STC Chair to Be Voice for Region and Higher Education on the National Stage
Rose Benavidez elected to prominent role, speaking for thousands of community colleges nationwide
South Texas College Chair of the Board of Trustees Rose Benavidez has been named chair-elect of the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) beginning in 2022. The nomination puts Benavidez at the forefront of the national dialogue for higher education in Washington.
Recently elected as the first Latina on the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Board of Directors, STC Board of Trustees Chair Rose Benavidez now has a seat at the table with top leadership in Washington D.C., from the White House to the U.S. Department of Education.
ACCT is a prestigious national board charged with advocating for thousands of community colleges across the nation.
“Having an opportunity to serve on the ACCT board, especially as the chair-elect, will give me an opportunity to create a platform that will not only address our local and regional issues in higher education, but will allow us to have a collective voice nationally that will ensure those priorities are funded and that our needs are not overlooked,” Benavidez said.
“This new role allows us to highlight the area in a much larger context,” she said. “Being part of the ACCT board gives you an opportunity to have direct dialogue with the White House and the Department of Education so we can ensure that we are not just addressing the needs of the institutions, but sharing the incredible story of South Texas College and the transformational impact it has in our community.”
Benavidez was first elected to the board of ACCT in 2017 representing the ACCT’s Western Region and has served as the chair of ACCT’s Diversity Committee. She has also served as president of the National Association of Latino Community College Trustees.
Trustee Benavidez follows in the footsteps of her father, the late Manuel Benavidez, who as a founding STC trustee served as chair of ACCT’s Diversity Committee and received the ACCT Lifetime Membership Award for exemplary leadership in 2005.
“Having an opportunity to serve on the ACCT board, especially as the chair-elect, will give me an opportunity to create a platform that will not only address our local and regional issues in higher education, but will allow us to have a collective voice nationally that will ensure those priorities are funded and that our needs are not overlooked."
“When I first became part of the board, I learned that my dad was part of the initial effort to promote passage of the DREAM Act when he was chair of the diversity committee,” Benavidez said. “It is an incredible feeling to know that years later, as a member of the ACCT board, we are now working with the Administration and haven taken that idea and moved it closer to becoming a reality. It’s bittersweet, really. I’m often told how proud he would be of me, but I work hard every day to ensure that I exceed the expectations I know he had of me. I am fortunate to have the trust and a support of the residents I serve and will continue to bring new initiatives and opportunities that will keep us moving into a better future.”
ACCT is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. Located in Washington, D.C., ACCT is a major voice for community college trustees reaching the President of the United States, U.S. Congress and the Departments of Education and Labor.
The organization educates community and technical college trustees through annual conferences focused on leadership development and advocacy, as well as, through publications and online and face-to-face institutes and seminars.
Benavidez has served on the STC Board of Trustees representing Starr County since November 2009. Her constituents have recognized her as a tireless advocate for the region. She chaired the board during its November 2013 Bond and Maintenance Tax Election and, through strong support, was instrumental in seeing the bond and the maintenance tax increase approved.
Her latest elected post propels STC into the national spotlight.
“We congratulate Madame Chair on this great achievement,” said STC president Dr. Ricardo J. Solis. “We are honored to have someone with unparalleled leadership and enthusiasm for the advancement of our college and our students. It’s a great day for STC.”
Benavidez currently serves as president of the Starr County Industrial Foundation, a non-profit organization founded and supported by local government and business leaders committed to developing the local economy.
“We have always been a board and college that is all about community, and the fact that I have been able to have so much support and trust to take the most basic needs and quite frankly the most basic rights people have in being able to get an education has been an absolute honor,” she said. “I’m humbled to be able to be at this point where I will help direct the national dialogue and highlight the wonderful community and people we serve.”