Community College, a multi college system serving more than 70,000 students (1999-July 2014). While at Houston, Dr. Cook implemented the CTN program and when he made it to Austin, brought the model to three of his campuses. Next year, Austin Community College anticipates to expand to two additional campuses and would like to be able to provide our services to all students. Dr. Cook also worked for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on planning and policy issues for statewide community and technical college instructional programs and initiatives (1994-1999). He has been both a college instructor and high school teacher.

Dr. Cook holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in U.S. history from the University of Houston, and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Houston


Kathy Zarate
Fellows Coordinator
Texas On Course
The University of Texas at Austin
Office of Strategy and Policy

Read bio

Catch the Next, Community Leadership Mentor

Kathy Zarate is Senior Fellows Coordinator with Texas OnCourse, a college and career preparedness initiative housed at the University of Texas at Austin. Kathy manages a fellowship for secondary counselors to promote college and career initiatives in Texas to ensure that all students graduate high school prepared for postsecondary success. Kathy holds a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University along with a master’s degree in public administration and a juris doctor degree from St. Mary’s University. After completing her graduate studies, Kathy was selected for the Government of District of Columbia’s Capital City Fellows program, where she rotated to three different district agencies such as the Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism and the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Education. Prior to joining Texas OnCourse, Kathy served as a developmental education program specialist at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and managed a college readiness program for four years at Austin Partners in Education.  In her spare time, Kathy volunteers with Austin Bat Cave, a nonprofit providing free youth creative writing programs, leading weekly writing workshops with students from T.A. Brown Elementary School.  

Board Treasurer



18756 Stone Oak Pkwy, Ste. 200

San Antonio, TX 78258




582 Ocean Avenue Suite A

West Haven, CT 06516




© 2022 Catch The Next Inc.

Website Help & Feedback