HARLINGEN — In observance of Women’s History Month, Texas State Technical College honors three women who shine in exemplary leadership positions for their contributions to TSTC.
The TSTC representatives are Police Lt. Gloria Ruiz, Cledia Hernandez, TSTC’s associate vice chancellor for External Relations and Workforce Development, and Amanda Posada, provost for TSTC’s Harlingen campus. They are being recognized for their efforts to protect and provide educational opportunities for TSTC.
Ruiz said her direction is a result of those who serve with her.
“The practice of succession planning and developing has allowed my department to cultivate and produce leaders that share the understanding that the TSTC community is first in our mission,” she said. “By overseeing the TSTC Fort Bend, Marshall, West Texas and Harlingen campuses, my priority is to ensure a safe and secure environment. As a mentor, my hope is that my fellow officers provide great leadership and be a voice for victims.”
She said Maya Angelou is her primary influence.
“Angelou inspired me to be determined in everything that I do,” she said. “I do my best to understand the thought process of others thanks to her. With that said, my advice to young women is to stay true to yourself, make good choices and never stop learning.”
Hernandez said she enjoys inspiring others to selflessly serve.
“I hope that I have been a contributor in developing leaders through my service, and I will continue to make TSTC the technical training solution for Texas,” she said. While at TSTC, I have worked in various roles from associate vice president, to provost, to currently acting vice chancellor. Through these distinct roles, the purpose is to lead and develop leaders to do amazing work for TSTC and to be innovative and relevant in technical workforce development. The rewarding aspect of my job is to give people opportunities to transform their lives and for generations to come. I am a first-generation college graduate and I understand the value of being surrounded by people who genuinely care about removing barriers.”
Malala Yousafzai, Amelia Earhart and Queen Esther have been influential in her life.
“These courageous women didn’t let age, gender or social criticism tell them they couldn’t,” she said. “They saw the need, a cause and the impact to take a risk and thrive. My advice for young women is to follow your passion and know that you are enough. My father used to always say to be number one. It’s not about a position, a title or a rank, but it’s about aiming to be the best in all that you do.”
Posada said the campus community contributes to the success of TSTC students.
“Our faculty, staff and administrators work together to build partnerships with our industry partners and community to provide an exceptional experience that is valuable to our students and their educational careers,” she said. “I have the privilege to serve as provost for TSTC’s Harlingen campus. The primary focus is to ensure our students are given an opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills in state-of-the-art learning environments that will provide a real-world application to train students for the Texas workforce, and so that they will earn a high-wage career.”
She said the rewarding aspect of her job is graduation day.
“I enjoy being able to see the smiles on our students’ faces as they walk the graduation stage and most often with a job opportunity that changes their life, and their families as well. Learning about their success stories reminds us about our mission and the lasting impact it has for our students,” she said.
Posada added that her advice for young women is to break barriers.
“I encourage all women to never underestimate your influence in the role that you serve in any professional capacity,” she said. “Exhibit strength, perseverance, embrace leadership opportunities, support each other and remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made just as you are.”
Women’s History Month, celebrated annually every March, originally started as Women’s Day, which was first celebrated on Feb. 28, 1909. The observance is a time for reflection and a moment to recognize how the efforts and bravery of past generations continues to pave the way for females today.
For more information about Women’s History Month, visit womenshistorymonth.gov.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.