Posted: 8/12/04

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 Killam Library.

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 the country.

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.

For additional information, please contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at 326.2180, visit tamiu.edu or email pais@tamiu.edu

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.


Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu