NACAS, the largest auxiliary and ancillary services support organization serving higher education, named Esmeralda C. Valdez, Executive Director, University Services at the University of Houston, winner of the David H. Lord Scholarship for Exemplary Community Service and the South Region Mentor Award at the C3X 2020 Virtual Annual Conference & Expo.
Auxiliary services leaders are on our campuses every day, making a difference in our communities. The David H. Lord Scholarship for Exemplary Community Service award encourages the active citizenship and leadership of our members to step up and make the needed changes on our campuses and within our communities. The Regional Mentor Award recognizes a member in each region who has shown initiative in welcoming newcomers and promoting/encouraging involvement of members at the regional/national level.
“The David H. Lord Scholarship for Exemplary Community Service award is extra special as it recognizes the value of community service and paying it forward,” Valdez said. “I strive every day to domy very best in service and in support of our campus community.”
Led by her drive to help students succeed, Valdez has looked for opportunities to volunteer through other avenues that give her the opportunity to share and educate others about the world of auxiliary services. For instance, she works as a mentor and research assistant within a Latina undergraduate college mentoring program called Las Comadres. In addition, she works as the Gulf Coast Regional Representative on the TACHE State Board (Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education).
Valdez accredits part of her career success to mentorship and networking. “Throughout my career I have had and continue to have a full village of unbelievable mentors that support and advocate for me and above all push me to always give it my all,” said Valdez. “When presented with an opportunity to pay it forward by helping others, like students or colleagues, I do not hesitate. Mentorship is powerful and it is how we grow and learn together!”
Outside of her charity work, Valdez is a model volunteer for NACAS. She has served on multiple NACAS committees, focus groups, and has engaged with members in educational sessions, roundtables, and webinars. Valdez’s leadership to the auxiliary services profession was honored in2019 when she was awarded the Mereese Ladson Scholarship to continue her professional development.
“I feel very fortunate to be part of such an amazing organization: NACAS.” said Valdez. “As through the years it has opened many doors for me, professionally and personally, through networking professional friendships, and an unlimited amount of professional development opportunities.”