Commencement Speakers

Fall 2023 Commencement Speaker: Dr. Barbara Mink

Dr. Barbara P. Mink is a founding member of the Austin Community College District and today serves the college as chair of the ACC District Board of Trustees. Mink was the subject of a chapter in “Indelible Austin: Selected Histories” by Michael Barnes titled ‘Behind Austin Community College from Day 1.’

Mink was first elected to the Board of Trustees in 2000. She was re-elected in 2006, 2012, and 2018. She served on the Board as: Vice-Chair, 2002-2004; Chair, 2004-2006; Secretary, 2008-2010; Chair, 2010-2012; Secretary, 2015-2017; and Chair, 2017-2019. She also served two terms on the Board of Directors of the ACC Foundation (2009-2011 and 2002-2004).

Mink is a program director and graduate professor in the School of Leadership Studies at Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, California, where she supervises doctoral students. Her teaching areas include organizational change, leadership, team development, and adult learning and motivation. Mink has served twice on the Board of Trustees of Fielding where she was a member of the Board Executive Committee and Chair of the Board Committee on Diversity and Social Justice.

Mink has been a clinical professor with the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Texas-Austin. She also developed the Innovation and Service Management graduate program for the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.

Mink has more than 45 years of international consulting experience in the areas of leadership development and the design and implementation of organizational change. She has worked with clients in manufacturing, health care, education, government, communications technology, and finance. Barbara is the author or co-author of 10 books on leadership and organizational effectiveness and has won poetry and creative writing awards in Texas writing competitions.

Mink has also served on the boards of the Human Resource Planning Society, the ARC of the Capital Area, and the Texas Association of Community College Trustees and Administrators. She is a lifetime member of the Austin Area Urban League and the Austin Rodeo Association. As co-founder of the group, Elected Women of Central Texas, she brought together elected women to address issues facing Central Texas. As a volunteer with Global Austin, Mink hosts State Department visitors studying educational and human rights issues. In collaboration with the Navajo Nation, she convenes yearly conferences of educators to advance educational sovereignty of the Navajo Nation.

Mink’s children (John, Babata, and Amanda), their spouses and children, and her large extended family (of eight step-children and their families) bring her immense joy.

