THECB Commissioner to Address TAMIU Summer Graduates
Making his first appearance in Laredo since being named Texas' Commissioner
of Higher Education, Dr. Raymund A. Paredes will deliver the Commencement
Address at Texas A&M International University's Summer Commencement
Exercises Saturday, Aug. 14 at 8 p.m. in front of the Sue and Radcliffe
Approximately 188 candidates for graduation will receive undergraduate
or graduate degrees in traditional outdoor ceremonies.
Dr. Paredes assumed leadership of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating
Board (THECB) this July. Created by the Texas Legislature in 1965, the
THECB is charged with providing leadership and coordination for the Texas
higher education system in order to achieve excellence for the college
education of Texas students.
Born and and raised in El Paso, he attended the University of Texas
at Austin, where he received a B.A. in English. He served in the U.S.
Army for two years, including a 14-month tour with the First Infantry
Division in Vietnam. After separation from military service, he resumed
his education, receiving a Ph.D. in American Civilization in 1973, once
again from UT- Austin.
Prior to joining the THECB, Dr. Paredes was Vice President for Programs
at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) where he oversaw scholarship and
outreach programs. Before joining HSF, he was Director of Creativity &
Culture at The Rockefeller Foundation from 2001 to 2003.
Prior to his work with The Rockefeller Foundation, Paredes was Associate
Vice Chancellor for Academic Development for 10 years at UCLA, where he
had also been a professor of English since 1973. ` From 1996-98 was chair
of the Cesar Chavez Center for Chicano Studies at UCLA. He also served
as special assistant to the President of the University of California
System from 1998-2000 on outreach efforts aimed at improving access to
higher education for students from educationally-disadvantaged communities.
His areas of research and writing have been Mexican American literature
and culture, and the impact of demographic changes on American culture,
art and education. Paredes has presented over 150 lectures at universities,
scholarly conferences and meetings of professional organizations around
In addition to his teaching and scholarly activities, Dr. Paredes has
been a judge for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in fiction, a consultant
on matters of cultural diversity for National Public Radio, and has worked
on several film projects including "The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez."
His essays have appeared in both popular and scholarly periodicals such
as the Los Angeles Times and the New Mexico Historical Review. He is co-editor
of the Heath Anthology of American Literature, the first major collection
of American writing to seriously represent its diversity. He also served
as editor of Aztlan: a Journal of Chicano Studies and on the editorial
boards of several journals. In 1999 he was given the Distinguished Achievement
Award of MELUS (Multi-Ethnic Literary Society of the United States).
Dr. Paredes has a long history of involvement in K-12 and community
college education. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Mercy
College in New York and on The Commission of 125, a strategic planning
body for UT-Austin.
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