MCALLEN, Texas – The Rio Grande Guardian recently caught up with the new dean for business, public safety and technology at South Texas College.

Sara Lozano is Ivy League-educated,possessing a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Yale University, and a Master of Higher Education Administration and Leadership from Adams State University.

In a Zoom conversation with Rio Grande Guardian editor Steve Taylor, Lozano spoke about the challenges of taking on her new role at STC just before the coronavirus struck. She said she quickly had to adapt, leading her team in the development of more online instruction.

“We don’t know how long it (COVID-19), is going to be, so, it really forced us to adjust what higher education is going to look like moving forward,” Lozano said. “We are not looking back anymore.”

One of the tools STC is now using is virtual reality technology.

“We are getting excited. The more we explore, especially virtual reality with our workforce program, the more exciting it becomes. The possibilities are endless for us.”

One of the reasons the Rio Grande Guardian wanted to connect with Lozano was something that was said in a news release announcing her appointment. The release said Lozano and her team is “ready to be innovative and unveil a new era of higher education and workforce training.”

In the Zoom conversation, Lozano gave examples of that innovation. She also addressed the impact of the digital divide. 

Lozano was selected as the dean for business, public safety and technology on August 1, 2020. She had been serving as point of contact for these departments since the retirement of longtime dean Mario Reyna in January.

Her new role has her overseeing all the programs in the division from culinary arts to welding and the college’s fire science and law enforcement housed at the Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence.

“Opportunity means opening our doors for students to learn in various ways,” Lozano said. “Some students want a traditional education, some don’t have that time. Some students want to find an opportunity to put their skills to use, but need the degree. Others are eager to learn new skills to address the needs of our community quickly, so certificates that can be completed in less than a year are the best path for them.”

Lozano said reaching out and providing access to all students and potential students is vitally important.

Lozano has been at STC for 13 years. During that time she has served as faculty member, as well as chair of the AEDT program. 

Outside of the college, Lozano is a part of the American Institute of Architects – Lower Rio Grande Valley Chapter (LRGVAIA), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the Texas Community College Teachers Association (TCCTA).

Here is the Zoom conversation:

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above Zoom conversation and news story shows Sara Lozano, the new dean for business, public safety and technology at South Texas College.

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