Past Commencement Speakers

  • 2023 (Spring) Dr. Harrison Keller, Commissioner of Higher Education for the State of Texas and chief executive officer for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
  • 2022 (Fall) Afua Bruce, Principal of the ANB Advisory Group LLC
  • 2022 (Spring) Mr. Abdul Subhani, President/CEO of Centex Technologies
  • 2021 (Fall) Mr. Pete Winstead, founding shareholder of Winstead PC, & Mrs. Tomi Winstead, founding member of KLRU’s Producer’s Circle
  • 2021 (Spring) Edward Escudero, President/CEO of High Desert Capital, LLC, and Margarita “Margie” Escudero, critical care-certified registered nurse and El Paso Community Supporter
  • 2020 (Fall) Sen. Kirk P. Watson, Founding Dean of the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs
  • 2020 (Spring) Reverend George V. Clark, pastor of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church
  • 2019 (Fall) Massey Villarreal, CEO and President of Precision Task Group, Inc. (PTG)
  • 2019 (Spring): Dr.Philip Uri Treisman, Distinguished Teaching Professor, The University of Texas at Austin; Founder and Executive Director of UT Austin’s Charles A. Dana Center
  • 2018 (Fall): Dr. Thomas M. Hatfield, first President/CEO of the Austin Community College District
  • 2018 (Spring) Dr. Rufus Glasper, President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College
  • 2017 (Fall) Roy Spence, Co-founder and Chairman, GSD&M and Co-founder/CEO, The Purpose Institute
  • 2017 (Spring) Dr. Byron McClenney, former community college CEO. and Dr. Kay McClenney, founding partner of Achieving the Dream
  • 2016 (Fall) Gus Garcia, Former Austin Mayor, founding member, ACC Board of Trustees, and Marina Garcia, Educator and Community Volunteer
  • 2016 (Spring) Art Acevedo, Austin Chief of Police 
  • 2015 (Fall) Belle S. Wheelan, Ph.D., President, Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools
  • 2015 (Spring) Dr. Walter Bumphus, president/CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges, and Dr. Aileen Bumphus, executive director of the University of Texas at Austin’s Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence Gateway Scholars Program
  • 2014 (Fall) Victor Hwang, Executive Director of the Global Innovation Summit
  • 2014 (Spring) Dr. Dan Arvizu, Director & Chief Executive of National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • 2013 (Fall) Ben Barnes, Former Lieutenant Governor of Texas
  • 2013 (Spring) Andres Alcantar, Texas Workforce Commission Chairman
  • 2012 (Fall) Wilhelmina Delco, Former Texas State Representative, founding member, ACC Board of Trustees, and Dr. Exalton Delco, Former ACC Vice-President, Academic Affairs
  • 2012 (Spring) Dr. John Roueche, UT-Austin Community College Leadership Program, and Dr. Suanne Roueche, Editor, NISOD Publications, Senior Lecturer, College of Education, UT-Austin
  • 2011 Kirk Watson, Texas State Senator
  • 2010 Dr. Belle S. Wheelan, President, Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools
  • 2009 Wilhelmina Delco, Former Texas State Representative, founding member, ACC Board of Trustees
  • 2008 Donna Howard, Texas State Representative
  • 2007 Mark Strama, Texas State Representative
  • 2006 Richard Oppel, Editor, Austin American Statesman
  • 2005 Toby Hammett Futrell, City Manager, City of Austin
  • 2004 Gustavo Garcia Austin Mayor
  • 2003 Reynaldo Garcia, Executive Director, Texas Association of Community Colleges
  • 2002 Della May Moore, Outgoing Board of Trustees member
  • 2001 Carole Keeton Rylander, State Comptroller
  • 2000 Will Davis, Founding Member, ACC Board of Trustees
  • 1999 Kirk P. Watson, Mayor, City of Austin
  • 1998 Congressman Lloyd Doggett, U.S. House of Representatives, District 10
  • 1997 Dr. Richard Fonte, President, ACC
  • 1996 Barry Waite, Senior Vice-President Motorola
  • 1995 Dr. Donald G. Phelps, W.K. Kellogg Regents Professor, UT
  • 1994 Dr. Bill Segura, President, ACC
  • 1993 Dr. Charles A. Green, Chancellor, Houston Community College System
  • 1992 Dr. Manuel J. Justiz, A.M. Aikin Regents Chair in Education Leadership, UT
  • 1991 Rod A. Risley, Executive Director, Phi Theta Kappa
  • 1990 Lawrence Williford, Sr. VP Corporate Relations, Allstate Insurance Company
  • 1989 Hon. Parker McCollough, Texas House of Representatives
  • 1988 Larry Jenkins, VP, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company
  • 1987 Dr. William H. Pickens, Executive Director, California Postsecondary Higher Education Commission
  • 1986 Gonzalo Barrientos, State Senator, District 14
  • 1985 Dr. Dan Angell, President, ACC
  • 1984 Dr. Lorrin Kennamer, Dean, College of Education, UT
  • 1983 Raymond Bynum, Commissioner, Texas Education Agency
  • 1982 J. J. Pickle, Congressman, 10th Congressional District
  • 1981 Br. Stephen Wlash, President, St. Edward’s University
  • 1980 Dr. Kenneth Ashworth, Commissioner THECB
  • 1979 Wilhelmina Delco, State Representative District 37-D
  • 1978 Carole McClellan, Mayor, City of Austin
  • 1977 Lloyd Doggett, Member, Texas Senate
  • 1976 Jimmy Snell, Mayor Pro Tempore, City of Austin
  • 1975 Gonzalo Barrientos, Texas House of Representatives
  • 1974 C.C. Colvert, Professor Emeritus, Community College Education, UT

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