COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Pledging to close educational attainment gaps one student success at a time, Dr. Kelly Quintanilla was officially announced President and CEO of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi on Wednesday, Aug. 23 during a Texas A&M University System Board of Regents meeting.
“Dr. Quintanilla is a proven leader who knows this institution and this region exceptionally well,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System. “I am confident that she will accelerate the University’s momentum and help it reach new levels of success.”
As the first woman to serve as President of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Quintanilla is no stranger to breaking through barriers and inspiring change. She first joined A&M-Corpus Christi as an Assistant Professor in 1994, where she spent 16 years teaching courses in business and professional communication, teamwork and leadership, and public relations. In 2010, she served as the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts where she launched the School of Arts, Media and Communication. As the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, she worked diligently to create new academic programs before she assumed her role as the Interim President in 2016. Throughout her career, student success and achieving excellence were always at the top of her priority list.
“A&M-Corpus Christi will achieve Emerging Research University status. And we will accomplish this task through planned and strategic initiatives that increase student opportunities and success,” said Quintanilla. “I am honored to be at the helm of a University that is leading the way in so many critical areas in teaching, research, and creative activity. Our excellence in all of these areas ensures the best educational experience for Island University students.”
When speaking with Quintanilla, it becomes apparent that she is proud of the University’s status as a Hispanic Serving Institute and sees every graduate as a success story. She believes that unparalleled commitment to every student’s success is one of the core missions of A&M-Corpus Christi.
“We graduate more than students – we graduate leaders,” she explained. “Over the years we have graduated more than 50,000 alumni and many of those alumni are out in our communities, making an impact. They are the nurses in our hospitals, the teachers in underserved regions of the state and the researchers impacting science on a global scale. That is our Islander impact and that is where I see the success of this University.”
Quintanilla received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Communication from Pennsylvania State University.