Dr. Mike Metke, Tyler Junior College president, and Dr. Juan E. Mejia, TJC provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, were recently recognized as Distinguished Pioneers of South Texas College during the 20th anniversary of STC’s Valley Scholars Program, said TJC publicity spokesperson Elise Mullinix.
Metke and Mejia served in administrative capacities at STC before they came to TJC.
Since its inception in 1997, STC’s Valley Scholars Program has continued its mission to provide educational opportunities, leadership development and scholarships to academically gifted and highly motivated students.
During the past 20 years, the Valley Scholars Program has provided scholarships and leadership development to 830 Rio Grande Valley students.
The gala event honored supporters of education and successful alumni of the program.
Along with Metke and Mejia, others recognized as Distinguished Pioneers included the late Dr. Ramiro Casso, a successful physician and recognized leader from the South Texas region, and Mario Reyna, who serves as dean of the STC School of Business and Technology.
The four were recognized as the Distinguished Pioneers for the Valley Scholars Program.
“I was proud to be there to start the Valley Scholars program, and I’m even prouder of how Juan Mejia was able to take it to even greater heights. He has accomplished this for TJC as well,’’ Metke said.
Mejia expressed his appreciation for the honor.
“Dr. Metke and I truly enjoyed reconnecting with friends and colleagues while we were in South Texas for the event,’’ he said. “We thank Dr. Reed and Dr. Petrosian and their leadership teams, and we wish them continued success always.”
Dr. Shirley A. Reed praised the TJC officials.
“Their vision and commitment to students throughout Hidalgo and Starr counties has made a lasting impact on our community,’’ she said.
“We are truly excited to celebrate 20 years of Valley Scholars,’’ Dr. Anahid Petrosian, chief academic officer at South Texas College, said. “Twenty years ago, STC was a young institution and we started to imagine what we could do for top-performing students who want to stay in the Rio Grande Valley and pursue their dreams of a higher education.”