Catching up with Sina Ruiz: Interim V.P. enjoys success while keeping up with community

Corsicana Daily Sun
By Deanna Kirk
October 4, 2016

Daily Sun photo / Michael Kormos

Daily Sun photo / Michael Kormos

Sina Ruiz has been part of the Navarro College family for the last 13 years. She is currently the Interim Vice President of Enrollment Management and Institutional Effectiveness. Ruiz came to Navarro College as a student, and developed a passion for education. Daily, she strives to share that enthusiasm with students and others at Navarro College, while also being supportive of the Micronesian community that developed from a seed planted at Navarro College.

Describe your journey to Navarro College. What was your role when you arrived?

I started Navarro College as a student and graduated in 1998 with an Associate in Science (AS) in General Studies degree. I had the opportunity to work part-time as a teacher’s aide in the English as a Second Language program and started my first full-time position as a Tech Prep Associate in 2003. Through the Navarro College partnership with Texas A&M-Commerce, I was also inspired to continue my education. I earned a Bachelor’s of Applied Arts and Sciences in 2004 and a Master of Business Administration in 2006.
This opened many doors for me at Navarro College to serve in multiple director positions, including the First Generation Program, Adult Education, Carl Perkins and Tech Prep, and TRIO Student Support Services. I also served as a Club Advisor for the Mixing International Club (MIC) and International Justice Mission (IJM) Club where I had the opportunity to work with many amazing students. In 2013, I was promoted as Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and won Administrative Employee of the Year in 2015.

Currently, I am serving as the Interim Vice President of Enrollment Management and Institutional Effectiveness. I also serve the community as an Advisor for the Micronesian Education Community, and I am the Board Secretary for the Boys and Girls Club of Navarro County. Thirteen years ago, I would have never imagined I would be where I am today and look forward to what the future brings.

You have been a big part of the college’s annual Micronesian Festival. What is Navarro’s connection to the Pacific Islands?

During the late 1970s, dozens of Micronesian students attended Navarro College. At the time, the late Harold Crouch was Navarro College‘s International Counselor, and he was very instrumental in working with a grant that recruited students from the Micronesian islands. Navarro College was a natural choice for many Micronesian islanders because of college housing and being located in a small tight-knit community. After graduation, many of the Micronesian islanders decided to stay because of better opportunities. Almost 40 years later, the Micronesian islanders in the community have grown from a dozen in the late 1970s to approximately 1,000 living in the community today.

How have you helped promote education among young islanders in the community?

As we continue to grow as a Micronesian community, it is important for me to continue to tell my story and share the success of other Micronesian islanders. I am the Advisor for the Micronesian Education Community, and my role is to promote the Harold Crouch Micronesian Scholarship, and advise the recipients of this scholarship throughout their college journey. We also promote awareness by hosting events such as the Micronesian Festival and the Micronesian and Hispanic Community Event. I promote education among young islanders by presenting and talking to anyone who will listen. I’ve been so fortunate to have so much love and support as a Micronesian, it is important that I pay it forward and inspire others to go after their dreams.

What is your favorite food?

I love it all. If you spend time with me, you will know I love to eat and love to eat it all.

What’s your favorite music?

I don’t think I have a favorite. I enjoy a variety of music.

What does the future hold for Sina Ruiz?
It is important for me to be challenged and grow as an individual. Recently, I decided to apply for graduate school to pursue a doctoral degree in higher education. I want to continue learning and be the best I can be. My hope for the future is good health, family, continuing serving others and making a difference in what I do.

Tell us one thing about Sina Ruiz nobody knows.

I cry at every graduation ceremony. I have the job of calling the names of each graduate and I struggle to keep the tears back. I reflect on the emotions I had when I graduated, and I am so proud of each graduate that walks the stage. It is such an exciting time when I call a graduate’s name and you hear the audience shouting with pride. I love this time of the year because it is such a great reminder of why we are here.

SOURCE: Corsicana Daily Sun