Dr. Kristina Ramirez Wilson

Dr. Kristina Ramirez Wilson

Education/Degree: Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from Lamar University, Master of Business Administration from the UT Pan American, Bachelor of Social Work from UT Austin

Current College/University: Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Title/Position: Chief of Performance Excellence and Strategy

Community/Professional Involvements:

  • Adjunct Faculty for South Texas College, Bachelors of Applied Science in Organizational Leadership Program
  • Adjunct Graduate Faculty for Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership Program
  • Member of the Board of Directors for The Purple Door, a nonprofit organization that empowers the Coastal Bend community and those affected by domestic violence and sexual assault to transition to a safe and healthy environment

What was your journey to leadership and what skills helped you in your leadership role?

My career in higher education begin in the Library Services department at South Texas College in McAllen, TX.  I had been unsure of my professional path, but once I witnessed the tremendous impact of higher education on the socioeconomic mobility of individuals, families, and communities, I was hooked. At the time, I did not consider myself a leader.  However, I loved working in the library and I constantly looked for ways to improve our processes and services.  Those were my first leadership steps.  My passion for service did not go unnoticed by my colleagues and supervisors, and soon I was given additional opportunities to grow and to lead.  I also sought out opportunities for growth by actively seeking to build my skillsets. I applied for jobs that I was interested in and offered assistance on committees, taskforces, and new projects.

I spent 12 years at South Texas College with my last title being Associate Dean of Curriculum and Student Learning. During that time period I earned a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. Following this role, I served as the Dean and later the Associate Vice President of Planning & Institutional Effectiveness at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, TX.  In total, I spent 17 years serving in the community college sector.  Recently, I transitioned to an executive role at the Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

I am very proud of my leadership journey, but it has not been without setbacks, failures, and heartaches. I wasn’t selected for every job that I applied for.  Not all of my projects were successful or supported. However, I made an intentional effort to glean as much learning and growth from every experience as I could.

Here are a few skills and choices that I have made that have helped me develop my leadership:

  • Openness to new experiences. Your path may not follow the trajectory that you think it will. Be open to opportunities that come your way, even if they don’t fit the mold you have in mind.
  • Willingness to learn. I took on many projects or tasks that on the surface I did not have experience in.  Be willing to be vulnerable and to take on new challenges.
  • Find the value in failure. Failing, not getting things right, or not having all the necessary information feels terrible.  Be willing to fail and to feel the discomfort it.  Then, use it.  Learn and move on.
  • Find your voice. You don’t have to be an extrovert to be a leader. Identify what you love about your work.  If you can help others to understand your vision and collaborate with you to reach it, then you are leading.

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