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2006 DAA Recipients

Johnny N. and Ma. Teresa (Nena) S. Cavazos
Educators, Philanthropists & Owners, Cavazos Insurance Agency

"Brownsville has been very good to us and we are firm believers in education, so we feel that we should give back to the community."

The Cavazos who were the first husband and wife selected to receive the award, met on the TSC campus in the 1950s. Both went on to earn bachelor degrees from San Antonio universities. A star on TSC’s last football team, Johnny became a coach in area schools. Nena worked as a teacher before they launched their very successful insurance business in 1965. 

The couple has used their success to give a hand up to those who follow behind them. Their creation of a $1 million scholarship endowment at UTB/TSC is helping kinesiology and elementary education majors pay for their education. 

Guadalupe C. Quintanilla, Ed.D.
President, Cross-Cultural Communication Center and Associate; Professor, Modern and Classical Languages Department, University of Houston

"I really have received a lot of recognition and a lot of honors, but the recognition from Texas Southmost College is the most important to be because this is the community that gave me a start, and it wasn’t for Texas Southmost College I wouldn’t be here."

Guadalupe C. Quintanilla began life in a poor Mexican village without running water or electricity. Upon her immigration to Brownsville as a young girl, she was labeled "mentally retarded" because she didn’t know enough English to test well. But, the woman who had worked in several family businesses since the age of five overcame the adversity to earn a doctorate degree, serve as a faculty member at the University of Houston and run her own company, Cross-Cultural Communication Center of Houston. 

As the first Mexican American woman with a doctorate degree at the University of Houston, she designed the Mexican American studies and multicultural bilingual programs. She made sure that her three children continued their own educations; one is a physician and two earned doctor of law degrees.


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