CTN welcomes two new campus directors for the Ascender program, Dr. Joan Jaimes at San Antonio College and Dr. Ruth Reinhart at Austin Community College.

Dr. Joan Jaimes is a proud daughter of Mexican immigrants and a former migrant farmworker from Brownsville. She is the first in her family to obtain a college degree. She moved to Iowa to work in a pork processing plant in 1995 and lived there most of her adult life. She started her career in higher education with the Marshalltown Education Partnership at Marshalltown Community College in Marshalltown, Iowa.  She conducted outreach to first generation college students and families and helped create partnerships to bridge diverse communities in Iowa. She was very involved in her community serving on many local, state, and national boards and commissions. Dr. Jaimes is a founding member of Iowa’s Al Éxito, an AAUW initiative that guides middle school students on their path to college. In 2015, her experience in building partnerships and conducting Latinx educational outreach took her to Washington, D.C., where she worked for the U.S. Department of Education as Awareness and Outreach Specialist for Federal Student Aid.

Dr. Jaimes is a 2013 fellow of the National Community College Hispanic Leadership program, a 2013 fellow of Iowa State University’s Leadership Institute for a New Century and a 2020 American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Graduate Fellow. She earned an associate degree from Marshalltown Community College, a bachelor’s from Buena Vista University and a master’s in Public Administration from DeVry University. Joan graduated in December of 2019, with a Ph. D. in Educational Leadership from Iowa State University. Her research focus was using technology to create a college going culture in Latin@ homes.

 Part of her responsibilities will be to direct program development, implementation, evaluation and improvement to ensure program objectives are met and sustained. She will also coordinate technology needs assessment with Information Technology to establish priority lists.


Dr. Ruth Rodriguez Reinhart, Associate Vice President of Student Support Services at Austin Community College, just recently joined CTN’s Board of Directors. She has been working in the areas of social work and counseling for over 30 years. Since joining Austin Community College (ACC) in 2006, she has served as Associate Professor/Counselor, Interim Dean of Student Services, and Dean of Student Services. She also has served as an Adjunct Professor in the Student Development Department.

Before joining ACC, Dr. Reinhart had diverse professional experiences within the social work arena at various state agencies as well as private organizations that provided support to vulnerable populations. She has served on the various boards including: the St. David’s Ethics Committee, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Patient Services Committee, the American Cancer Society Austin Metro Division Executive Board and Patient Services Committee, and currently serves on the Goodwill Excel Board in Austin.

She is a member of the Texas Community College Teachers Association, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the Association for Student Conduct Administration, and Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE). Dr. Reinhart has served as Secretary, Vice-President, and President of the Austin Chapter of TACHE and currently serves as Past President. In addition, she has served as a mentor for ACC TACHE and Ascender (Catch the Next). Dr. Reinhart is a first-generation college student from San Antonio, Texas and holds a BA in Psychology from St. Mary’s University, a Masters of Social Work degree from Our Lady of the Lake University, and earned her doctorate in Community College Leadership at the Roueche Graduate Center at National American University in August of 2017.



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